Day 2: Sensation-Perception
July 9, 2008 by Dr. Ken Tangen
We know the world around us through our sensors. Our ability to hear is limited by our auditory system. Our ability to sense color is limited to your visual system. We experience pain, pressure and changes in temperature because these sensors are stimulated.
If we had different sensors, we’d experience the world differently. If we could hear as well as dogs, we’d many higher notes available to us. If we could see infared or ultraviolet, we’d have more appreciation for the colorfulness of moths and butterflies.
Other animals might be better at certain forms of data collection but no one beats us for variety, quality or general processing power. We achieve our perceptual ability by using both bottom-up and top-down processing. We don’t just sense something and then interpret it. We anticipate what is coming next, and use of mental super-computers to select, enhance, and interpret our inputs.
It is not sensation (data collection) and then perception (interpretation). We are interactive sensing-perceiving-sensing-perceivers.