Sensation is the passive process of bringing information from the outside world into the body and brain. Perception is the active process of selecting, organising and interpreting the information brought to the brain by the senses. Sensation and perception are two distinct processes, which collaborate to help us make sense of our environment. Perception requires physiological mechanisms and psychological components, these combine to help us understand.
Perception is the process of how we acquire and understand information, sophisticated perceptual mechanisms go to work in order for us to gain knowledge. Our perception of the world is “direct, immediate and effortless” (Mather, 2006). Understanding how perception works is extremely complex and people differ in how they perceive, humans are quick to perceive as Biederman (1990) showed people can recognise and interpret complex novel scenes in as little as 1/10th of a second.
The differences between sensation and perception are based around the fact that sensation is a physiological process stemming from one of the five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. These senses enable us to detect stimuli in the environment. Perception on the other hand involves an understanding of this sensory information, drawing from the stimuli detected from the senses, our minds must process that information and create a mental representation of the senses. How our mind perceives this depends upon our background knowledge. For example if we smell sour milk, our nose picks up the smell which is the sensation, then perception plays its part by telling us that the milk has passed its used by date.
Sensory organs absorb energy from physical stimuli in the environment which pass to sensory receptors these detect stimulus energies and convert them into mental impulses which are sent to the brain. Now perception begins, upon receiving the impulses the brain organises