Sensation and Perception

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Sensation can be defined as our minds taking in a sensation, such as taste, smell, sound, and sight, and turning the sensation into neural impulses. The neural impulses would then trigger a reaction within our body. When sensory information is sent to our brain, the information is channeled to the part of our brain called the thalamus. The thalamus then deciphers what parts of our brain the sensory information needs to be sent too to be processed (except for smell). Perception can be defined as the process of our brain making interpretations of those said sensations. The interpretations are then formulated into something that is relevant.

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Our brain is processing cues to make sense of the world on a continual basis. Since it is the holiday season, my given example would be waking every morning in December to see a bright and lit Christmas tree in my living room. The sensory information of the bright lights begins with my retina. The light waves travel through my retina and become neural impulses that are transmitted to my brain through the optic nerve. My brain would then characterize them as hues. Then, my brain releases dopamine, thus giving me the feeling of pleasure and joy.

Our brains can perceive something completely different than what we are actual seeing in front of us, hence the saying “My mind is playing tricks on me”. Our eyes are two separate organs, and the vision that each eye processes is transmitted separately. The vision in our right half of either eye is transmitted to the right hemisphere, and the vision in our left half of either eye is transmitted to the left hemisphere. This crossing of visions occurs at the optic chiasma. (LeFrancois. 2016). Mild depression disorder (MDD) has been found to alter the way a human prcesses what he or she is seeing. “Patients with MDD responded differently than the controls; they had markedly reduced contrast gain-related activity, suggesting that they were less sensitive to contrast”. (Costandi. 2013).

Cultural differences have a major contribution to the way humans see the world around them. A great example is facial tattooing. Here in the U.S. facial tattooing is not a common practice. Rather it is looked down upon the majority of the time within society. Many cultures around the world use facial tattooing as a symbol of status within tribal communities. Depending on the tribe, tattoos may represent social status, warning off of evil spirits, sacred symbolism, and/or religious beliefs. Here in the states facial tattooing is perceived negatively, where as in other cultures it is perceived as many positives. I chose to use facial tattooing as my example because I have many tattoos on my body, none on my face. Even though all of my tattoos can be covered with my military uniform, when I expose my tattoos in public settings, I do get frowns from others.

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Sensation And Perception. (2021, Jul 28). Retrieved December 5, 2022 , from
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