The 8 types of perception of the human being (and how they work)
Apr 23, 2022
A vital process that is very important for our survival and adaptation to the environment in which we live is perception, since it allows us to perceive different types of information about the environment and thus we can process it in our brain giving a series of adaptive responses depending on each situation.
There are different types of perfection according to psychology: auditory, visual, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, social, spatial, pain perception, among others. On the other hand, for a perceptive process to occur, there must be 3 components: a stimulus to be perceived, the development of a perceptive process, and the perceptive experience.
In this article we will see what are the different types of perception of the human being, and its functions and characteristics.
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What is perception?
Perception is the way in which our brain makes an interpretation of those sensations that we perceive through our senses in order to form an impression of the physical environment around us, which may be conscious or unconscious. Therefore, this process enables us to organize, interpret and also identify all that perceived sensory information in order to understand the data about the environment that surrounds us.
The process through which the different types of perception take place is developed through a series of phases, which we will see below.
This first phase deals with a process of transformation of that energy that comes from the environment, converting it into electrical energy through sensory receptors.
2. neural processing
Once the energy from the environment has been transformed into electrical energy through these sensitive receptors, said energy is already can continue its course through the nervous system, so the sensory receptors will send that signal to the brain neurons. Therefore, neural processing tries to propagate the electrical signal through certain highly complex pathways, which would be that set of operations that make this communication possible.
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this phase generates the conscious experience formed through all that information that reaches the brain through the sensory organs, so the neuronal processing reaches those areas of the brain that are destined to fulfill such functions, being there when it becomes the perceptual experience.
This perceptual experience is compared, thanks to the memory of the brain, with some categories already existing in the system., so that recognition can be developed thanks to the establishment of a relationship between the new information perceived with categories already acquired in knowledge previously. Thus, the new perceived stimuli manage to acquire a meaning.
Here there are a series of motor adjustments in order to complete the new information received. These adjustments are some different actions, such as performing a movement of the head in order to being able to adjust the gaze to some point or some direction so that the person can move around the environment.
Previously acquired knowledge stored in memory can have a decisive influence on perception., since it enables people to have knowledge about various stimuli of the environment around them, so that when they perceive it, if they are known, they immediately realize it.
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Two types of processing can occur. On the one hand, there is bottom-up processing, which consists of following the path that runs from the presentation of a stimulus to its processing at the central level. On the other hand, there is the top-down processing, which occurs when a person begins the analysis by the central elements (p. g., memory or learning) that influence perception and thereby transform experience.
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The different types of human perception
Now that we have briefly seen what perception and the perceptual process consist of, we are going to proceed to explain the different types of perception.
As we mentioned before, there are different types of perception (for example, visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, social, etc.), any of these types being quite complex, since they involve several parts of the human body, the participation of the brain and the mind being extremely important, since it is not enough to perceive the aspect tangible or material reality, but must also be internalized in order to be able to understand it, giving some meaning to all that information captured through the senses.
Next, we will see a brief explanation of the different types of perception that the field of psychology takes into account.
1. Visual perception
The first of the types of perception that we are going to talk about is visual perception, which allows us to form all that reality that we can contemplate the sensory organs that form the sense of sight. This perception involves colors, the movements of some perceived stimuli, shapes, sizes, etc., which allow the perceived visual information to be interpreted in more detail.
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2. auditory perception
The second of the types of perception that should be mentioned is auditory perception, developed through the ear or of the auditory system that allows us to hear certain sounds or noises when they are captured and interpreted in our brain changes in vibrations that develop in the environment. It is one of the most important types of perception when trying to recognize the presence of some elements that could be around us.
3. olfactory perception
Another type of perception is the one that develops through the sense of smell, olfactory perception. It allows us to perceive the smells and aromas that are around us, or also a stench (very unpleasant smell).
In the field of psychology, several investigations have been developed that have allowed us to demonstrate that the experiences that come loaded with odors are more easily remembered when we perceive a similar odor later, since the olfactory perception It allows us to obtain certain information from the environment that is related to certain aromas and specific memories, both positive and negative. negatives.
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4. Tactile perception
Tactile perception is another of the main types of perception, and it is one that allows us to perceive through the skin, and mainly through the hands, involved in the process skin contact with some surface. It should be noted that it is a kind of perception that can trigger a rejection or an unpleasant sensation, depending on the experience perceived through touch.
5. taste perception
Taste perception is also one of the types of perception; the taste buds allow us to develop this sensory process when we put food in the mouth, so that in this way we perceive its flavor and we can feel different sensations that could be pleasant or unpleasant depending on how we perceive through the papillae what we are tasting. When we perceive a taste that is unpleasant to us, we will reject that food on future occasions that are presented to us, since it will arouse repulsion in us.
6. spatial perception
Another type of perception would be spatial, considered by many experts as a subtype of visual perception; however, it differs from this, being the ability that people have to capture the objects and forms of the environment in its three dimensions. This perception is also a capacity that allows us to calculate the depth, distance and height of the stimuli we perceive.
7. Social perception
We can also find social perception among the different types of perception, being also known as social cognition, and is related to the way people around them tend to view, forming impressions and inferences about other people, thus allowing them to associate, remember and categorize the people in their environment.
8. pain perception
The perception of pain would be another of the types of perception and refers to that which has several dimensions (quality, affect, duration, intensity, and location), which makes it a fairly complex. The process of pain perception triggered when painful messages emerge from the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and are transmitted to the central nervous system (CNS) where they are interpreted according to various dimensions such as those just mentioned.