3 Ways Your Brain Perceives The World. A Biological Psychology and Cognitive Psychology Episode.


biological psychology, neuropsychology, neuroscience


When you consider all the millions of pieces of information your brain gets each second from the nervous system, our sensory organs and all the millions upon millions of rays of light that enter our eyes. All these pieces of information are combined into our perception of the world around us. But how does our brain do this? And what stops it from being overloaded? That’s the focus of this biological psychology podcast episode.


This episode has been sponsored by Biological Psychology Third Edition. Available from all major eBook retailers and you can order the paperback, hardback and large prints copies from Amazon, your local bookstore and local library, if you request it.


3 Ways Your Brain Perceives The World:

When we consider how much information our brains have to deal with, it’s understandably that our brain faces certain problems in our perception and this affects how we experience the world. To solve these problems our brain uses 3 great solutions to overcome this.


Your Brain Misses a Lot:

This is actually one of the best solutions for our brains because we only perceive a tiny amount of the energy and information around us. For example, even as I write this I know there’s a poster behind my laptop and there’s a cup of mint tea next to me. But can I see it?

Sort of.


I can make out the white shape of the mug but I can’t tell you the colour of the drink even though the mug is clearly within my visual field. As for the poster, I can only see green swirls of the Aurora Borealis.


Taking another step back, humans are terrible for receiving different types of information because unlike other animals. Humans can’t perceive infrared light, ultraviolet light, ultrasonic frequencies.


Our brain misses a lot of information to help us.


However, this is only a partial solution because as I talk about in Biological Psychology, information travels to our brain through our neurons and some brains have more of these interconnected cells that allow them to process more information. The downside is this increase in neurons and processing larger amounts is these brains are larger, heavier and they require more energy. Resulting in these people having larger appetites


Although, I must add I think it’s in my Personality Psychology and Individual Differences book because I discuss intelligence in there. I don’t think there’s a strong correlation between brain size and intelligence. Then again, we’re talking about processing larger amounts of information here and not intelligence.


Your Brain has Maps:

Another rather interesting way our brain helps us is by compacting information about the world around us into layers upon layers of maps. With our costly neuron connections being made as short as possible.


Due to each feature of the world is divided up into its own map and this allows our brains to have five senses instead of two. For example, the light coming into our eyes, the smell of the air, the temperature, the taste of food and so on all have their own maps.


Nonetheless, because these maps still provide the brain with too much information, our maps cannot reliably nor perfectly represent the world to us.


Your Perceptions and Maps Are Changed

For the final grand solution, our brain changes our perceptions and maps for us. By saving and protecting our details but not seeing others. The ins and outs of this I talk about a lot more in Biological Psychology and Cognitive Psychology.


The reason for this is very simple, it’s because the space in our brain is too precious and finite to waste on unnecessary information and neurons.


The easiest way to think about this is your sight. Our sight has a focus point on the middle of our visual field and the corner of our sight is blurry. Ideally all of our vision would be perfectly clear but that would require a LOT more neurons so much so that our visual processing would take up all of our brains.


It just won’t work.


Making our brain need to change our maps and perceptions to make the limited room inside our heads as effective as possible. Resulting in the brain developing sweet spots or focal points. Like the fingertips for touch and the centre of our vision for sight.


Conclusion:

Overall, our brains are amazing organs that have developed and changed so much to try and help us survive and become the best we possibly can.


I think these three solutions are quite amazing and interesting considering our brain operates on its own in a way.


I really hope you enjoyed this biological psychology podcast episode.


If you want to learn more, please check out:

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Biological Psychology Third Edition. Available from all major eBook retailers and you can order the paperback, hardback and large prints copies from Amazon, your local bookstore and local library, if you request it.


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Biological Psychology Reference

Schwarzlose, R (2021). Brainscapes: The Warped, Wondrous Maps Written In Your Brain--and How They Guide You. Boston, MA: Mariner Books.


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