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Perception Case

Essay by   •  December 4, 2012  •  Essay  •  863 Words (4 Pages)  •  750 Views

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Who really is in charge--you and your senses, or that 3-pound block of tissue, we call the brain? This was one of the initial doubts I had when the perception unit was brought up, but now I believe I know the answer. Our senses serve as receptors for our brain feeding it all the information we see, feel, smells, hear, and taste, but the brain chooses to ignore a vast majority of this information. Instead it looks for patterns and sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and tastes we have experienced before; otherwise it will just pretend that it is not there. When assigned a task, the brain focuses on one specific thing and it focuses so much on that one thing that it ignores other actions happening right in front of you. This example can be proven with the video seen in class of 6 people tossing a basketball around (our goal is to count the passes), when all of a sudden a gorilla goes across the screen. Our eyes see the gorilla, but our brain is so focused on counting the passes that the gorilla is not processed and goes by "unseen". Right now, can you feel that you are wearing any underwear? Until I mentioned this, probably not; you were so focused on reading this that your brain is ignoring all these other senses--you are not hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting, or smelling everything right now because you are so focused? What I am trying to say with this is that our brain is not the most reliable of sources because it is selectively choosing what we see and don't see. If we were able to sense everything, with no filters then we would be much wiser and open to a whole new world of ideas with more smells, tastes, sights, sounds, and feelings.

Perception can be limiting and varies from person to person depending on several different factors that all play a role on how we perceive things. Limitations of perception can drastically alter how we perceive something in the world. These limitations are what cause each person to have different perceptions of the same things. Cultural influences, language influences, expectations, assumptions, and beliefs all affect the way we perceive. For instance, I grew up in a very healthy dieted family, eating vegetables and lean foods everyday. But in elementary school, when I brought this food I realized that this was only something delicious to me, because I was brought up that way. All of my American friends grew up watching cartoons that say that veggies are gross, so they perceived it like that, while I always loved it. This just comes to show that depending on how you are raised and what you see around you, influences your perception of an object or idea. Another example, which was shown in class, is the optical illusions, more specifically the one with the "people kissing". To most people in my class, it was an obvious drawing of two people kissing, one black and the other white, but I hesitated to see that



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