This chapter deals with the relationship between 'sensation' and 'perception'. Sensation refers to the physical detections made by our senses (light entering our eyes, or a sound wave reaching our ear). Perception is how our brain interprets these detections. While sensation enables us to see images and hear sounds, it is our brain that interprets these into something that is of use to us. For example, our senses may cause us to see a plate of food, but it is our brain that realizes that it is a steak and that we should eat it. As a whole our senses and mental perception of those senses is reliable, however they can deceive us. The book provides many different optical illusions to demonstrate this. Because we are completely reliant on our senses, we sometimes trust them too much, believing they are always right. The optical illusions have proved this is not so. Another topic this chapter discusses is the concept of extrasensory perception (ESP). Though there are many who believe in ESP, there haven't been any replicable studies done to prove its existence. This chapter is interesting because it challenges our inherent belief that what our senses perceive is 100% accurate. It exposes possible flaws in our perception and shows the relationship between the senses and the brain.
Chapter 4: Sensation and Perception
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