Sensation within the Basic Cognitive Processes

in psychology •  3 months ago

     The world and everything around us is the source of inputs that build our personality. From childhood we feel and perceive innately what makes our environment. Hence, the transcendental meaning that within the framework of basic cognitive processes have the concepts of Sensation and Perception that are developed below.

What is Sensation?

     From Psychology point of view , the sensation is the emotion that is registered in the state of mind when facing some event of life, as well as when faced with something new and / or unknown. It is the ability of capture that develops the sensitive characteristics of objects; like colors, shapes, among others. It can also be defined as:


"The process by which sensory receptors and the nervous system receive and represent energy of stimuli from the environment."

     The senses are the source of our experience because through them we receive information about what surrounds us, that is, what we call stimuli. A stimulus is any physical, mechanical, thermal, chemical or electromagnetic energy that excites or activates a sensory receptor; for example, the visible light in the eye.

Characteristics of the Sensation

     Three characteristics are distinguished in the sensation: the quality, the intensity and duration.

* The quality: This feature has to do with the essence natural stimulus. It is the primary brain processing emanating from our main senses: hearing, sight, smell, touch, sight and taste.
* Intensity: Intensity is the degree to which consciousness affects the stimulus in question.
* The duration: The time it takes to be registered.

Sensation Functions

     Among the main functions is sensory adaptation and decrease in sensitivity as a result of constant stimulation. The explanation for this phenomenon is that, after constant exposure to a stimulus, the excitation frequency of our nerve cells is lower.

     In addition, sensation has the noble task of making us enjoy what surrounds us. For example: When we observe a natural landscape we are pleased to hear the murmur of the breeze in the trees, the gentle flow of the river or the song of the birds. We like this, it recreates us and we love it.

Classification of sensory organs

     The sensory organs that make us are classified as:

Exteroceptive senses

     Among which is mentioned:


     Our ability to communicate through language is based on hearing. The sense of hearing is based on special cells of the ear that respond to rapid changes in the pressure of the surrounding air (vibrations).

     With our ears we enjoy the highly prized music, nature, voices, among others.


     Light enters the eye through the pupil, which contracts or dilates depending on the movement of the iris muscles. In normal vision, light passes through the lens and the image of the object is reflected on the retina. Canes and cones are part of the eye and are fundamental in vision. The canes are through which you can see in the dark. The cones allow to see the color.


     Taste stimuli are soluble substances in saliva that are picked up by the taste buds. There are four main qualities of taste: acid, sweet, salty and bitter.


     Provides information regarding chemicals suspended in the air that are soluble in water or in fat. There are several classifications of odors, but none has been definitively accepted. Henning distinguishes six basic smells: putrid (fecal smells), fragrant (the rose), ethereal (lemon), aromatic (cinnamon), resinous (turpentine) and burnt.


     The specialized nerve cells that make up the sense of touch capture a series of specific stimuli that allow differentiate different sensations.

Interoceptive Senses

     These receive internal stimulation.


     Namely, there are two: Kinesthetic sense , this meaning refers to that relative position of the parts of the body during movement. This makes it possible to constantly notice what each one does and balance the muscular tension to be able to perform efficient movements. And, Vestibular sense, also called sense of orientation or balance, and provides information about the movement and orientation of the head and body with respect to the Earth.

Senses Nocioceptores

     Are all those that are found throughout the body and react to noxious stimuli and inform about the pain. We will mention the receptive thresholds of the human organism, among which the following are known:

Absolute threshold

     Which gets its name by the measure of both the minimum amount of stimulus that we need to realize it as the maximum amount we can perceive.

     For example: A leopard perceives the movement of a prey in a way superior to how the human being feels the vibrations to detect any presence physical.

Differential threshold

     This establishes the intensity difference of the stimulus needed to show an increase or decrease before a previous stimulus. If it is smaller, the change we can detect is our sensitivity. According to Weber, the differential threshold is a constant proportion of the intensity of the initial stimulus. For example: When we are facing an air conditioner at 23º and we lower the temperature to 22º, the difference is almost not noticeable. It would be necessary to lower it to 18º or 16 so that this differential threshold really establishes what is known as Weber's Law.

Maximum threshold

     It is the maximum intensity of a stimulus that a person can endure without experiencing unpleasant sensations. The maximum intensity of light causes pain, that of sound produces vibrations, dizziness and pain. It can be said that it is understood as"all background stimulation that affects perception".


     In short, each element of the context in that we grow and make life predisposes us to feel and perceive as we get closer to our own experiences of growing up. The sensation allows us the adaptability so necessary for existence. Both physically and materially there are resources to form a healthy personality, and this, of course, will depend on the type of stimulus to which we are exposed as children and extend as life progresses.

     In the next installment I will be presenting the subject of Perception in the framework of Basic Cognitive Processes.

See you next time!

     All images used they have been taken from Pixabay, and they are free to use. These are his links 1; 2 ; 3 ; 4 ; 5 ; 6 ; 7 ; 8 ; 9


    Baron, Robert. Psychology. Mexico: Prentice Hall, 1996. P. 131-133

    , 135-138. Day, RH. Psychology of Human Perception. Mexico City: Ed. Limusa-Wiley, 1973. 227 p.

    Feldman, Robert. Psychology. Mexico City: Mc Graw Hill, 1999. 646 p.

    Matlin, Margaret W., and FOLEY, Hugh J .. Sensation and Perception. Mexico City: Prentice Hall, 1996. 554 p.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!