Sensation and Perception
Sensation and perception are two closely related psychological processes that involve the detection and interpretation of stimuli in the environment.
Sensation refers to the process of detecting physical energy (such as light, sound, or pressure) and converting it into neural activity. This process occurs in the sensory organs (such as the eyes, ears, and skin), which contain specialized cells called receptors that are sensitive to specific types of stimuli. For example, the retina in the eye contains photoreceptors that are sensitive to light and enable us to see.
Perception refers to the process of interpreting the sensory information that we receive and making meaning of it. Perception involves the brain integrating and organizing the sensory information and attaching meaning to it. For example, when we see an object, our brain processes the visual information and interprets it as a specific object (such as a chair or a car).
Sensation and perception are not passive processes. They are active and involve the brain making predictions and inferences based on past experiences and expectations. For example, when we see an object, our brain uses our prior knowledge and expectations about the object to make predictions about what it will look like from different angles or in different lighting conditions.
Sensation and perception are important psychological processes that allow us to make sense of the world around us and interact with it. Dysfunction in these processes can lead to perceptual and sensory disorders, such as visual or auditory hallucinations, or sensory deficits, such as blindness or deafness.
Understanding sensation and perception is important for understanding how we perceive and interact with the world and can inform the development of treatments for perceptual and sensory disorders.