Rock, Irvin Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, California.
Last reviewed:June 2019
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The subjective experiences of objects or events that ordinarily result from stimulation of the receptor organs of the body. Perception encompasses recognition in response to sensory stimuli. It involves the act or process by which the memory of certain qualities of an object is associated with other qualities impressing the senses, thereby making possible the recognition of the object. In general, the stimulation of the body's receptor organs is transformed or encoded into neural activity (by specialized receptor mechanisms) and is relayed to more central regions of the nervous system, where further neural processing occurs (Fig. 1). Most likely, it is the final neural processing in the brain that underlies or causes perceptual experience, and thus perceptionlike experiences can sometimes occur without external stimulation of the receptor organs (as in dreams). See also: Brain; Cognition; Consciousness; Information processing (psychology); Intelligence; Memory; Sense organ
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