Researchers in the field of behavioral neuroscience have made great contributions with regards to link between mind (psychological) and body (physiological) processes especially on how they rely on each other, as embodied by the relationship between sensation and perception. However, the pressing question is whether perception can be relied upon in the initiation of appropriate actions based on sensory input, due to the high error potential tied to interpretation of varied environmental stimuli through perception. Interestingly, my colleague’s post provides a useful insight on the importance of brain processes especially perception, as shown through pain perception and Ashlyn Blocker’s case, where lack of active processing of sensory input may go unnoticed.
Despite the importance of perception in sensation, my opinion is that the body has other internal control systems that can warn the body about vital changes which may somehow kick start or override the perceptual process as part of other protection/awareness body mechanisms. For instance, feeling pain after sometime and not immediately signals the kicking in of the body’s internal control mechanisms, whereas in Ashlyn’s case (Breedlove, Watson & Rosenzweig, 2013), the manifestation is highlighted by blood loss and disfigurement, among other negative effects. The link between sensation and perception is illustrated by an incident I witnessed, where my friend was hurt badly by a hammer and was bleeding but who seemed not to feel pain due to anger and fury about a matter he was quarreling about, with his fianc?, and who had to be taken to hospital hours later after realization of the injury and the pain.
Considering that the mind has to make sense of sensory input while incorporating various variables especially environmental ones, I would suggest that my colleague look into the errors, illusions and associated actions experienced through the confluence of perception and sensation. Though not explicitly mentioned, I believe that sensation involves physiological (neurological and biochemical) processes while perception is more psychologically-oriented (sense making or processing) and work together to ensure the body interacts well within itself and externally too.
- Breedlove, S.M., Watson, N.V., & Rosenzweig, M.R. (2013). Biological psychology: An introduction to behavioral, cognitive, and clinical neuroscience: Seventh Edition. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc. Publishers