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Sensory Perceptions - Essay Example

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Perception may be termed as the conscious recognition, identification, organization, and interpretation of sensory stimuli so as to represent and understand the environment (Klatzky, 1984). It involves signals in the nervous system that resulted from physically stimulating the…
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Sensory Perceptions Sensory Perceptions Perception may be termed as the conscious recognition, identification, organization, and interpretation of sensory stimuli so as to represent and understand the environment (Klatzky, 1984). It involves signals in the nervous system that resulted from physically stimulating the sense organs.
Although believing in the accuracy of sensory information largely depends on individual perception, there is no reason to view the information as inaccurate in the absence of any contradicting results (Tierney et al, 1995). Some of the reasons to believe in accuracy of sensory information include placing a hand on fire, eating food and crossing of the road. Placing ones hand on fire, the sense of feel will detect the temperature and pass the information to the brain, which perceives it as hot. This causes immediate withdrawal of the hand, preventing injury. Likewise, after placing food in the mouth, the tongue’s sense of taste will detect and send a message of the food’s taste to the brain, which will perceive it as either pleasant tasting and palatable or not. One can then proceed to eat or not. Taking an example of how to cross the road, the sense of sight helps in judging distance or depth. Through the eyes, the sense of sight of an oncoming vehicle is sent to the brain, which then determines whether it is far enough for safe crossing or too close to let it pass, keeping one out of risk of being hit. 
Factors that contribute to the accuracy of sensory information include repeatability and memory (Turnbull et al, 1995). In the example of placing ones hand on fire, the sense of simply seeing does not perceive it as hot. However, continuously placing the hand on fire and finding it to be hot conditions the brain to memorize that fire is always hot, and touching eventually becomes unnecessary for the brain to perceive the fire as hot. There is also the use of tried and accepted methodologies that comply with the principles of the scientific community (Turnbull et al, 1995).
With regards to sensory perceptions, nature may be viewed as a person’s natural instincts and genetic structure (Tierney et al, 1995). Nurture can be termed as the environmental factors that influence and shape a person’s behavior. They include teaching and parenting styles and one’s social, cultural and economic background. Both nature and nurture have an impact on an individual’s sensory perception. Studies have shown that, in a nurturing environment, children gain knowledge of objects through their experiences with their mothers (Tierney et al, 1995). A child deprived of such an environment like in the case of an abusive or absentee parent will learn that objects unpredictably can come and go. Being exposed early to the concept of objects being permanent or not continues to influence the way the child learns of other real objects of the world. This goes on throughout his life in a skewed way. The same study terms the ability to know and love as not being separate functions (Tierney et al, 1995).
Nature provides for the inherited instincts like the natural sucking, grasping and orienting to human facial features (Tierney et al, 1995). Although these get impaired by abuse and neglect from a caregiver, a child constructs reality from what he knows and values as principal from experiences that occurred during a remarkably early age. Natural selection encourages the brain to be elastic in some key periods instead of putting emphasis on assessing the environment (Tierney et al, 1995).
References
Klatzky, R. (1984). Memory and awareness. New York: Freeman.
Tierney, R. J., Readence, J. E., & Dishner, E. K. (1995). Reading strategies and practices: A compendium. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Turnbull, A., Turnbull, H. R., Shank, M., & Leal, D. (1995). Exceptional lives. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Read More
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