AskDefine | Define perception

Dictionary Definition

perception

Noun

1 the representation of what is perceived; basic component in the formation of a concept [syn: percept, perceptual experience]
2 a way of conceiving something; "Luther had a new perception of the Bible"
3 the process of perceiving
4 knowledge gained by perceiving; "a man admired for the depth of his perception"
5 becoming aware of something via the senses [syn: sensing]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

  • /pəˈsɛpʃən/

Noun

  1. Conscious understanding of something.
  2. Vision (ability)
  3. Acuity
  4. (cognition) That which is detected by the five senses; not necessarily understood (imagine looking through fog, trying to understand if you see a small dog or a cat); also that which is detected within consciousness as a thought, intuition, deduction, etc.

Translations

conscious understanding of something
vision
acuity
that which is detected by the five senses

Extensive Definition

In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory information. It is a task far more complex than was imagined in the 1950s and 1960s, when it was proclaimed that building perceiving machines would take about a decade, but, needless to say, that is still very far from reality. The word perception comes from the Latin perception, percepio, , meaning "receiving, collecting, action of taking possession, apprehension with the mind or senses."
There are two basic theories of perception: Passive Perception (PP) and Active Perception (PA). The passive perception (conceived by René Descartes) is addressed in this article and could be surmised as the following sequence of events: surrounding → input (senses) → processing (brain) → output (re-action). Although still supported by mainstream philosophers, psychologists and neurologists, this theory is nowadays losing momentum. The theory of active perception has emerged from extensive research of sensory illusions, most notably the works of Professor Emeritus Richard L. Gregory. This theory is increasingly gaining experimental support and could be surmised as dynamic relationship between “description” (in the brain) ↔ senses ↔ surrounding.
Perception is one of the oldest fields in psychology. The oldest quantitative law in psychology is the Weber-Fechner law, which quantifies the relationship between the intensity of physical stimuli and their perceptual effects. It was the study of perception that gave rise to the Gestalt school of psychology, with its emphasis on holistic approach.

Perception and reality

In the case of visual perception, some people can actually see the percept shift in their mind's eye. Others who are not picture thinkers, may not necessarily perceive the 'shape-shifting' as their world changes. The 'esemplastic' nature has been shown by experiment: an ambiguous image has multiple interpretations on the perceptual level.
Just as one object can give rise to multiple percepts, so an object may fail to give rise to any percept at all: if the percept has no grounding in a person's experience, the person may literally not perceive it.
Perception alters what humans see, into a diluted version of reality, which ultimately corrupts the way humans perceive the truth. When people view something with a preconceived idea about it, they tend to take those preconceived ideas and see them whether or not they are there. This problem stems from the fact that humans are unable to understand new information, without the inherent bias of their previous knowledge. The extent of a person’s knowledge creates their reality as much as the truth, because the human mind can only contemplate that which it has been exposed to. When objects are viewed without understanding, the mind will try to reach for something that it already recognizes, in order to process what it is viewing. That which most closely relates to the unfamiliar from our past experiences, makes up what we see when we look at things that we don’t comprehend.
This confusing ambiguity of perception is exploited in human technologies such as camouflage, and also in biological mimicry, for example by Peacock butterflies, whose wings bear eye markings that birds respond to as though they were the eyes of a dangerous predator. Perceptual ambiguity is not restricted to vision. For example, recent touch perception research (Robles-De-La-Torre & Hayward 2001) found that kinesthesia-based haptic perception strongly relies on the forces experienced during touch. This makes it possible to produce illusory touch percepts (see also the MIT Technology Review article The Cutting Edge of Haptics).
Cognitive theories of perception assume there is a poverty of stimulus. This (with reference to perception) is the claim that sensations are, by themselves, unable to provide a unique description of the world. Sensations require 'enriching', which is the role of the mental model. A different type of theory is the perceptual ecology approach of James J. Gibson. Gibson rejected the assumption of a poverty of stimulus by rejecting the notion that perception is based in sensations. Instead, he investigated what information is actually presented to the perceptual systems. He (and the psychologists who work within this paradigm) detailed how the world could be specified to a mobile, exploring organism via the lawful projection of information about the world into energy arrays. Specification is a 1:1 mapping of some aspect of the world into a perceptual array; given such a mapping, no enrichment is required and perception is direct.

Perception-in-action

The ecological understanding of perception advanced from Gibson's early work is perception-in-action, the notion that perception is a requisite property of animate action, without perception action would not be guided and without action perception would be pointless. Animate actions require perceiving and moving together. In a sense, "perception and movement are two sides of the same coin, the coin is action." A mathematical theory of perception-in-action has been devised and investigated in many forms of controlled movement by many different species of organism, General Tau Theory. According to this theory, tau information, or time-to-goal information is the fundamental 'percept' in perception.-

Perception and action

We gather information about the world and interact with it through our actions. Perceptual information is critical for action. Perceptual deficits may lead to profound deficits in action.

References and further reading

References

External links

perception in Arabic: إدراك حسي
perception in Bulgarian: Възприятие
perception in Czech: Vnímání
perception in Danish: Perception
perception in German: Wahrnehmung
perception in Estonian: Taju
perception in Spanish: Percepción
perception in Esperanto: Percepto
perception in Persian: ادراک
perception in French: Perception
perception in Armenian: Ըմբռնում
perception in Croatian: Percepcija
perception in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Perception
perception in Italian: Percezione
perception in Hebrew: תפיסה
perception in Georgian: აღქმა
perception in Lithuanian: Suvokimas
perception in Dutch: Perceptie
perception in Japanese: 知覚
perception in Norwegian: Persepsjon
perception in Polish: Spostrzeganie
perception in Portuguese: Percepção
perception in Quechua: Sut'i musyay
perception in Russian: Восприятие
perception in Simple English: Perception
perception in Slovak: Zmyslové vnímanie
perception in Serbian: Перцепција
perception in Finnish: Havaitseminen
perception in Swedish: Perception
perception in Vietnamese: Tri giác
perception in Turkish: Algı
perception in Ukrainian: Пізнання
perception in Urdu: آگاہی
perception in Chinese: 知觉

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acuity, acumen, acuteness, apperception, appreciation, appreciativeness, apprehension, astuteness, awareness, clear sight, cogency, cognition, cognizance, color vision, comprehension, conceit, concept, conception, cone vision, consciousness, critical discernment, day vision, daylight vision, discernment, experience, eye, eye-mindedness, eyesight, fancy, farseeingness, farsight, farsightedness, feel, feeling, field of view, field of vision, flair, foresight, foresightedness, grasp, horizon, idea, image, imago, impression, incisiveness, insight, instinct, intellection, intellectual object, intuition, judgment, keen sight, ken, knowledge, longheadedness, longsightedness, memory-trace, mental image, mental impression, mindfulness, night vision, noesis, note, notice, notion, observation, opinion, penetration, percept, perceptiveness, percipience, peripheral field, peripheral vision, perspective, perspicaciousness, perspicacity, perspicuity, perspicuousness, photopia, power of sight, providence, purview, quick sight, range, realization, recept, recognition, reflection, representation, response, response to stimuli, rod vision, sagaciousness, sagacity, scope, scotopia, seeing, sensation, sense, sense impression, sense of sight, sense perception, sensibility, sensory experience, sentiment, sight, sightedness, supposition, sweep, theory, thought, trenchancy, twilight vision, understanding, unobstructed vision, view, vision, visual acuity, visual field, visual sense
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1