ART & ORGANISM
PERCEPTION is what we do with sensory stimulation and how we experience THREE SIMULTANEOUS STREAMS of information… from our internal organs (INTEROCEPTION) from our muscles (PROPRIOCEPTION) and from our external environments (EXTEROCEPTION), as detected (and often interpreted by ) our “special senses”–those organs embedded on and in the surface of our body that detects the world outside our bodies. Read A&O notes on INPUT- STIMULI Note: interoception provides critical information on the state of the body and can thereby affect physiological processes. It also affects cognitive processes and thereby states of mind–read Camilla Nord’s comments on interoception in Psyche Feb 2022 issue.
[i] Neural Mechanisms for Prediction: From Action to Higher-Order Cognition. Anila M. D’Mello and Liron Rozenkrantz (2020) Journal of Neuroscience 1 July 2020, 40 (27) 5158-5160; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0732-20.2020 https://www.jneurosci.org/content/40/27/5158 Article Info & Metrics eLetters PDF
What can we “really” know: data is inserted into gaps in our flow of information by INTERPOLATION and EXTRAPOLATION. In neuroscience, interpolation is called “filling in” – the blind spot in our retina is a good metaphor if not an example –look at Spillman (et al’s 2006) paper on “perceptual filling in.”
CONSCIOUSNESS PERCEIVED? One of the most complex accomplishments of perception may go beyond representations of the world outside us to representations of the one within. (It’s too soon to ask how “does one perceive their organ of perception?”). Read Michael S. A. Graziano and Sabine Kastner’s (2011), “novel hypothesis”
BUT we could argue that consciousness itself is only what we perceive it to be: Graziano argues at greater length that consciousness is a perceptual construct in his book, Consciousness and the Social Brain. (Read Aaron Schurger’s (2014) review, “Consciousness Perceived,” in SCIENCE.)
MORE about SUBJECTIVE view of OBJECTIVE “REALITY”
“The brain, after all, is sealed in darkness and silence within the solid casing of the skull. It has no direct access to the outside world, and so relies on the information that reaches it via a few electrical cables from our sensory organs What is it we actually perceive? is it real?”
look at Alison George’s essay, “Can We Perceive Reality?”
PERCEPTION, VISUALISATION, and MEMORY
In 2015, Adam Zeman borrowed Aristotle’s term for the mind’s eye (phantasia) to refer to apparent deficits in visualization aspect of perceptual cognition: he coined the term ‘congenital aphantasia’ to describe those rare people with an inability to visualize. Prof. Zeman estimates that aphantasia occurs in around 3 per cent of the general population, and hyperphantasia in about 6 per cent. In other words, a spectrum phenomenon reflecting the neurodiversity amongst us. [READ Zeman’s short summary from PSYCHE] How does this ability intersect with dreams? Or or our recollections of real experiences. With respect to memory of things, researcher Elizabeth Loftus has established the parameters of accurate recollection including its malleability. Read about her research as it developed and how her findings play out in the real world (as in court testimony based on recollections) (LOFTUS discussed in the New Yorker).