Perception; Subliminal and Supraliminal Perception

Topics: Sense, Perception, Sensory system Pages: 17 (5225 words) Published: March 12, 2013
Subliminal Perception and Supraliminal Perception

Kimberlene A. Catalan
BSA 1-8


Imagine you are watching a group of Hawaiian women dancing to soft and filling ukulele music. Your Hawaiian friend, watching with you, exclaimed, “What a beautiful story!” You keep staring but neither see nor hear any story. You merely hear a pleasant melody and see some women waving their arms and wiggling. As your friend explains the meaning of each dance movements you begin to recognize a charming story about the wind.

Obviously, the dancers never change their dance movements. Why did your perception of the Hawaiian dancers change? This is what you called perception. You perceive sensory inputs giving a meaningful interpretation.

Perception is a process that combines both sensing and interpreting. Information from the outside world comes through our senses. The information is then interpreted, and this interpretation gives meaning to what is sensed. The process of interpreting or giving meaning to the stimulus received by the senses. The stimulus energy transmitted to the brain by the nerve impulses. Then the mind interprets the stimulus. Thus, sensation is a prerequisite to perception. Sensation is to the sense organ while perception is to the brain. Sensation is simple and perception a complex process in which understanding intervenes. Perception is preceded by sensation. The number of our sensory systems will give rise to the same number of perceptual systems. We live in a visually-oriented world where almost everything that can give meaning to us stimulated our sense of sight. Scientists believe the human brain is the most complex structure in the universe. In addition to ruling perception, your brain controls your moods, memory, moments, body function and imagination. If the primary function of sensation is to take in information, the primary function of perception is to help us make sense of that information. Perception allows us to impose a logic and order on the chaos of the thousands of sensations that bombard our senses. Even though our eyes detect lights and colors and our ears react to tones of different loudness, pitch, and timbre, we do not see or hear the world as a random array of light, dark and colors, nor do we hear random tones of different loudness and pitch. Instead, perception allows us to make sense out of these sensations. What about the radio beneath your threshold? Some believe that you sense these sounds and the nerve impulses travel to the specialized parts of your brain, even though the sounds seem inaudible to you. The sounds sighted and other stimuli beneath your threshold are considered subliminal. Research on hypnosis has confirmed that unconscious influences are possible. Subliminal perception occurs whenever stimuli presented below the threshold or limen for awareness are found to influence thoughts, feelings, or actions. The term subliminal perception was originally used to describe situations in which weak stimuli were perceived without awareness. In recent years, the term has been applied more generally to describe any situation in which unnoticed stimuli are perceived. On other hand, supraliminal perception is the perception of stimuli that are above level of consciousness or awareness. Experiences that can be evoked by the sensory are strong enough to perceive and remember. This is simply called perception.


1. To gain informations about perception
2. To distinguish the difference between perception and sensation 3. To describe the use of subliminal perception


* threshold- is the transitional point at which a stimulus or a change in the value of stimulus can just be detected * perceive- to become aware of through the senses
* stimuli- an agent, action, or condition that elicits or accelerates a physiological or psychological activity or response. * ambiguous-...
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