Visual Perception Essay Research Paper Visual sensation

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Visual Perception Essay, Research Paper Visual sensation is the direct stimulation of sensory receptors and the subsequent transmission of this sensory information to the central nervous system. This is accomplished through the following process: reception, where the detection of a stimulus occurs, transduction then converts this stimulus energy into electrochemical energy. The electrochemical energy is sent along the neural pathway to the visual cortex through transmission, and selection then isolates particular features of that stimulus. The final message is interpreted and organised. (Grivas, Down, Carter, 1996, pg. 79-84) Visual sensation is purely physiological, and is consequently fully automated by the body. Visual perception is not only physiological. It is also

psychological. It is the process by which visual sensations are organised and given meaningful interpretation. This means that previous experience, expectations and memory influence the way that an object is perceived. For example when a cloud is seen without reference to other factors, the experience is sensation. When that cloud is seen and then linked to an external fact, such as that the cloud is a cumulonimbus and will result in heavy rain, then the experience is perception. Visual perception principles are rules that we apply to the incoming stimuli from our environment. These rules help to organise stimuli, and are thought to be present from early childhood, so are not consciously performed. These principles are divided into three major groups: perceptual constancies,

Gestalt principles and Depth perception.Perceptual constancies refer to the stability of an object s perceived size, brightness and shape, although the image cast on the retina is going through constant change. Perceptual constancy comprises of size constancy, shape constancy and brightness constancy. Size constancy is the ability to judge the size of an object although the size of the image cast on the retina is changing. For example, when a basketball is moving closer to the eye, the image of the ball cast on the retina is enlarging, but it is known that the actual size of the basketball is not.Gestalt principles refer to a perceptual organisation where the whole stimulus is greater than the sum of its components. The Gestalt principles are based on the simplicity law which

states that every stimulus is seen in such a way that the resulting structure is as simple as possible. Gestalt principles include figure-ground separation, closure, similarity and proximity. A reversible figure ground image is when part of the stimuli can reverse roles, so that the figure can become the ground and the ground the figure. These patterns are unstable because the figure and the ground are not easily discernible. For example in M.C. Escher s drawing, SYMMETRY DRAWING 60 (Two Lizards) (see appendix one), the orange and green lizards can reverse, becoming either the figure or the ground. This drawing can be perceived as the orange lizards being the figure or the green lizards being the figure. Both are equally likely.Irvin Rock (1995) conducted an experiment to

determine the frequency of figure-ground reversals among different aged subjects. This experiment was carried out by showing RUBIN S VASE (see appendix two) to each of the subjects, and ascertaining what they saw. This experiment showed that children under the age of five could not spontaneously reverse the figure, and that high school aged children infrequently reversed. This was a far cry from a reversal every five to ten seconds, which was the typical outcome using the traditional method. This traditional method involved describing (or showing) the two images in the reversible figure before the experiment was carried out (Irvin Rock, 1995, pg. 123).Depth perception involves perceiving objects in three dimensions, and judging distance by using information from the two