Sensation and its interpretation in Psychology

The sensation is the mind’s window to the real world that exists around us. If there is no sensation then our mind won’t get any outside world information then we would live entirely on our own minds, separate from one another. Hence, we will be unable to find food, shelter, clothes and even any other basics items where life sustains.

Perception is the process of interpreting the sensations we experience so that we can act upon it. If there is no perception, then we would be unable to interpret or understand what all those sensations mean.

The ABCs of Sensation

Information about the world has to have a way to get into the brain, where it can be used to determine the actions and responses. Therefore, Sensory organs and the process of sensation is the way to get into the brain.

How do we get information from the outside world into the brain?

We have 5 sensory organs- Ears, Eyes, Nose, Skin, and Tongue. These sensory organs are used to feel the outside world activity through stimuli. Once we get the stimuli, these stimulus actions are transformed into neural signals for the brain to process the sensation. Hence, the process of converting outside stimuli to neural activity is called transduction.

sensation psychology

Synesthesia

A Synesthesia is a sensory disorder. In this disorder, various sensual organs send different signals and those signals are processed in the wrong cortical areas. This is resulted in that the sensory information is interpreted as more than one sensation. For example, a person may experience music, colors, shapes, and emotions as taste.

It occurs when signals from sensory organs either go to places in the brain where they weren’t originally meant to be or they are processed differently.

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Sensory Thresholds

Just Noticeable Difference (jnd or the difference threshold)

It is the smallest difference between the two stimuli that is detectable 50% of the time, whatever the difference between stimuli might be; it is always a constant (According to Weber’s law).

Absolute Thresholds

Absolute threshold means the lowest level of stimulation. A availability of the stimulus detected 50% of the time.

Subliminal Stimulus

The stimuli which are below the level of conscious awareness are called subliminal stimulus. They readily activate the sensory organs, but they are not strong enough to make people aware of them to their conscious.

These stimuli act upon the unconscious mind, influencing behavior in a process called subliminal perception.

sensation perception

Signal Detection Theory

It provides a method for assessing the accuracy of judgments or decisions under uncertain conditions; used in perception research and other areas. An individual’s correct ‘hits’ and rejections are compared against their ‘misses’ and ‘false alarms’.

Habituation

Some of the lower centers of the brain filter sensory stimulation and ignore conscious attention to stimuli that do not change. So the tendency of the brain to stop attending to constant, unchanging information is called Habituation.

Sensory Adaption

It is the tendency of the sensory receptor cells to become less responsive to a stimulus that is unchanging.

 

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