Psychology 1-Essay Exam 2

In the space provided describe and give an example of Top-Down and Bottom-Up
Processes in perception. (include an illustration picture).

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Perception alludes to the way sensory information is arranged, illuminated, and intentionally experienced, which includes both top-down and bottom-up processing. Different from sensation, perception is being influenced psychologically while sensation is a process base on physical aspect.

The Top-down process can also be identified as a constructive approach, which is an indirect perception process. The idea is studied by Rock, Neisser and Greogry, who refers to the senasations that is influenced by our obtainable knowledge, experiences and thoughts. They suggested that perception is an active and constructive process that rely on top-down processing, pattern is mainly being recognized as a whole instead of being grouped the component parts together. Perception is not straightly provided by the stimulus input but is the interrelationship of the stimulus and internal hypothesis & expectations. The internal hypothesis and expectations can usually be linked back to our previous memory and experiences, so it can be considered as a fundament for making deduction about stimulus. According to Greogry’s theory, he suggests that 90% of visual information will disorient before arriving the brain for processing, so our visual perceptions are mainly depend on the finest guess and the establishement of hypothesis, which is related to our previous memory and experiences, so inaccuracy may easily occurred.

In terms of visual perception, the top-down processing appears when we are able to read handwriting, handwritten alphabets never formed exactly the same for each person, but we are still able to identify and read them fluently. The ability to read handwriting is deeply related to our previous learning, experience and memory. We have learnt the spelling and the shape of the vocabulories so we are able to identify them with similar structure, even not exactly the same. For instance, we see the word “perception” as a whole instead of breaking it down into component part-“p-e-r-c-e-p-t-i-o-n”. Therefore, we can still identify it even it is written by hand like this ” “.

Another example is the illusion of the cube, according to the figure, we are actually seeing a bunch of circles with a couple of line-drawings. However, we combine the lines and creat a cube automatically even though the stimulus itself (the line-drawings) do not form a cube. Our brains are digesting the informations and using our knowledge to recreate the shape of the pattern despite a part of them is missing. Therefore, it proves that top-down processing is formed base on available knowledge and background information.

In terms of auditory perception, the top-down process occurs when we can think of the lyrics reminded by the melody. We engage the melody as a whole, which is the merging of intruments. We pair up the melody with the lyrics base on our knowledge and memory, so when we hear the meody, we can sing the lyrics.

The Bottom-up process can be known as the ecological perception, which is a direct perception process. The idea is studied by Gibson, which refers to the perseption that are set up from sensory input, it is a process that the brain recognizes patterns by grouping them together bits by bits of sensory information. He illustrates the idea that the visual perception is primarily a bottom-up process as our environmant can significantly supply details related to the stimulus. He also suggests that every information that available from the proximal stimulus produced by the distal stimulus. The main assumption he made is that the pattern of light reaching the eye can be known as the optic array which includes all visual information from the enviornment. It provides abundant and accurate information about the shape of objects in space, while the information mainly comes from the texture gradients, optic flow patterns and affordances. Direct apprehension of the information is provided by the optic array when proception takes place, so only little information processing is being carried out. Thus, behavioral variability is resulted base on different background experience even the same direct perception is given. It also suggests the idea that the brain combine certain features such as shapes, angels and lines, so it can forms pattern and compare with features that we have seen before. The brain also memorize the images.

In terms of visual perception, bottom-up perception appears when we learn to read and write Chinese. Instead of phonetic letters, Chinese words are made up of strokes, so the combination of lines and angles form different Chinese characters. For example, “??” means “Chinese”, we do not understand and learn it as a whole but part by part. We learn to write it through breaking it down into lines, so-called the “strokes” in Chinese charaters. We recgonize it by combining the individual lines and angles together. Therefore, bottom-up processing allows us to combine individual elements to a recognizable patterns and images.

In terms of auditory perception, just like the example mentioned before, we also use bottom-up processing when we are hearing music. If we are trying to identify different instruments in a orchestra, we need to break the whole orchastra music into different parts e.g. violin, Cello, etc. In this case, bottom-up processing is being used.

All in all, the bottom-up processing is a direct perception of knowing what the object is by breaking down or combining them into serveral parts. However, we need to rely on top-down processing, which is an indirect perception when we need to find the behind meaning of it by looking it as a whole instead of parts. Therefore, the two perception processes are both important for us.

Works Cited Page

Charles B. Ramskov, PSYCHOLOGY NOTES 2th Edition, 2013
Jeffrey S. Nevid, Essentials of Psychology Concepts and Applications 5th Edition, 2017
Rosie M. Spielman, Psychology, 2014
“Top-Down VS Bottom-Up Processing”, EXPLORABLE,
https://explorable.com/top-down-vs-bottom-up-processing

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