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Sensation and perception

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1. Differentiate between sensation and perception. Explain the importance of separating these concepts. The differences between sensation and perception is that sensation is the elementary elements that, according to structuralist, combine to create perception. Whereas, perception is the conscious sensory experience (Goldstein, 2014). This student has always looked at sensations as those things in a persons’s environment that one can see, hear, smell, touch, taste, and feel. On the other hand perception is how a person’s brain will interpret what is seen, heard, smelt, felt, or touched.

2. Identify the biological factors that influence sensation and perception. Some of the biological factors that influence sensations would be the smell of a fresh baked cinnamon roll, the smell of rubber at a race tract, the touch from a grandchilds hands. Just about anything that a person is experiencing can affect a persons sensation. When a person smells a hot cinnamon roll coming out of an oven and orders one their sensation is how wonderful that cinnamon roll is going to taste and then they take a bite and perception takes over and either the cinnamon roll is as wonderful as they thought it was or they were given one that was baked earlier in the day and their perception has now changed what their initial sensation told them about how wonderful this cinnamon roll was going to taste.

3. As we age or incur visual impairment, we may need brighter light when reading. Explain why this is the case. The reason a person may need brighter light when they get older is because of a condition called presbyopia (old eye). When a person is 20 years old their near point is 10 cm but this will increase to 14 cm around the age of 30, and then to 22 cm around the age of 40, and would you believe it will increase to 100 cm at the age of 60. This occurs because of a hardening of the lens and a persons ciliary muscle weakens causing the lens to change its shape for vision that is up close. Furthermore, presbyopia can be corrected by the use of reading glasses or by holding the reading material at arms length but this student at the age of 50 knows from experience trying to hold a crochet pattern at arms length while trying to crochet just wont work. This student has chosen to use reading glasses and a bright light by the recommendation of her optometrist because a bright light will allow my light to go into the lens and a dim light will only decrease a persons ability to see and focus.

4. You are shown a picture of an elephant. Explain how that stimulus is processed from the retina to the visual cortex of the brain. After being shown a picture of an elephant they eye will take the light that is reflected from the object and it will enter the eye through the pupil. Then the light will be focused by the cornea and the lens to form a sharp image of the elephant in the retina. The retina is the network of neurons that cover the back of the eye and contains the visual receptors for a person vision. The visual receptors are made up of cones and rods that contain light sensitive chemicals called visual pigments. Visual pigments reacht to light and cause a triggered electrical signals to occur.

These electrical signals will then flow through a network of neurons and this network of neurons is what makes up a persons retina. After the flow through the network of neurons occurs the electrical signals will emerge from the back of the eye in the area known as the optic nerve. The optic nerve is what conducts the signal to the brain. Keeping in mind that the cornea and the lens that are located at the front of the eye and the recpetors and neurons in the retina lining in the back of the eye will shape what is seen by creating two transformation. First, is the transformation from light reflected from an object into an image of the object, like in the picture of the elephant. Second, the transformation from the image of the objects into that of electrical signals.


5. Goldstein, E. B. (2014). Sensation and perception (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.


Goldstein, E. B. (2014). Sensation and perception (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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