We will write a custom Essay on Perception and Attention as Cognitive Processes specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Perception and attention arise from the capacity to consciously direct and manage mental processes in relation to external stimuli (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008). Such external stimuli can be physical, visual, or stored information in memory pertaining to a certain event. This relationship arises from the capability of humans to decide on what internal or peripheral stimuli to assign their concentration towards. Thus, by providing their attention to a selected stimulus, individuals are able to spotlight their concentration on a given stimulus, while maintaining the inessential ones in either the enduring, or immediate memory for future referral. Consequently, perception and attention are related to each other by the outcome that an individual experiencing the stimuli assigns his/her awareness to the object he/she identifies (Bayne & Montague, 2011).
Perception entails higher-order cognition, when it comes to the interpretation of sensory information (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008). As such, perception entails senses such as smell, sound, visual, depth, and taste. For instance, when a person reads a book, tastes wine, and smells perfume concurrently, they experience much more than instant sensory stimulation. Thus, every one of these sensory acts is processed in the context of that person’s knowledge of the environment, whereby earlier experiences provide meaning to straightforward sensory experiences, namely perception (Lievrouw, Grill-Spector, Henson, & Martin, 2006).
The manner through which humans perceive major information regarding the world is very much predisposed by the manner in which their sensory structure and brain are at first structured (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008). Thus, humans are structured to perceive their environment in certain ways, through their previous experiences. Therefore, perception should not be mistaken to be a rather passive activity. For instance, visual perception implies the ability to perceive objects in the surroundings. That is why, when an individual approaches a tall building, the image of the building on his or her retina becomes bigger and bigger. More precisely, particular proportions comprising the building seem to adjust but the brain will not interpret such changes to be real, as it will continue to observe the building with just the same dimension and shape, regardless of how near or how far that person is from the building.
On the other hand, attention is the awareness of mental endeavors on the sensory and mental events (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008). The basic premise is that there are cue in humans that surround them at any given time. Attention is the limited-capacity for humans to process the extensive information they are presented with daily. Accordingly, attention can either be endogenous, motivationally directed, or it can also be exogenous or attention grabbing. However, it is directed at possessions, objects, or spatial areas (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008).
For instance, a person can be able to drive while at the same time he/she listens to the car radio. However, it is hard for him or her to attend concurrently to more than one sign belonging to a similar modality. In particular, two auditory signs or two visual signs concurrently. Thus, individuals attend to a number of environmental prompts more than others since such cues are usually passed along for auxiliary processing (Bayne & Montague, 2011). This is also evident when a person’s attention flows from the voice of a given conversation to that of someone else in another conversation. This is because the attention apparatus focuses on a particular stimulus more compared to the other (Lievrouw, Grill-Spector, Henson, & Martin, 2006).
While perception is the capacity to make the logic of the background and surroundings, attention on the other hand is the capacity to give notice to the apparent stimuli. Even though, both perception and attention are cognitive processes that go along with the approach of thinking, perception is the manner in which individuals observe things, while attention deals with how individual concentrates on objects or things.
Bayne, T., & Montague, M. (2011). Cognitive Phenomenology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lievrouw, L., Grill-Spector, K., Henson, R., & Martin, A. (2006). Repetition and the brain: neural models of stimulus-specific effects. Trends Cogn. Sci , 10, 14–23.
Robinson-Riegler, G., & Robinson-Riegler, B. (2008). Cognitive psychology : Applying the science of the mind (2 ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.