What is perception?

  • (noun): The representation of what is perceived; basic component in the formation of a concept.
    Synonyms: percept, perceptual experience
    See also — Additional definitions below

Perception

Perception (from the Latin perceptio, percipio) is the organization, identification and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs. For example, vision involves light striking the retinas of the eyes, smell is mediated by odor molecules and hearing involves pressure waves. Perception is not the passive receipt of these signals, but can be shaped by learning, memory and expectation. Perception involves these "top-down" effects as well as the "bottom-up" process of processing sensory input. The "bottom-up" processing is basically low-level information that's used to build up higher-level information (i.e. - shapes for object recognition). The "top-down" processing refers to a person's concept and expectations (knowledge) that influence perception. Perception depends on complex functions of the nervous system, but subjectively seems mostly effortless because this processing happens outside conscious awareness.

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Some articles on perception:

Common Coding Theory - Related Approaches
... tend to stress the relative independence of perception and action, some theories have argued for closer links ... Motor theories of speech and action perception have made a case for motor contributions to perception ... Close non-representational connections between perception and action have also been claimed by ecological approaches ...
Legacy Of The Battle Of The Alamo - Perception
... In Mexico, perceptions of the battle have often mirrored those of Santa Anna ... Initially, reports of the Mexican victory concentrated on glorifying Santa Anna, especially among newspapers that supported the centralist cause ...
Perception - Types - Of The Social World
... Social perception is the part of perception that allows people to understand the individuals and groups of their social world, and thus an element of social ...
Cretien Van Campen - Fields of Interest - Perception
... He showed that the apparent rise of Gestalt psychology in perception research in the 1910s had its roots in late 19th century art history in Germany ... between artistic and scientific experiments with visual perception since the Renaissance ... After finishing his thesis, his interests moved to the perception of music ...
Leibniz's Gap
... the Gap goes as follows “ It must be confessed, moreover, that perception, and that which depends on it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is, by figures and motions, And, supposing that there ... it, pieces which push one against another, but never anything by which to explain a perception ...

More definitions of "perception":

  • (noun): Knowledge gained by perceiving.
    Example: "A man admired for the depth of his perception"
  • (noun): A way of conceiving something.
    Example: "Luther had a new perception of the Bible"
  • (noun): Becoming aware of something via the senses.
    Synonyms: sensing
  • (noun): The process of perceiving.

Famous quotes containing the word perception:

    For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe anything but the perception.
    David Hume (1711–1776)

    The most evident difference between man and animals is this: the beast, in as much as it is largely motivated by the senses and with little perception of the past or future, lives only for the present. But man, because he is endowed with reason by which he is able to perceive relationships, sees the causes of things, understands the reciprocal nature of cause and effect, makes analogies, easily surveys the whole course of his life, and makes the necessary preparations for its conduct.
    Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.)

    The perception of the comic is a tie of sympathy with other men, a pledge of sanity, and a protection from those perverse tendencies and gloomy insanities in which fine intellects sometimes lose themselves. A rogue alive to the ludicrous is still convertible. If that sense is lost, his fellow-men can do little for him.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)