Aspects of the Perceptual Process
The study of sensation, or sensory processes, is concerned with the first contact
between the organism and the environment (ie. light being registered by the eye)
- "How bright does the target appear to be?"
The study of perception is interested in our conscious experience of objects and
- "Can you identify that object?"
- "Where is it? How far away is it? How large is it?"
Those who study perception are interested in how we form a conscious
representation of the outside environment and in the accuracy of that
Divided into 2 broad divisions; cognition, meaning how we know the world, and
affect, which was meant to encompass feelings and emotions.
Cognition tends to be somewhere between the areas that were traditionally called
perception and learning, and it incorporates elements of both.
Term used to describe the general process of that leads to the identification and
interpretation of stimuli. Includes a registration or sensory phase, and interception
or perceptual phase, and a memoric or cognitive phase
Integrates sensation, perception and cognition within a common framework
Information processing relies on a levels-of-processing analysis in which each
stage of sensory processing, from the first registration of the stimulus on the
receptor to the final conscious representation entered into memory, is
Theories of Perception
Biological reductionism is a theoretical approach to perceptual problems based on
the presumption that for any given aspect of the observers sensation there is a
corresponding physiological event. The main goal of the perceptual researcher is to
isolate these underlying physiological mechanisms (ie. the search for specific neural
pathways, or processes that correspond to specific sensory experiences).
Modularity of Perception views the mind as a set of distinct units or modules, each