Recall that sensation and perception are distinct processes. Sensation involves absorbing information from physical stimuli in the environment through the senses, which then translate the information into neural signals that can be used by the brain. Perception occurs when the brain selects, organizes, and interprets this information according to specific rules in order to construct a meaningful experience of the environment.


Let’s consider vision as an example. Revisit the distinction between sensory and perceptual processes by looking at one of the well-known optical illusions we encountered in class (e.g., Ponzo, Mueller-Lyer).

 How does this illusion demonstrate the rules and principles our brain uses to organize and interpret the information presented in a stimulus? 

For vision, these rules might include depth cues, Gestalt principles, expectations, prior experiences, and various types of top-down or bottom-up processing.


In a multi-paragraph essay, describe an illusion you have experienced–one that you have either seen, heard, smelled, felt, or tasted. Then elaborate on what this illusion illustrates about the relationship between sensation and perception. Include details from class materials, readings, and research to support your discussion.

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