Phone: (201) 692-2300
If you want to see more of a dog that can orient its ears to a CS, thus making it a US, and the balance of the Santelli family, click this.  For a reference to language formation in dogs, click on the picture.

Note:  If you find yourself here at this formerly course 'enhancement' page, it is now, after my June 1, 2011 retirement after 45 years at FDU, only some detritus of that page; a place-holder for a new personal page 'under construction,' which begins
below with links to articles and videos.

If you want to dynamically learn about how neurons work go to:  (When you get to this site enter the Lab, then on the  Neurophysiology Lab.) Work through the material there so that you could write a journal specifically illustrating the ionic movements, membrane changes, and electrical changes that characterize the resting potential and the action potential (the nerve impulse).  You might have to download the Shockwave player if you don't already have it.  Further discussion and illustration of  how neurons work can be found at this site.


   Here's a "Web book," The Joy of Visual Perception, that adds valuable detail to our text's treatment of sight!

For an opportunity to see the effects of the additive mixing of primary colors (as we do in class at the appropriate moment) click this link and be particularly concerned as to how good a yellow you can make by mixing red and green light on your monitor screen.  Then, try to make white by mixing all three additive primaries (add blue to your "yellow").  Can you explain how this works?  You should if you're ready for the exam or just interested in how color displays like this one (or your TV) work because there is no yellow or white light coming from them!

Visual Perception

Here's a way to get a journal topic: go one of these excellent sites offering  demonstrations and explanations of visual illusions: Michael Bach's marvelous Illusions site and Illusionworks Hall of Illusions, find an illusion that interests you and write a journal explaining how it "works" (what the underlying cognitive and/or brain processes are).  Or just review for the exam.

Sound; Its Physics and Audible Demonstrations

If you have a Java enabled browser (like Internet Explorer or Netscape, with Java 1.1+ enabled) this site has the only workable sound demonstrations I've found.   Click here to go to the site and then be sure to try all the Interactive Sound Lab demos.   A very good demonstration of how the ear codes the sound waveform is simply to listen to music of your choice that has a wide variety of pitch and timbre using Microsoft Media Player with the Visualizations set to "Bars" of the "Bars and Waves" option.  Another is to use the "Oscilloscope" visualization.  If you're up for this, then click on  this link to the NCH Tone Generator, which take you to a site to download a tone generator setup file.  Save this file, say on your Desktop, and run it.  It will install the "NCH Tone Generator" program and a Shortcut to it on your Desktop (then you can trash the original  downloaded program).  Run the program while Media Player and your sound system is active, and try playing single tones, frequency sweeps, and tone combinations while observing the "Bars" display.  What does this tell you about the way sound is represented in the nervous system?

The Rorschach Ink Blot Test uses one's idiosyncratic perception of an ambiguous figure to provide putative insight into cognitive processes, "personality," perhaps even pathology.  Because one's "projection" of "self" into an inkblot  is based on the same processes as any other conscious state, try and "explain" what you see in this representative blot.

Sleep & Consciousness - for more on consciousness, see my "Links of interest" to the right, below the quotes!)

The place to go to study sleep is Stanford University's Sleep Disorders Clinic's Web page, as William Dement is the Man.  But also very interesting is Sleepnet that offers a variety of links.

Memory:  This site will illustrate some basic phenomena about the levels of information processing and memory.

Language:  Click here to go to material ancillary to our discussion of the definition of language


The Experimental Psychology Section  (for the course with that name, but hopefully of interest to all)

Reaction Time 

Click here for the first part of a very good and extensive historical review.

Click here for the second part of the historical discussion.

Click here for the third part of the historical discussion.

Click here for review of the experiment we'll be doing.

Click here for a brief overview of RT and other good links.

 BTW, while you're at the above site, surf around the links to the apparatus museums!

If you would like to download the MS-DOS Simple vs. Choice RT program that we use in my Experimental Psychology class, just click on the picture of Dutch physiologist F. C. Donders, who invented the choice RT experiment!

Ready to write-up your research?  Here's a Hypertext Guide to the APA Style reportAnd, in a linear and comprehensive format, here's another how-to treatment.  And don't forget to read the Academic Integrity Policy linked-to at the top of this page.

Tracking Task Behavior

Consider what happens if a reaction time study uses a very large number of stimuli presented sequentially and at different but related locations and your task is to "follow" the apparent motion of the "target" by making consecutive motion responses: You're "tracking" the motion, or much more familiarly, you're playing a video game!  You can track (follow) the motion with your "cursor," or you can try and negate or hold the target steady as it tries to move ("compensatory tracking").  The tracking task is clearly central to perceptual/motor information processing, and as such is an ideal dependent variable to assess a number of psych constructs and states.  For a fine demonstration of a very fundamental method of assessing perceptual/motor processing click on this.  Consider what might degrade or enhance your ability to compensatory-track the motion.  You'll need to have a Java-enabled browser, but check it out.

Vigilance and Performance on a Subitizing Task

Here's the NEW Vigil MS-DOS program (just click on the link to download it).  When a vigilance period is over, enter "9" to view the results OR ENTER "q" (for "quit") following any stimulus presentation TO TERMINATE THE PROGRAM EARLY AND GET RESULTS.  Note:  For proper function and timing of  this and some other DOS programs here, you are directed to This Link for the latest version of the unique open source DOS emulator "DOSBbox."  For XP users this will be a must, as Vigil will not run properly in an XP DOS emulation, and, of course, there is also a Mac version that works fine.  For Windows folk, I recommend the DOSShell  "frontend" to simplify use.

Mortality Salience (Terror Management Theory) and the Value of an Extended Life

Here's a recent discussion and review of TMT (in the context of 9/11) The "classic" TMT mortality salience manipulation is the following: "Please briefly describe the emotions that the thought of your own death arouses in you, and jot down, as specifically as you can, what you think will happen to you as you physically die and once you are physically dead."  What about you does this manipulation alter?

Manic Thinking: The speed of presentation and processing of mood inducing statements or pictures of faces affects the induced mood.

Based on the groundbreaking work of Emily Pronin and Daniel Wegman, we have  confirmed that  'faster thinking' significantly and independently improves mood using 'happy' and  'neutral' faces (as well as by positive and neutral statements).  E-mail me for the four slideshows we used, which present 12 images at 2 sec. and 4 sec. per picture.


. . . .under construction with the following set of briefly named links to documents and videos that I found relevant and thought provoking (and in no particular order).  These cloud-stored docs often must be downloaded so they can be opened with the appropriate app:

David Chalmers' Absent, Dancing and Fading Qualia

Dog's Color Vision

Ned Block's Access and Phenomenal Consciousness

Scott Acton's Position on Categories (naming) vs Dimensions in Diagnostic Classification

Jaak Panksepp's Systems of Affective Consciousness

Affective Neuroscience

Classic Fordham U research describing the priesthood as an "ambulatory sanitarium"

Barbara Montero on the Neuron Doctrine

Peter Singer on Animal Liberation

Are Emotions "Natural Kinds"?

Dan Dennett's Autophenomenology vs Heterophenomenaology

von Bekesy on Mach Bands

Darryl Bem's Exotic Becomes Erotic (EBE) re Homosexuality

Kolb & Braun's Blindsight in Normals

Blindsighted Person Negotiates Obstacles (WMV movie)

Breland & Breland's The Misbehavior of Organisms

Widiger on Categories vs Dimensions

Cells that Read Minds (mirror neurons)

Cells that Read Minds NYT article

Scott Acton on Classification of Psychopathology

Max Velmans on the Co-evolution of Matter and Consciousness

Cochlear Transduction

Coefficient Kappa Explained

Conceiving the Impossible and the Mind-Body Problem

Conceptions of Psychopathology

Consciousness and its Place in Nature

Construct of Mental Disorder

Critique of Libet's Nonconscious Volition

Diagnosis and Classification

Diagnosis and Dimenstions

The Nature of Dog Vision

Zajonc on the Unique Character of Emotions

Ekman and Facial Expression of Emotions

Electrical Properties of the Neuron Membrane

Eliza the Computer Therapist Emulation

Boring's The Psychology of Controversy

Boring's Eponym as Placebo

Cosmides and Tooby's Evolutionary Psychology Primer

Levine's Explanatory Gap

Chalmers' Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness

Terror Management Theory "Fatal Attraction" of Leadership Styles

Jackson's What Mary Didn't Know

Evans' From Moods to Modules

Functional Irrationality

Gage's Brain

The GHK Equation

Goodale's "Sight Unseen" (blindsight)

Noe: Is Perception a "Grand Illusion?"


Harrison's I Always Do What Teddy Says

Ion Concentrations and the Equilibrium Potential

Is Conscious Willing an Illusion?

Horgan on Freewill

La Mettrie Man a Machine

Dogs Laugh

Coren on Dog Language

Phi Phenomena

The Mastery Model in Learning

Bisson's They're Made Out of Meat

They're Made Out of Meat, the movie

Blackmore: Memes

Merton on Zeitgeist

Metaphors of Mind

Chalmers' Moving Forward on the Problem of Consciousness

Nagel's What Is It Like to Be a Bat

Nagel's Brain Bisection and Consciousness

Block's Access vs Phenomenal Consciousness

Review of Nernst-GHK-Synapse

Neural Networks


Operant Conditioning

Classical Conditioning as seen on The Office

Perceptual Blindness Demonstration

Philosophy of The Matrix (trilogy)

Pockett: Does Consciousness Cause Behavior

Ramachandran on the neuroscience of art.

Ramachandran and Hubbard on Synaesthesia

Rat Laughter

Recovery From Early Blindness (von Senden)

Scientific Peer Review Circa 1945

Searle: Why I Am Not a Property Dualist

The Social Construct of Mental Disorder

Split Brain Behavioral Experiments

Stratton's 1896 Experiments With Inverting Goggles

Synaptic Potentials and Integration

The Myth of the Reliability of the DSM

von Bekesy on Mach Bands 1967

Voodoo Death

Wegner: Precis of The Illusion of Conscious Will

Dretske: What Good is Consciousness?

What the Frog's Eye Tells the Frog's Brain

Widiger & Trull: Categorical vs Dimensional Approaches to Disorders

Boring: Zeitgeist and Discovery

Schachter's The Seven Sins of Memory

Provine on Laughter

Parfit on Personal Identity

Chalmers on the Singularity

(Meanwhile, as this is developed, you can play with Sniffy the virtual rat by clicking on her)


Skiers:   Progressions        Ski This Way      Skiing in Circles!

               Video                  Transitions         

John C. Santelli, PhD

Professor Emeritus, School of Psychology

So long as authority inspires awe, confusion and absurdity enhance conservative tendencies in society. Firstly, because clear and logical thinking leads to a cumulation of knowledge (of which the progress of the natural sciences provides the best example) and the advance of knowledge sooner or later undermines the traditional order. Confused thinking, on the other hand, leads nowhere in particular and can be indulged indefinitely without producing any impact upon the world.

--Stanislav Andreski, Social Sciences as Sorcery

[As opposed to erroneous, epidemiological, social beliefs]. . .the selective forces that scrutinize scientific ideas are not arbitrary and capricious.  They are exacting well-honed rules that do not favor pointless self-serving behavior.  They favour all the virtues laid out in textbooks of standard methodology: testability, evidential support, precision, quantifiability, consistency, intersubjectivity, repeatability, universality, progressiveness, independence of cultural milieu and so on.

-- Richard Dawkins

We should try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue.

--Rainer Maria Rilke

The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.

--Steven Weinberg

Those who reject the scientific conception of man must, to be logical, oppose the methods of science as well.

--B. F. Skinner

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

--Sherlock Holmes

Thus do pretenders to science vainly and preposterously seek for remedies, ignorant of the true nature of things.

--William Gilbert, De Magnete

Learn from science that you must doubt the experts.

I'm going to describe to you how Nature is--and if you don't like it, that's going to get in the way of your understanding it.  It's a problem that physicists have learned to deal with. . .whether they like a theory. . .is not the essential question.  Rather, it is whether or not the theory gives predictions that agree with experiment. . . .  The theory of quantum electrodynamics describes Nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense.  And it agrees fully with experiment.  So I hope you can can accept Nature as She is--absurd.

--Richard Feynman

Consciousness is the biggest mystery. It may be the largest outstanding obstacle in our quest for a scientific understanding of the universe.

Experience is information from the inside; physics is information from the outside.

--David J. Chalmers

What a wonderful thing, to be conscious! I wonder what the people in New Jersey do?

--Woody Allen

[We]will in the end have to admit that some things can only be grasped up to a certain point, and that Nature always retains behind her something problematic which it is impossible to fathom with our inadequate human faculties.


Yes, many things there are, which seem to be Perplexing, though quite falsely so, because They have good reasons which we cannot see....

--Dante, Purgatorio

It is truly extravagant to define God, angels, and minds, and to know precisely why God defined the world, when we do not know why we move our arms at will.  Doubt is not a very agreeable state, but certainty is a ridiculous one.


A tolerably clever man began his book with these words "Man, like all animals, is composed of two distinct substances, the soul and the body. If anyone denies this proposition it is not for him I write." I nearly shut the book. Oh! ridiculous writer, if I once admit these two distinct substances, you have nothing more to teach me.


Everything in the world has changed except our way of thinking.

--Albert Einstein

I don't think.  My thoughts think for me.

-- de Lamartine

"Logic!  Good Gracious!  What Rubbish!" she exclaimed.  "How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?"

-- E. M. Forster

...while some areas of human life show great diversity, in others, human behavior stays fairly constant across the whole range of human cultures, and some aspects of our behavior are also shared with our closest nonhuman relatives. . . .those seeking to reshape society must understand the tendencies inherent in human beings, and modify their abstract ideals in order to suit them. . . .for the first time since life emerged from the primeval soup, there are beings who understand how they have come to be what they are. To those who fear adding to the power of government and the scientific establishment, this seems more of a danger than a source of freedom. In a more distant future that we can still barely glimpse, it may turn out to be the prerequisite for a new kind of freedom.

--Peter Singer, A Darwinian Left

We're human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands.  But we can stop it.  We can admit that we're killers, but we won't kill today.

--Capt. James T. Kirk

Man will become better when you show him what he is like.

--Anton Chekhov

The beast does but know, but the man knows that he knows.

--John Donne

If we had to offer the briefest explanation of all the evil that men have wreaked upon themselves and upon their world since the beginnings of time right up until tomorrow, it would not be in terms of man's animal heredity, his instincts and evolution: it would be simply in the toll that his pretense of sanity takes, as he tries to deny his true condition.

--Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death

Several years ago a thought struck me that at first seemed so aberrant as to embarass me. That was that mind, rather than being. . .a late product of evolution. . .had been there from the start.

A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms.

--George Wald

When you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind.

--Lord Kelvin

. . .if we always insisted on precise definitions we all would be speechless almost all the time.  Definitions and precise theoretical constructs are the final product, not the starting point of inquiry.

--Lawrence Weiskrantz

In psycho-analysis there is no choice but for us to assert that mental processes are in themselves unconscious, and to liken the perception of them by means of consciousness to the perception of the external; world by means of the sense-organs.

--Sigmund Freud

We cannot, indeed, directly will to be different from what we are; but neither did those who are supposed to have formed our characters directly will that we should be what we are.  Their will had no direct power except over their own actions. . .  We are exactly as capable of making our own character, if we will, as others are of making it for us.

--John Stewart Mill

Links of interest:

Classics in the History of Psychology
Cognitive Brain Imaging

Email address: