Human Senception: The Effects Of Light On Human Perception

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Our perception of the world is dependent on our senses and response to stimulus. Sensation is the process of absorbing energy from a physical stimulus in the environment and converting this energy into neural impulses and sending them to the brain. The brain then interprets and organises this sensory information resulting in our subjective conscious experience or perception. (Lefton & Brannon 2003) The five human sensory organs receive the stimulus which determines our perception. Arguably the most important of these senses is vision. Humans use sight to gain the most sensory information, and the sense of sight has evolved to be highly sophisticated. Importantly, vision depends on the presence of light. (Sparknotes, 2016) To study the effect of light on human perception, I conducted an exercise of watching a sunset. The following essay describes my experience of observing the sunset at St. Kilda beach on the 12th of April 2016, and an interpretation of the experience in relation to biological mechanisms. One important feature of light perception is brightness. When I first arrived at St. Kilda beach at 4pm, the scenery was extremely bright. The sun was in clear sight, unobstructed by the dissipating clouds and…show more content…
Cones cells distinguish between different wavelengths of light, thus allowing us to see in colour. (Sparknotes 2016) This is why the colours were distinct during the light period. Since cones aren’t used in dim light, this explains why it was difficult to see colours in low light. Interestingly, since nothing categorically distinguishes the visible spectrum of electromagnetic radiation from invisible portions of the broader spectrum (reference), colour is a mere feature of visual perception of the observer. Thus, human experience of colour is subjective. This explains why I saw the sky as a bright orange as the sun was setting and my friend saw a darker

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