Psychology Homework in Sensation and Perception

Bottom-up processing, which is also known as data-driven processing, makes use of techniques. These techniques have some characteristics which are generally based on the fact that every information always flows from bottom to up. The information’s observation is always made in acoustic form after which it is combined in order to provide meaningful auditory cues. The information is further passed on to higher rank processes for more detailed interpretation. Generally, sound waves are always created from vibration of objects. These sound waves are then turned into vibrations. This is done by the eardrum immediately after the sound waves travel through the outer year. From the outer year, the sound waves go through the ear canal and then into the ear drum itself. This result into a vibration of the eardrum which in turn sets in motion some parts of the middle year, these parts then amplify the sound. (Raymond Romand,pg. 6-8). The translation is usually by 2.3 decibels which makes   them translate into vibrations in the innermost parts of the ear. Therefore, sensors within the cochlea oscillate which triggers chemicals. These chemicals are then transmitted to the brain through the auditory nerve pathway. This is done through the cochlea nerve fibers. This is usually the last step because at this stage the brain translates the resultant impulses and vibrations into sound.  It with no doubt that the auditory system is not only a very complex system but also extremely sensitive.

The resultant sound of an explosion I and my friends heard one day was like that of a grenade. Actually my perception was that it was that of a grenade. However, my friends heard the sound to be of something different. Surprisingly, one of them heard the sound of fireworks in a celebration. We had a very serious argument about the occurrence only to have it clarified later that day. Actually it came out that one of the buildings in town had been attacked by terrorists. The building was thus bombed down. Therefore, my perception was very right. Anyway this difference in perceptions was down to the fact that, different people have got different auditory systems. Top-processing makes use of internal, high-level models of acoustic environment. This happens prior to any knowledge of properties as well as the dependencies of the objects in it. A sensing system collects evidence that justify the internal world model or the available objects. It is very important to note that this always happens in a top-down flow. This is due to the prediction driven process.

 After hearing the vibrations, a person then predicts what it could be using the prediction driven process. This is because the process strongly depends on the prediction of an abstracted internal model as well as the prior knowledge of the sound source. For instance, my friend’s perception could have been due to auditory restoration which is the unconscious mechanism of hearing. Auditory restoration compensates the masking sounds effects. That may account to that difference in perceptions because sometimes we are not able to identify the exact place where the sounds originate from. Furthermore, as the vibration source is the place where a sound is produced, it depends on the person’s auditory system to adequately interpret the vibrations.  In some situations, repeated stimulus exposure may alter the ending of sound in the human brain. Therefore, this accounts for the different perceptions because everyone tends to follow what his or her auditory system through the brain interprets. 

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