I have to admit that when I first skimmed this text I was slightly intimidated. The content appeared to be complex, but after reading the chapters I realized that perception was a truly interesting topic. I have always been one to wonder about the way we perceive things, and this course was able to answer all of my questions. If I had bought this text instead of renting it off of Chegg it would be one I'd hold on to for the future. The material we covered was very descriptive and explained how we percieve and experience the world around us. It was amazing to me to learn how everything we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste is created by our senses. The text explained which sense was responsible for each of our perceptions, the process that takes place behind the scenes as we percieve things, and what part of the brain is involved in allowing us to experience each bit of the world. I will most definetly reccomend this class to friends in the future. From taking this class I feel I have a better understanding of the world around me.
I honestly found each section of this course to be interesting. I really enjoyed learning about the perception of objects and scenes, how our visual attention works, and percieving color, but I think the chemical sense of taste really got my attention. The way things taste has always been one of those things I always thought about. When I got to this section in the text I was ecstatic to find it was included. Most taste researchers categorize taste into five basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and unami. To my surprise, I have learned that because of nasal and oral stimulation, my body detects what I should and should not eat. For example, something bitter can cause what the texts calls automatic rejection responses because many poisons are often bitter. When are body needs salt, we begin to crave salty foods to satisfy those needs. Our taste systems begin with our tongue which has four categories of papillae on the entire surface. Three out of four structures of these papillae contain our well known taste buds. However what is not too well known, is that each taste bud contains 50-100 taste cells which also stem up to taste pores. It was surprising to find out how complex something that looks as simple as a tongue, can actually be. In the very short time it takes a person to detect taste, a lot is actually going on in the mouth and in our brains. Our tongue and throat fibers signals the nucleus of the solitary tract and ends up in the insula in the frontal lobe of our brains. Flavor is known to be the combination of taste and smell. This fascinates me because I did not realize how important the nose would be in a job I always believed belonged to the mouth. However, even in my own video, I could not easily detect the difference between very distinct flavors while not using my nose. When I was not holding my nose, the flavors were much stronger and not only could I detect what category of flavor, but exactly what the liquid contained. The explanation for this is explained in the text. The odor stimuli reaches the olfactory mucosa and connects the oral and nasal cavities.
Extension: Now knowing what I have learned from this class, I am more aware of how I perceive everything around me on a day to day basis. Everything from the faces I see to the food I eat to the sounds I hear and recognize are processed through different parts of my brain and stimulations. Perception may seem like something that happens automatically, when in reality it is a process. Knowing how and why these processes occur changes the way you percieve things. Learning about perception can explain why we sometimes see something incorrectly, or misunderstand something we hear.
I have been trying to upload my videos for two days and have had some technical difficultys. I am posting my blog without them for now, so it is not late.. I am going to continue to try to post them seperately. Sorry for the inconvience.