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Uploaded by silversista on Aug 23, 2002

The Senses Act as A Data Reduction System

Sensation is the stimulation of the sense organs by the external and internal environments. Sensations shape impressions of reality by interpreting the process that the individual feels, touches, smells and sees the world around. As Coon (1995) states The senses act as a data reduction system. Not only do the senses reduce data from both environments, but they also create a subjective reality by going beyond the raw data.

The senses only experience a limited potion of energy available. Each of the five senses respond to different energy forms, the eye only responds electromagnetic energy (Waves which vary in the distance between one peak and the next), which is further reduced as the human can only see 10% of the electromagnetic spectrum although humans rely heavily on the eye to perceive the objective reality. It is believed that humans can only detect sensations necessary for their survival, as humans can not see things such as sona, while bats can.

It may appear simple process to create reality, but infact it is a very complex process. There are several stages that the eye goes though to enable sight as the eyes and brain together form the visual system. When the light falls on the retina the feature detectors (specialised neutrons that respond to certain attributes of the stimuli) then respond to specific features of the information received. Transduction is a process that converts electromagnetic energy from the external reality into electrochemical energy so the brain and nervous system can use. It occurs at the back of the eye, and happens because the brain can only interpret one form of energy, meaning that all senses detect other forms of energy and then transduce it into electrochemical energy. As the electromagnetic energy is being transduced, it is also sorted and isolated. This process is known as selection. While moving though anywhere in the neural pathways to the brain, the image is coded into things such as size, colour and movement by things known as feature detectors. The image is further then reconstructed at the back of the brain. Interpretation is the process of assigning meaning to sensory information detected previously by the visual detectors. Our ability to detect the environment depends on what signals our nervous system is able to detect, further contributing to Coon’s statement that the senses act as a data reduction system.

The senses act limit...

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Uploaded by:   silversista

Date:   08/23/2002

Category:   Psychology

Length:   6 pages (1,361 words)

Views:   2900

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