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PSY FPX 7421 Assessment 1 Presentation on Perception, Consciousness and Attention


Capella University

PSY FPX 7421 Cognitive/Affective Psychology

Prof. Name


Introduction to Perception

Perception, as elucidated by Sternberg (2016), delineates the process through which individuals interpret sensory stimuli, translating them into a coherent understanding of the world around them. When sensory receptors receive stimuli, proximal stimulation occurs, enabling individuals to perceive objects (Sternberg, 2016). Our interpretation of information molds our reality, influencing behaviors, beliefs, and actions. Furthermore, perceptual illusions underscore the discrepancy between sensory input and our perceived reality, highlighting the transformative nature of sensory information into mental representations (Sternberg, 2016).

Theoretical Underpinnings of Perception

Understanding perception relies on two primary theoretical frameworks, as outlined by Sternberg (2016). Top-down theories emphasize cognitive processes shaped by existing knowledge and prior expectations, impacting perception consciously and subconsciously. Conversely, bottom-up theories propose that perception begins with sensory stimuli, wherein sensory information is processed without preconceived notions, constructing our perception solely from available sensory data (Sternberg, 2016).

Application of Perception: Top-Down Processing

Consider the scenario of driving down an unfamiliar street and deciphering a partially obscured sign. Despite missing letters, your ability to comprehend the sign exemplifies top-down processing. Drawing upon existing knowledge, you make informed guesses regarding the sign’s content (Cherry, 2020). This process underscores how perceptions are influenced by expectations and beliefs, often occurring without conscious awareness (Cherry, 2020).

Application of Perception: Bottom-Up Processing

Bottom-up processing involves constructing perceptions from incoming sensory stimuli. For instance, when observing a vehicle, visual information is transmitted to the brain, forming a representation of the object based solely on sensory input (Cherry, 2020).

Introduction to Consciousness

Consciousness encompasses the awareness of external objects and internal states, including thoughts, feelings, and sensations. It encompasses various aspects such as sentience, self-awareness, and the ability to experience (Calabrò et al., 2015).

Theoretical Framework of Consciousness

Consciousness is intricately tied to neurological processes, particularly the brainstem and thalamus, which regulate arousal (Calabrò et al., 2015). Researchers utilize neuroscientific methods to explore the neural correlates of consciousness, investigating how interactions between brain regions facilitate conscious experiences (Cherry, 2020).

Application of Consciousness

Conscious awareness facilitates monitoring of environmental interactions, integration of past and present experiences, and planning for future actions (Cherry, 2020). Consciousness is dynamic, constantly shifting between various states and influencing behavior and perception (Cherry, 2020).

PSY FPX 7421 Assessment 1 Presentation on Perception, Consciousness and Attention


Perception, consciousness, and attention are fundamental concepts shaping human cognition and behavior. While challenging to define, they offer insights into how individuals navigate and interpret their surroundings. These concepts not only facilitate adaptation but also contribute to the construction of individual identity and continuity of experience.


Bitbol, M. (2015). Waking, dreaming, being: Self and consciousness in neuroscience, meditation, and philosophy. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 36(1), 101-111.

Calabrò, R. S., Cacciola, A., Bramanti, P., & Milardi, D. (2015). Neural correlates of consciousness: what we know and what we have to learn! Neurological Sciences: Official Journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology, 36(4), 505-513.

Cherry, K. (2020). Consciousness is the psychology of awareness. VeryWellMind. Retrieved from [link]

Cherry, K. (2020). How bottom-up processing works. VeryWellMind. Retrieved from [link]

PSY FPX 7421 Assessment 1 Presentation on Perception, Consciousness and Attention

Haladjian, H. H., & Montemayor, C. (2015). On the evolution of conscious attention. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22(3), 595-613.

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