COMPUTATIONAL APPROACH TO PERCEPTIONS
Thesurvival of human beings is determined by their ability to gather andunderstanding sensory information from their environment. Thisenables them to respond appropriately to environmental stimuli.According to Bernstein, D. A. (2012), the perceptions of people oftheir surroundings determine their actions and behaviors. Perceptionpsychology studies how human beings process sensory information intheir brain. There are three approaches that psychologists use tounderstand the human perception constructivists approach, ecologicalapproach, and computational approach. This paper discusses thecomputational approach used by psychologists in developing anunderstanding of perceptions of human beings. It further uses thisperspective to describe distance and size, motion, and visualpatterns.
Thenervous system provides a path through which human beings sensestimuli in their environment, sends it to the brain, and providesresponse mechanism. To perform such activities, the nervous systemperforms complex computations in humans. The human mind is a processor a series of processes while the brain provides the structurewithin which the processes occur. The brain acts as a machine and acontrol system. The sensory information from the environment is sentto the brain for processing to elicit an action of behavior. Thiswhole process can be conducted when the brain is replaced with acomputer. Cohen et al. (2013) explains that thecomputational model of perception employs the calculations that acomputer must perform in order to understand and generate solutionsto perceptual problems. This approach uses computer calculations andalgorithms to translate raw sensory information into a representationof the real world. Computational theorists argue that it is possibleto apply such knowledge in developing robots that have the ability tosense and respond to environmental stimuli just like human beings.
Distance and size perception
Inthe case of size and distance perception, this approach considersthat context of edge and shape to perceive the size and distance ofan object. When an object moves further or closer, the brainperceives the changes in distance and size and performs automaticadjustments to perceptions (Foley & Matlin, 2015). Thecomputational approach employs a formula to describe the changes. Theperceived size of an object is calculated by multiplying the size ofthe image in the retina with the perceived distance. As a personcomes closer to an object, the image experiences an increase in sizewhile the perceived distance reduces equally. This way, the perceivedsize does not change.
Theperception of motion is concerned with how fast an object is movingand where it is going. The rate of expansion of an image in theretina can be used to study the movement of an object. When the sizeof retinal image increases to fill the retina, it shows that theobject is approaching (Foley & Matlin, 2015). Computationalcalculations and algorithms are used to assess whether the change thechanges in the retina is equal in all directions to determine thedirection of motion. They also take account of the body, head and eyemovements when determining the where and how fast an object ismoving.
Thecomputational approach to visual patterns posits that the neurons inthe visual context respond to individual aspects of an object such ascolor, edge, or texture at a time and then other neurons combine theinformation to create a visual perception (Foley & Matlin, 2015).Computational calculations and algorithms detect that intensity ofchanges to perceive visual patterns. Natural images are characterizedby changes in the visual intensity over a broad range of spatialscales. The detection of intensity changes requires filters ofdifferent sizes. The determination of intensity changes involves theuse of a center-surround type of receptive field to filter image onthe retina.
The computationaltheory of perception uses calculations and algorithms to representthe process of processing sensory information by the neurons in thebrain. This approach requires prior knowledge of the properties ofobjects or stimuli to interpret them.
Bernstein, D. A. (2012). Psychology. Belmont, CA:Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Cohen, L. (2013). Psychology: An International Discipline inContext. Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.
Foley H. & Matlin M. (2015), Sensation and Perception,Psychology Press