Dr. Sacks tells the story of a special form of visual agnosia in his first chapter, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. The patient in this tale was Dr. James Purdon Martin, referred to as Dr. P throughout the narrative, who perceived his wife as a hat. He looked at her using his eyes and began to use his arms to reach out for her head and try to pick her head up like a hat. From a cognitive science perspective, perception means turning information from physical signal into new and meaningful representations. A cognitive system involves an agent’s perception on the outside world around it. In this case, Dr. P experiences a unique perception and is able to turn things from the environment into meaningful internal representations. During the action phase of the cognitive system, he turns theses unusual perceptions into a physical change on the environment. This is why he is able to reach out for what he believes to be a hat. Furthermore, Dr. P was unable to comprehend the perceptual representation of facial structure. B...
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...he various modalities. Similar to Dr. P’s diagnosis of a functioning temporal lobe, Christina’s parietal lobes were working, but had nothing to work with. Loss of other sensory modalities including spatial sense and navigation was evident in her diagnosis.
It was evident that visual memories of these patients were severely impaired. Dr. Sacks identified this behaviour as a memory of conduct, it was not just visual perception, but visual imagination and memory, the fundamental powers of visual representation, which were essentially damaged in all examples. Ultimately, the human mind works by perceiving the outside environment by using their sensory organs that include their eyes, ears, nose, and senses on their skin. When perceptions are turned into actions using our bodies which are meaningful physical changes on the world, reality may not be as real as it may seem.
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