Perception has five states: stimulation, organization, interpretation, memory, and recall. These states reflect the cognitive process behind how we perceive things.
When you receive a stimulus such as seeing a face, it enters your brain and begins to activate certain neurons. The neurons are like switches that get turned on or off depending on whether they are needed for other tasks or not. Some will be activated more strongly than others, meaning that some parts of your brain are better at recognizing faces than others. This is called selective attention.
As the stimulus continues to enter your brain, the neurons that were active first begin to organize themselves into groups. These groups can be broad - such as those responsible for processing sound - or very specific, such as those involved in recognizing the face of one particular friend. An area of your brain called the hippocampus plays a key role in forming these groups. It does this by storing similar items together: for example, remembering that you met someone at a party even though you can't remember what they said to you.
After a few seconds have passed, you start to interpret the information you've received. You do this by taking clues from your surroundings and making a judgment about what you're looking at.
Perception progresses via five stages: stimulation, organization, interpretation-evaluation, memory, and recall. Perception involves both our senses and our minds. Our brains are always processing information from our senses- hearing sounds, seeing colors, feeling textures, tasting substances, and smelling odors. This constant input allows us to make judgments about what is happening around us.
Stimulation is the first stage in which we receive information from our environment. This may be physical stimulation (such as light hitting our eyes) or mental (such as listening to music).
Organization begins once we have received stimulation. We start by grouping together stimuli that are similar to each other. For example, if there are several sounds at different times, they will likely all belong to one object. Later on in organization, we evaluate how much danger these objects pose to us. If we find that they might cause harm, then we need to take action to avoid them. Otherwise, we leave them alone.
We interpret everything that we perceive as being related to each other and/or relevant to ourselves.
Perception was explored as a need to address a specific problem that arose merely from intellectual curiosity about oneself and the universe. Stimulation comes from outside sources such as sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. These external stimuli enter our body and travel through our nerves to reach the brain. They can be seen as signals for action.
Organization begins the process of breaking down these external signals into more manageable pieces. This step is necessary because we cannot process information faster than it arrives at our senses. For example, if we were to try to see everything that goes on around us at once, we would go blind! So at this stage, we filter out some of the surrounding noise to make sense of what we're sensing. The parts of the signal that don't fit with other sensations or memories are rejected; only the relevant details are kept for further processing.
Interpretation involves taking what has been organized by the body or mind and putting it into some kind of meaningful context. Our brains use past experiences to interpret new information about the world. For example, when you drive your car for the first time, you must compare how it handles with your previous experience driving another vehicle. This comparison makes it possible for you to judge whether or not the car is safe to drive.