The Echoes of the Mind (2) Perception


The eye that sees is not a mere physical organ, but a means of perception conditioned by the tradition in which its possessor has been reared. ~ American anthropologist Ruth Benedict

We understand ourselves and the world through our perceptual power. Perception is our gateway to all that we experience, and thereby the ecological device by which we construe actuality.

The inborn bias to see the world in a particular way also irredeemably shapes our perception, and ultimately our knowledge about the world. ~ American cognitive scientist Christof Koch

The world does not passively impose itself on our mind; rather, it has to be actively interpreted. ~ English developmental psychologist Bruce Hood

Our unconscious doesn’t just interpret sensory data, it enhances it. It has to, because the data our senses deliver is of rather poor quality and must be fixed up in order to be useful. ~ Indian cognitive scientist Vilayanur Ramachandran

Sensation is the process of garnering information for the mind. Sensation turns sensed stimuli into representational patterns. (The physiological correlate of sensation – translating stimuli in electrochemical nerve signals – is unavailing to understanding. Moreover, perception as brain activity, however measured, is meaningless. Neurobiology is not a science of any significance.)

Perception turns sensed patterns into symbols and makes sense of them. Perception begins by matching a symbol with recalled similars; pattern-matching from memory to categorize. This pattern-matching affords identification.

Perception then proceeds to derive meaning of identified symbols, and to valuate them. Once a mind decides what something is, it then determines if the symbol is worth any more attention than it has already got. If not, the mind moves on to the next abstraction.

Perception is a highly selective subconscious process which fills in missing data bits with conjectures for contextual completion. Hence, the internal representations that comprise our lives are nothing but fabrications.

Perception is a simulation, not reality itself. ~ American psychologist Charles Tart