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cschoonover's picture

Perception and Color

 I think that right now the evidence for the process of “filling in the gaps” is strong, I just need more to help me understand. In terms of behavior, it makes a lot of sense that what we perceive is not necessarily what is out there. To “see” what is actually there and not what our brain is guessing at would require a lot of high level processing at extremely fast rates, because we would have to be able to discriminate so quickly (and be cognizant of it). Previously I’ve tried to determine how instincts can be evaluated in the parameters of our class discussions, and I’m now wondering if they can be interwoven and/or here. It seems to me that instincts are factual evaluations of one’s current situation, evaluations that occur on the unconscious level. But if what we perceive is really just a construction of the brain, then how accurate are our instincts? How can we be sure that when our “fight or flight” response kicks in that it is actually the correct response to the situation? And what about those instances when we just know something bad is about to happen? What is the mechanism then? Clearly the factors that contribute to our perception of the situation are things we are not aware of, but how are they translated into instincts if we can’t be sure of what we are seeing/hearing/experiencing?

I thought it was interesting that when we describe colors we aren’t necessarily referring to the same thing. In society, we pretty much have a defined color for most everything and the majority of the population adheres to this assignment (as evidenced by the number of little kids who prescribe to the hundreds of colors in the Crayola crayon box). So how is it that, despite our inability to see every color in the exact same way as another person, we as a whole have come to recognize “blue” as blue and “red” as red, etc.? 

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