While we are awake, our sensory organs provide us with a huge amount of information, from which we can make an inner representation of the external world. Instead of experiencing this sensory information simply as sensation, our minds organize and interpret what our senses tells us. This is the cognitive process we know as perception.
In order to interact with the world, we need to make sense of what we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste, and to distinguish between what is important and what is irrelevant.
image cover image
Perception is our ability to distinguish foreground from background, for example, and also identify objects and their position.
Most of the time, we do this without consciously thinking about it. Some psychologists-especially those in the Gestalt movement believe that this ability is somehow hardwired into our brains, that we are “programmed” to organize the information into meaningful forms. Others believe that perception is something we learn from experience.