Perception - In the view of the sciences

Once the brain has made sense of the sensed, it decides instantly if action is necessary: ​​a loud honking on the road leads to a jump on the saving footpath, a hissing in the grass that I turn to the noise source and evade so as not to be bitten by the snake. A honking in the football stage, however, will hardly trigger a special reaction with me, the hissing when opening a soda bottle probably calls attention rather, if it is missing.

If the control center considers actions to be necessary, it sends the appropriate request to the respective parts of the body - the feet bounce, the hand jerks away or out, the eyes open or are pinched together. Whether a reaction is successful and what happens after that, the brain is then informed again by the corresponding sensory organs.

Perception in the view of the sciences

What perception is, how it works, why and how it can be disturbed or deceived, what role it plays for us or for other areas (for example advertising) - these aspects are highlighted in many areas, such as psychology, medicine ( especially sensory and neurophysiology), physics and chemistry, but also philosophy and sociology. In psychology, there are a variety of different disciplines and approaches - here is a selection:

  • Psychophysics: searches for mathematically describable connections between the physical properties of a stimulus and the resulting subjective sensation.
  • Gestalt psychology: attempts to find laws according to which stimuli are selected and organized by the brain; For example, these laws are based on many optical illusions.
  • Cognitive psychology of perception: investigates experimentally the mutual influences of perception, memory, thinking and action control; the computational approach uses computer models that attempt to replicate the performance of the perception system.
  • Developmental Psychology: deals with the development of behavior; a partial aspect is also how the (child) perception develops.
  • Ecological theory of perception: assumes that perception aims to recognize in an object the utility that it has for concrete action.
  • Neuropsychology: quite young field of work, which measures by means of apparative techniques brain activities, which are connected with processes of perception.
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