What is sensation and sense data?

We often confuse sensation and perception.


From: Wikipedia.

Think of the camera obscura. There is nothing but light which is making the image on the wall. Or think of a video camera attached to a video screen. The camera captures the light external to it, turns it into data and turns that data in to the video image on the screen. It does not “think” about the image. It does not “have an opinion” of it. It simply reproduces it.

The eye does the same thing. It captures light eternal to it, turns it into data and reproduces that in your brain. Until then it does not “think” about the image. Thinking occurs after that data is received. That raw data is sensation. The processed data after reception is perception.

If you are still not convinced then this talk by Sheila Nirenberg about her research on the prothetic eye is an excellent real-world demonstration of what sensation and sense data is.

5 thoughts on “What is sensation and sense data?”

  1. Thank God that climate change is going to destroy a half of humanity, then the other half will be our robot selves. And we will live happily ever after.


  2. Where is neuroscience that says that we are not even considering data, that everything that we know to call thought or thinking has already occurred. That not only does the sensor data come into the brain but the brain has already processed the decision it’s going to make by the time it gets to the point that we start to think about it.


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