Top-down and bottom-up processing are important to learn about and understand because they are the ways in which we process objects. In top-down processing our brain is conceptually driven and therefore projects our expectations or beliefs on the object. Whereas in bottom-up processing the object is constructed in our brain using the parts. These two processes work together in order to help us perceive objects. I think it is important in order to understand how these processes work together in order to understand how people perceive things because we may not always perceive objects in the same way as other people do. Such as in the example here:
If you were to be told the object was a rat then your top-down processing would then perceive it as a rat and then your bottom-up processing would place the details in order to construct the object as a rat. However, if you were told it was a man wearing glasses a similar process would occur but you would perceive a man. This is just one example of how these two ways of processing work together in order to form our perceptions of objects. After looking at these concepts I wonder how often I perceive something different from someone else simply because of our expectations of what the object should be. However, I think that this does not occur to often because as humans our processing is similar, so our perceptions of these ambiguous objects will be rather similar when first looking at the object.