Sensation, Perception, States Of Consciousness And Information Processing

Read Complete Research Material

Sensation, perception, states of consciousness and information processing

Sensation, perception, states of consciousness and information processing

Most people think that information is obtained through one of the senses, that information is sent to the brain, and then you are consciously aware of the information. That is not all there is to the process. Here is a more detailed description of how the brain processes information received via the senses.


Information that is picked up through the senses is known as sensation. It is a passive reception of information by the body and it is happening all the time. Your senses are always picking up large amounts of information and then sending this information to your brain. What you may not know is that you are unaware of most of this information. Your senses are picking up far too much information for you to consciously process all at once. The process by which your brain decides what information you are consciously aware of is called perception.


Perception is how your brain separates sensory information into what is useful and what is not. It is how your brain combines all the useful information into something meaningful so that you can use it to understand and properly respond to your environment. The process by which the brain decides what information is useful and necessary is called selective attention.

Perception is important because you are constantly being bombarded by stimuli and you need to be able to focus on what is important. For example, you need to be able to focus on the conversation that you are having without being equally aware of every other conversation around you. The fact that your brain sorts out all the other irrelevant information that your senses are receiving makes this focus possible.

Perception isn't the end of the story. You will also perceive information based on what you expect. Your past experiences have taught you what to expect so instead of just receiving information, you prepare yourself to receive information that fits with your past experiences. If from a great distance you can see a number of shapes in a parking lot then you will likely perceive those shapes as cars even if you cannot clearly see that from where you are.

The influence of expectation on thoughts and perceptions comes to bear quite a lot in terms of attitude, emotion, and mental health. This will be explained further in a moment, but suffice to say that if you expect something to be negative it will be, whereas if you expect positive outcomes, the same will hold true.

Sensation and perception abilities are unique to each individual. Some people can focus, perform, and complete many tasks while other individuals can only focus on one. Some individuals can carry on a conversation in a noisy room, and give the other person he or she is speaking to complete attention and block out background noise. Dividing attention occurs when a person splits his or her awareness of external stimulus. They "multi-task" where and to what their attention ...
Related Ads