I seriously want to learn this stuff!
[Please do not just tl;dr this.]

From Cognitive Psychology we know that learning (long-term storage and effective retrieval) requires two processes/strategies:

  1. Comprehension. If you do not understand it (cannot make connections between new material and knowledge you already have), you will not remember/learn it. This requires that you encode deeply (semantic code) and do so using elaborative encoding strategies.

    That sounds all fancy, but it basically means "understand the material" and "relate to the material."

  2. Maintenance Rehearsal. Getting information INTO memory isn't the only goal of learning. You must also be able to retrieve it when you need it! Two strategies for improving retrieval (finding it in memory) are (a) Using variable encoding, and (b) Repetition.

    In other words, variable encoding (a) means you should read the chapter (and/or review your notes) under a variety of conditions and in different environments. For example, re-write (not simply copy word-for-word) your notes. Convert the material into flash-cards. Create your own essay exam questions (and answer them). Study in the classroom. Study the material again outside. Study it again in the library. Etc. (you get the idea). This method creates multiple pathways to a stored memory. The more pathways, the more likely you will be able to locate a pathway to the knowledge when you need it.

    As for repetition... expose yourself to the comprehended material again and again (this is built into the above strategy, but if you don't get fancy with variable encoding, at least go over the material multiple times). This strategy focuses on strengthening a single pathway to the stored knowledge.

Having said all that above, you should work on getting in the habit of summarizing each chapter and fleshing out the information (in your own words) as you read the text and from what we talk about in class. I realize it may seem like a lot of work, but hey, nobody said learning was easy - but as it turns out, the more you do it, the easier it gets. (Remember how hard it was to learn how to read?)

Below, I have generously provided you with a VERY BRIEF summary of each chapter we will be covering. This will at least jump-start your efforts.

One additional strategy I will mention has to do with testing yourself. We are not very good at knowing when we actually have learned something. This truth is evidenced when professors hear students say things like, "I know it, but I just can't put it into words." Well sorry but, no, you don't actually know it. What the student is experiencing is called "familiarity" and it is often confused with "knowing" something. Just because you recognize a term or concept from having read it or heard it in class does not mean you've internalized (learned) it. It just means there is a faint impression already in your head. Ultimately, if you can explain it to someone, THEN you will know that you know it. So my last strategic bit of advice (which taps into all of the above) is to use the outlines below to create your own PowerPoint presentation (or lecture notes) as if you were going to stand in front of class and teach a group of students the concept yourself. BETTER STILL, find one or a few classmates who you can study with (Study Buddies)! Hearing the content from other perspectives AND trying to explain it to real people will also be VERY helpful!

Final word of advice: Far better to spread your studying out in smaller chunks (start with 15-20 minutes, take a break, do some more. Gradually build up to 45-60 minute sessions. Do not try to exceed that for any class/topic you are studying. Bottom line: 7 hours of studying spaced out over 7 days (an hour a day) will produce superior learning compared with 7-hours of cramming on a single day. (BTW: When I say "studying" I really mean "concentrated effort to learn." If you have your phone on or nearby, or the tv going, etc. ANY of these distractions will double - at least - my time estimates above.)

Chapter Outlines
Chapter 02: First Steps in Vision
Chapter 04: Perceiving and Recognizing Objects
Chapter 05: Perception of Color
Chapter 06: Space Perception & Binocular Vision
Chapter 09: Hearing: Physiology & Psychoacoustics
Chapter 10: Hearing in the Environment
Chapter 13: Touch
Chapter 14: Olfaction (smell)
Chapter 15: Taste