On Perception

Look at the images below. Which image do you see first in each of four images in the gallery below? (To help, there is a question below each image.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Look at them again. Can you see the other?

Perception: The recognition and interpretation of sensory information mainly on memory

Perception: The nerve processes of recognition and interpretation

Perception: The insight, intuition, or knowledge gained by perceiving

Perception: The capacity for such insight

Watch the video below.

As humans we encounter many things each day as our senses are constantly processing data. For example, the bottom of our feet can simultaneously distinguish contact with a sock, the inside of the shoe, the surface on which one is standing or moving.

Our senses allow us to experience the world around us. Take a moment to think of all the things you perceive on a daily basis.

Perception is about our sensory experience of the world around us and involves both the recognition of environmental stimuli and actions in response to these stimuli.

Perceptions include the organization, identification and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment.

What the short video below.

All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs.

Perception depends on complex functions of the nervous system, but subjectively seems mostly effortless because this processing happens outside conscious awareness.

Perception is influenced by past experiences, the situation, the expectation, and the intensity of the perception.

Watch the last video for the final test.

What do you think?

70 thoughts on “On Perception

  1. I loved this! I have seen the invisible gorilla before in a huge auditorium at a conference–it was really fun to hear so many educated people argue that there was no gorilla! You did a great job presenting this information. It is easy to what and not see, isn’t it? Thanks. I am trying to get back to reading and responding to blogs I follow–I have been absent too much lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patti,
      Possibly I too first saw the first gorilla video at a conference years ago … and it stuck. But I found the other two on my own when preparing for a workshop in the summer of 2013.

      Meanwhile, good to see you! Here’s something I discovered about me … I actually enjoyed taking time reading and commenting on other blogs while not posting on my own. It was very refreshing and served as a way to reconnect with others.


  2. These sort of things actually bother my eyes terribly, I don’t know if it is because I have a lazy eye, or because I am far-sighted. I am the worst person to ask what were you wearing, or what colour is your living room even when I have been in it over a hundred times. I fail in perception.


  3. I could see both almost simultaneously, except for the ‘young lady’ which took me a while to see. The last two videos were really easy to count, but I did miss the bear the first time around. πŸ™‚ Fascinating post, Frank.


  4. Great post… So easy to miss what is right there in front of you. I had seen the gorilla and the moonwalking bear but not the dancing white guy! It’s amazing… even when you know you’re supposed to be looking for something “odd”, you can still miss it!


  5. I missed the moonwalker and still can’t see the dancing white guy – unless they are referring to the white guy in the line up……??
    That is a lot of fun and such a great way to demonstrate how easy it is to fool the eye. I would have loved to be in the room listening to all the well educated folk swear blind there was no gorilla! Great post Frank – you scored again!!


  6. I was very focused on counting the ball passes that I missed the bear in the 2nd one. But, the bear was very obvious in the 1st one because I was focused on counting and watching for a bear but missed the changes of the curtain colors. haha I thought I was going to beat that one but was caught in another way. All of these tests were interesting. Fun !!!!


  7. Funny I noticed it all… might have something to do with my bush walking looking for birds.. birds are mostly in the trees, but snakes mostly on the ground so my eyes tend to watch all over yet look everywhere at the same time…the slightest of unusual movements within my peripheral vision is spotted… Thanks Frank, you’ve made me feel quite good this morning…


  8. Your fascinating post today, along with seeing the movie “Interstellar,” make me think that:
    1. Perception is reality.
    2. Different realities suggest parallel universes.
    3. There may be as many parallel universes as there are intelligent beings.
    4. Each of us might be alone.


  9. These are great Frank. I love video’s like these, saw a few of them during a few conferences in my while working – noticed the gorilla and got the # of passes correct, but didn’t see the curtain change color or the player in black leave the stage. Awareness, great topic!


  10. A long career, Frank…High School French (private school), English, Theatre Arts (huge urban public school) English as a Second Language (adults) Calligrapy (Continuing Education ) , Aesthetics, Research, History (grad students in Art Education)…..how we perceive things differently was relevant to all these classrooms… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cynthia. I figured you in language arts, but your background is broader than I anticipated. πŸ™‚ … and yes … how we perceive is relevant in classrooms …. and I contend in the world of work as well.


  11. Love them.. I think I liked the Rabbit and Duck on the slide show.. And yes its all about perception.. some times we SEE just what we want to see, and we hear what we want to hear.. And this world is built up on our perceptions….
    Have an ALL clear Seeing day my friend.. πŸ™‚


  12. Interesting, and a good mind-exercise. My wife and I are very compatible, but we perceive things differently. Probably most couples do. I notice people’s behavior but seldom can recall details of dress or, especially, colors of eyes or hair like she does. I like to concentrate on one thing at a time and get upset when interrupted, whereas she multi-tasks effortlessly. I’ve seen her cooking a meal, setting the table, listening to a TV show and talking on the phone, all at the same time and with no missteps and complete recall. Amazing.

    I missed the gorilla, naturally.

    That all information is received through the senses and then interpreted by the brain has, of course, long been recognized as a limitation on philosophy. I am reminded of phantom-limb syndrome, wherein amputees still feel a missing limb. Also, there once was an experiment where people were fitted with goggles that turned all images upside down. After the subjects wore the goggles for some time, a matter of more than a day as I recall, their brains automatically adjusted the images to correct the input! I assume they had to re-adjust when the experiment was over. Consider: images on the retina are deposited upside down. All this is evidence that the brain filters everything. And yet, there is every reason to believe that, despite quantum physics, the reality we perceive is real.

    The evidence is overwhelming that the physical world exists independent of the observer. Things left in place remain until moved. Things photographed years ago are changed, but in predictable ways. The laws of physics are predictably consistent. Some things never seen before by any human are also real and consistent with physical laws and predictions. Such was the case with the comet that was recently encountered by the ESA Rosetta space probe and lander.


    • Jim,
      Wow … lots here to digest, but you are right on … and good stuff.

      The brain is simply an amazing 3 pounds. In terms of your wife multitasking while you focus on one things at a time. There’s some thoughts that goes back to the caveman … the women multitasking while the men focused on hunting.


  13. What amazes me is how different other’s perceptions of us can be from how we see ourselves. But as Dr. Phil says, it doesn’t matter if someone’s perception of us is off-base. It’s still what they perceive, which makes it just as real as reality.


    • Carrie,
      Perception of others is important and can go either way. I knew a boss who said, It doesn’t matter if you are good or bad at what you do, it is more important on what others perceive you to be. … I understand it, but don’t totally buy-in to it as he did. Meanwhile, with this post, I was usually the sight aspect of perception. Glad you saw this … so thanks for taking the time to stop by while you are on the road.


  14. I love the study of perception and have actually done some work in the area of field dependence and field independence–the understanding of how we interpret our environment. In some of the tests to determine where we stand on this spectrum it was obvious that I have difficulty in seeing embedded figures, but give me only a very short squiggle and I can completely fill in the missing figure. It’s a fascinating topic. These videos are great!


    • Debra,
      Thanks for the extra info of sharing a bit of your experience. For me, the videos were fun, so I put them in a logical order, and then built some content around it. All in all, I meant for the videos to be fun.


Comment with respect.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.