The science of perception works much like a cause and effect mechanism in our bodies; in that the very act of perceiving the world carries out an action-response to the stimuli we sense. In other words, there’s no passively observing the world as we will always respond to it with movement. And this doesn’t have to be gross movement: like seeing a person in distress and running towards them. It can be a subtle blink of the eyes when we perceive something too bright, or cringing of the internals when see something uncomfortable.
What this really means is that we are constantly and actively responding to our environmental stimuli, not as a conscious thought but as an unconscious neurological process that may become recognized and acted upon.
So some times when we are stuck, all it takes is the ability to see and feel what we might see differently; before action starts to crystallize. Or, create momentum to force yourself to see things differently, for that stuckness to move. Perception is not passive, it is active.
Steps in the Perceptual Process:
- The Environmental Stimulus (stimuli that attracts our attention - to be seen, touched, tasted, smelled or heard or moved through).
- The Attended Stimulus (specific object of our focus — often familiar or alluring).
- The Image on the Retina (image on retina: light passes through cornea and pupil and onto lens of the eye, Cornea focuses, iris lets in the right amount of light, and act together to project an inverted image onto the retina; at this point it is just an image that’s not quite perceived yet).
- Transduction (image then transformed into electrical signals via transduction: visual messages go to the brain to be interpreted).
- Neural Processing (path in the brain depends on the particular signal but then interconnecting neurons pick up the signals and process through neurons in visual network).
- Perception (this is the moment where we become consciously aware of the stimulus: being “AWARE” of the stimuli).
- Recognition (Brain then categorizes the stimuli consciously to interpret what we’re sensing — this is how we make meaning of the world around us).
- Action (followed by motor activity in response to the perceived and recognized stimulus; can be major action like running toward a person in distress, or as subtle as blinking eyes).