What Is a Perception System?

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  • Written By: Daniel Liden
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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"Perception system" is a broad term that can refer to a variety of different concepts and constructs in biology and in technology that relate to perception. The visual system, for instance, is a human perception system that includes all of the components that are directly involved in giving one visual information about one's environment. It includes, therefore, all of the parts of the eyes and brain that are involved in visual perception. The term "perception system" is also used in various technological settings to describe an electronic system that is intended to grant one or more forms of perception, usually to some type of computer system. A computer system, for instance, may be able to receive and respond to auditory and visual input.

Humans and other animals have a variety of different sensory systems that involve both sense organs and the central nervous system. The visual system, for instance, grants visual information about one's environment while the auditory system, including the ears and various nervous pathways, provides information in the form of sound. These are all considered "systems" because they rely not just on the sense organs themselves or on the brain itself, but on a variety of components. The entire perception system is necessary to provide the sensory information, not just a single component of the system.


The term "perception system" is also used to refer to technological systems that make use of one or more sources of sensory information. Some vehicles, for instance, have visual systems that warn drivers of cars in blind spots or that can park cars for the driver. Many phones, computers, and other electronic devices can respond to auditory commands and must, therefore, have auditory systems that can receive and process such commands. Much like a human perception system, a technological system tends to have at least two components. An electronic visual system, for instance, must have a component such as a camera to receive visual input and another internal component or integrated software system that can process the visual information received.

A perception system may also be a device used to augment or correct human perception. Various electronic devices allow humans to see in conditions with limited light or hear sounds normally too quiet to hear. Perception systems also exist to help correct perception issues such as poor vision or hearing. External devices, such as hearing aids or glasses, are quite common, and much research exists promoting the correction of perception problems at a neurological level.


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