This Perception course has taught me so much over such a short period of time. Perception is such an interesting topic, and it is something that I never paid much attention to before taking this course. I never realized that so many experiences could be explained by the way that we perceive them. Everything from colors, motion, hearing, and speech all have something to do with perception and the interaction between our senses and our conscious mind. Perception is something that we experience constantly everyday, and learning about how it works has been so interesting. I feel that after studying this topic I have become more aware of the nature of my own perceptual experiences, and I have a much deeper appreciation for many of the everyday experiences that I usually take for granted. Perception not only creates our experiences of the world around us it allows us act within our environment.
One of my favorite parts of this course was Chapter 11. This chapter was on sound, the auditory system, and pitch perception. While there were many interesting parts of this chapter the most interesting to me was the research and information on cochlear implants. The leading cause of deafness among humans is damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. When this damage occurs a hearing aid does not help because the damaged hair cells cannot convert the amplified sound into electrical signals. This is where the cochlear implant comes into play. During an implant electrodes are inserted in the cochlea to create hearing by electrically stimulating the cell bodies of auditory nerve fibers that are distributed along the length of the cochlea. The cochlear implant allows people to hear a few everyday sounds such as a horn honking or water running but most importantly it allows them to perceive speech. The cochlear implant is just one representation of how the study of perception can lead to very practical benefits.
Below is a video of a 29 year old hearing herself for the first time. She was born deaf and 8 weeks before the video was shot she received a hearing implant, this is her reaction.