Organization as a Primary Characteristic of Perception



Light describes energy variations over time and space. These variations can be characterized by "intensity" and "wavelength". Only "electromagnetic energy" in the range of approximately "400 to 700 nM", which the human eye can transduce, is called "light".

Variations in the intensities and wavelengths of light that strike molecules on the "rod" and "cone" receptors of our retinas produce patterns of voltage variations in the process called "transduction". Following transduction, the voltage pattern variations are transformed through networks of "neurons" in our visual system.

A first and seemingly immediate awareness, which more or less corresponds to the energy stimulation patterns, is referred to as "sensation". "Perception" can be distinguished from sensation in that it refers to a process which requires more organization than sensation, is more heavily dependent on learning than sensation, and requires more time for completion than sensation.

Below are what might appear as blobs when you first look at them. Your immediate impression of the blobs provides an example of awareness at a sensory level. If you continue to look at the blobs, four stimuli will emerge. You needn't try to organize the blobs. The organization process will occur without any overt striving on your part. These blobs have been created to slow the perceptual process so that you can experience what typically occurs speedily in subjective time.


Organization GIF is here

The differences between sensation and perception can also be experienced by viewing reversible figure, ambiguous figure or multistable perceptual illusions. Sensory patterns in the multistable figures do not change, but our organizational processing continues and we become aware of the shift in our perception. You can view variations of the Necker Cube, Staircase, and Rubin Vase/Faces illusions as examples.


to the Illusion page