Cognitive psychology refers to the process of investigating one’s ability to perceive, learn, remember, think, reason, and understand (Lu & Dosher, 2007). Essentially, cognition studies the process of acquiring and applying information or knowledge. Perception forms an integral part of cognition. Perception explores the process of constructing subjective analyses of proximal information in the environment. It utilizes separate senses to achieve the task of interpretation. These include auditory, somatosensory, and visual senses. It also utilizes processing modules such as motion and form to construct and interpret information. In addition, perception implores the uses of sub modules, which represent various aspects of stimuli information. It is necessary to note that the modules above interact to achieve the roles of perception in cognitive psychology (Logan, 2004). Current research has explored interactions between the modules and representations with a view to establishing how they integrate into coherent percepts. This paper will explore the role of perception in cognitive psychology.
Role of perception in cognitive psychology
Perception, as a subdomain of cognitive psychology, performs the task of allowing people to experience their environment. It involves seeing familiar objects, smelling the aroma of meals, feeling the touch of objects and hearing the sound of music in one’s environment. In this regard, it can be observed that perception allows one to interact with his/her environment through having a conscious experience with the objects and people in that environment. Essentially, perception performs the role of enabling one to have a conscious interaction with his/her environment. Another role of perception is to establish how stimuli from the world interact with one’s sensory organs. This involves forming of olfactory, auditory, tactile, gustatory, and visual representations of the environment. Perception also tries to explore the function of sensory organs in order to establish how they process sensory information. In addition, it explores the methods through which accurate interpretation of subjective can be obtained (Lu & Dosher, 2007).
Current studies on perception have emphasized on combining different approaches. These include neuro-scientific, developmental, computational, behavioral, and cognitive approaches. Effectively, it is observable that perception has the role of integrative different approaches of psychology. Perception has the role of providing information on the elements and properties of the environment. Moreover, it has the role of allowing one to act within that environment. It can be observed that perception creates one’s experience with the environment. Perception enables one to become consciously aware of stimuli in the environment. In the process, it gives meaningful representation of the stimuli in the environment. In the end, it provides the required response to stimuli in one’s environment. It is also necessary to note that perception functions in two main ways. These include bottom-up-process and top-down process. The latter has the role of enabling one to see every aspect of an object. For instance, one is able to see the lines connecting a cube. The former enables one to seek as well as extract sensory information based on his/her beliefs goals, knowledge, and expectations. Therefore, perception is a central part of cognition (Goldstein, 2008).
Cognition entails several sub domains namely perception, learning, remembering, thinking, reasoning, and understanding. It explores one’s ability to acquire and apply information and knowledge. Perception is a very significant sub domain of cognition. It enables one to interact actively with his/her environment. In addition, it creates one’s environment. Perception has the role of constructing subjective analysis of one’s environment. Perception plays the role of enabling one to experience his environment. It enables one to see, touch, hear, taste, and smell stimuli in the environment. In essence, it gives one an opportunity to interaction consciously with his/her environment. Moreover, it establishes interaction between stimuli and sensory organs. These roles are permitted by two main methods namely bottom-up and top-down processes. While the former plays the role of connecting information, the latter plays the role of seeking and extracting sensory information based on goals, knowledge, beliefs, and expectations.
Goldstein, B. (2008). Cognitive psychology: Connecting mind, brain, and everyday experience (2nd ed.). Belmont, California: Cengage.
Logan, D. (2004). Cumulative progress in formal theories of attention. Annual Review of Psychology 55, 207-234.
Lu, Z. & Dosher, B. (2007). Cognitive psychology. Scholarpedia, 2(8), 2769.