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Essay: Sensory perception – accuracy or inaccuracy of sensory information

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  • Published: 22 September 2015*
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The sensory information in my opinion, can provide an accurate view of the world. It is because people’s lives revolve around senses and thought. There are five senses in living things, they include; sight, touch, taste, smell and hear. People’s thoughts are primarily an interaction with the sensory system. The accuracy of the sensory information, therefore, depends on a person’s thinking, fewer distractions in thoughts, sensory information are accurate. Enlisted are the reasons for believing in the accuracy of sensory information (Bueti, Bahrami & Walsh, 2008).

1. Touch. This sense majorly composed of skin allows one to detect dangerous materials. Hot and cold materials are touched and the touch sensor detects it and sends the information to the brain. The brain triggers a response to an act by removing the hand from the material.
2. Taste. The sensory organs in the tongue are vital in the accuracy of the sensory information.
It makes it possible for one to decide on the foods that can be eaten or a person’s preferences are based on the sensory organs of the tongue.
3. Sight: The organ responsible for sight, the eye, allows one to see a variety of things ranging from pleasant ones to the dangerous things. The sense of sight helps in the trigger off a response according to the information detected and sent to the brain. The response may be moving away or moving closer.

The above are the reasons for believing in the accuracy of the sensory information. They are a major key to the world wonders and allows one in the exploration of new things.

Alteration of the senses causes inaccuracy of the sensory information, therefore, judgment is challenged. Accuracy of sensory information Sensory information may not always be accurate because sometimes it may be interpreted incorrectly. Human beings sense organs may send deceiving messages when a given stimulus interpretation is wrong. These distortions may be because of the following factors:

1) Past experiences majorly contribute to the accuracy of sensory data. They are purely based on memory which people heavily rely on to determine who they are, who other people are, what is safe or unsafe and what they like. It is a fundamental part of the day to day life. People strongly believe that the past experiences are true.
2) The conditions include the use of one’s sight, taste, hearing, touch and smell determine the message detected and sent to the brain before triggering a response. What one sees, touch or feel, smell, hear or taste defines the sensory information. For example, if one is used to freezing temperatures in a given part of the world, relocating to countries with average temperatures may make them think that it is hot yet it is average. The environment is crucial in sensory perception, hence affecting its accuracy in turn.
3) Beliefs affect one’s sensory perception differently. Reality is perceived differently according to its unique understanding, from one’s personal awareness position. Perceptions, interpretations and memory are majorly guided by ones prejudgments and assumptions. I strongly believe that beliefs affect the accuracy of sensory information because the notions of truth or false highly depend on the particular person’s beliefs. Several factors contribute to the accuracy of sensory information such as a person’s mood, energy level and mental and physical health (Boets, Wouters, Van Wieringen, De Smedt & Ghesqui??re, 2008).
Role of memory in the interpretation and evaluation of sensory data
Interpretation of a stimuli is a process that involves the perception of stimuli by the sensory organs. It can be either of the five senses that include sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste. Once the sensory organs receive stimuli, the stimuli are sent to the brain through the associated neurons for interpretation. Interpretation of the perceived stimuli takes place in the brain, giving meaning to that stimulus. According to Sigmoid Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, he shows that the human brain is sub-divided into three parts that are the conscious the preconscious and the unconscious (which is the largest). The conscious part is that part of the memory that is available to the brain all the time is retrievable easily. The preconscious part is partially available to the brain it can also be retrieved partially (Weinberger & Weiss, 1997).
The unconscious part is that part of the memory that is not available to the brain and cannot be retrieved. Despite the differences in the types of the memory, they both play a great role in one’s interpretation of stimuli. It is a collection of a person’s experience from childhood and it is the basis of interpretation of sensory information. These are the memory parts that are available to the brain. The memory also modifies the behavior of the individuals too. The memory system is based on past experiences and thoughts. The complete complexity of the processes of memory includes sight, sound, feel and belief memory systems which aid in the integration of information. The perception of an object will be of essence, if there is no ability to link and recall corresponding memories. Hence the memory if the fundamental basis of interpretation of stimuli.
A young child interprets sensory data differently from a full grown person. For example, if there is a fire outbreak in the neighborhood, an adult person can smell the smoke and give meaning to the whole thing while a child will not be able to tell if there is a fire because the child does not have the memory of the smell of smoke. Hence can’t give meaning to it and act.

Boets, B., Wouters, J., Wieringen, A. V., Smedt, B. D., & Ghesqui??re, P. (2008). Modelling relations between sensory processing, speech perception, orthographic and phonological ability, and literacy achievement. Brain and Language, 106(1), 29-40.
Bueti, D., Bahrami, B., & Walsh, V. (2008). Sensory and association cortex in time perception. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20, 1054’1062. doi:10.1162/jocn.2008.20060.
Weinberger, J., & Weiss, J. (1997). Psychoanalytic and cognitive conceptions of the unconscious. Cognitive Science And The Unconscious, 23–54.

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