USF Psychology Sensation and Perception Paper


Question 1: Description

Please reference the course modules and textbook content, and answer the following two sets of questions:

As demonstrated by our visual systems, we do not have direct perception of reality, of what is out there in our world, much less any kind of absolute reality. Given this situation, what are the philosophical, psychological, and scientific implications for our inability, as humans, to have direct perception of reality?

What are the psychological and behavioral implications of the fact that most of what we perceive is beyond our conscious awareness?

  1. Purpose
  2. The purpose of this assignment is to apply what you’ve learned about the nature of sensation and the human senses, investigate the difference between sensation and perception, and explore the basic mechanisms underlying the senses.

Question 2: Seeing with Our Brain Description 

Discuss the idea that “we do not see with our eyes; we see with our brain.” How does this idea exemplify the link between the processes of perception and sensation? Please provide an example of how our brain can “see.”

Analyze where sensation begins and how this process impacts our perception of reality.

Peer 1:

Answer1: It is true that “we do not see with our eyes; we see with our brain.” The ability to see the world is provided by the process of perception, which is coordinated in our brain. According to Gerrig, the perception is “the process of apprehending objects and events in the environment—to sense them, understand them, recognize and label them, and prepare to react to them.” The process of perception consists of three stages: sensation, perceptual organization, and identification (or recognition) of objects. Thus, the sensation, which is provided by our sensory organs, is only the first part of the complex process of perception. During the sensation, the external stimuli (light waves) contact the sensory receptors in our eyes, which produce neural impulses that transport these experiences inside the cells in the brain. Further, during the process of perceptual organization, the brain integrates this information with prior knowledge of the world to create its internal representation. Thus, our brain organized the information about an object to estimate its size, shape, movement, distance, etc.   The processes of identification and recognition is the stage of understanding of an object. At this stage, we realize what does the object look like, what is it, what’s its function, etc. All these processes are very fast, effortless and require very little conscious. This is how our brain can “see.” The work, which the brain does, shows its plasticity and the ability to learn. Every perception is a new lesson for our brain; this information will be used for the next activities. Very interesting example about how our brain can see and can learn was provided in a module content. A 13-year old girl, who was blind from her birth, had the operation which was supposed to restore her vision. This type of surgery was successful for the other patients, but unfortunately could not restore the vision of the girl in full. Even though her eyes became healthy, her brain hadn’t enough knowledge for the normal perception of the visual information. This example shows how important our brain is in the process of vision, and also that there are critical periods of development when our brain “learns” to see.


Answer 2: Our eyes allow us to see things in the world, the light (stimulus) casts into the cornea, passing through the anterior chamber and pupil, opening in the opaque iris, being focused by the lens, traveling through the vitreous humor, and eventually striking the retina. The processes above are all happening in our eyeballs. However, what we see with our eyes will ultimately deliver the signals or information through our nervous system to the visual cortex in our brains. After the brain gathers all the information receives by the sensory receptor, it would start the process of perceptual organization, then finally forms a reasonable perception of us. Because the perception is completed and told by our brains, the so-called “seeing with eyes” is simply a biological receiving action through the sensory receptor. What we see (with our eyes) is not what we actually see, for our eyes are only responsible for receiving light from the visual world, and the brain processes the images, actions, and everything we see in the visual world, providing perception to us and letting us understand and feel a certain object or view. One example I believe can easily help explain that we see things with our brain rather than our eyes is prosopagnosia (face blindness). The patients who suffer from prosopagnosia can only see people’s faces but are unable to recognize and remember whose faces are whose, this is because some parts of the brain that deal with visual perception go wrong, which leads to the patient couldn’t recognize and remember certain faces. Without any damage to the eyes, the prosopagnosia patient still has difficulty recognizing different faces, this also indicates that we are seeing with our brain, not our eyes. 

USF Psychology Sensation and Perception Paper

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USF Psychology Sensation and Perception Paper


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USF Psychology Sensation and Perception Paper