|The CNS continuously filters sensory information, and is capable of switching priority (i.e., paying attention). PERCEPTION is a CONSCIOUS process; SENSATION is not. For example, nociception is the sensation; pain is the perception.|
Connections of one cell in the visual cortex.
- due to the large number of interactions within and across sensory modalities, perception is extremely complex and there are many factors that determine awareness
see the discussion of complex processing
- one important concept is the idea of selective attention, the CNS (i.e., cognitive) process whereby higher order brain regions can alter the sensitivity of sensory processing, in order to preferentially extract information from one sensory system over another, or to pay attention to one component of a complex stimulus over another
- one example of a malfunction in this aspect of the process is the cocktail party effect
à descending pathways can change sensory processing at any level (including receptors), thereby altering perception