Peception Involves Bottom and Top Down Processing Essay

1995 Words Sep 29th, 2012 8 Pages
Evaluate the evidence that visual perception involves bottom-up and top-down processing.

The perceptual system is comprised of a of a diverse range of senses including visual, auditory, olfactory and tactition; the perceptual system is part of the nervous system, which contains millions of nerve cells called receptors that sense and respond to a plethora of sensory stimuli including light, sound and temperature. The act of perceiving rather than merely sensing enables us to analyse and make sense of incoming sensory information, allowing us to construct a description of the environment to inform and guide our actions within a complex, dynamic world. For primates, as compared to other species, vision has predominantly been relied
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Gibson proposes that the wealth of invariant information and cues derived from features of objects give rise to their affordances in that the ensuing perception enables us to climb stairs, place cups on tables, throw balls into hoops, in general, to act within our environment.

It cannot be disputed that the surrounding world is indeed rich and dynamic, and in support of Gibson’s claim, one might concede that our hunter-gatherer ancestors had to rely upon their surroundings to inform and guide their actions. However for Gibson to imply that there is no need for cognitive processes or memory in perception is intransigent, in that civilisation would never have evolved if humanity did not learn and acquire knowledge as a result of their experience with their surroundings. Indeed

Gibson’s theory presents as somewhat of paradoxical concept in that he accents the need for action and interaction, yet in denying the need for cognitive processes it seems to suggest that humans are passive by merely ’picking up’ information from the senses but never using that experience to guide future behaviour. At the premise of Gibson’s theory is the notion that the environment is abound with rich, sensory information, however this notion is starkly contested, with many alternatively viewing sensory stimuli as impoverished and incomplete, thus necessitating prior experience and stored

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