What Is Environmental Perception?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 29 March 2020
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Environmental perception is how a person perceives the environment through the brain’s ability to process and store information that is gathered from other areas of perception. Interactions between people and their environment are influenced by several different forms of perception. This one type of perception utilizes auditory perception, depth perception, and visual perception. Spatial and sensory perception also contribute to how a person’s surrounding environment is perceived.

One of the influences of environmental perception is auditory perception. Things that a person hears in her surroundings are processed by the brain. Auditory perception processes both foreground and background sounds. This information is collected by the brain and used in conjunction with information that is processed by other types of perception. The brain is also working to distinguish the sounds that should become part of auditory memory.

Depth and visual perception also contribute to environmental perception. The ability to determine spatial relationships between objects is governed by depth perception, and it relies on the other perceptions, especially visual perception. Visual perception gathers information about what a person sees in his environment. This information is combined with all the other perception information to provide a comprehensive overall picture of every aspect of a person’s surroundings.


Spatial perception plays a role in environmental perception as well. It is how a person reacts to her environment based on the depth, distance, and size of things. Sensory perception, which is another contributor, encompasses all sensory information. Hearing and vision are included, but touch and smell are included as well. It involves all of the information collected by any of the senses, such as temperature changes.

Information gathered by all of the areas of perception is not beneficial alone. Each perception area contributes pieces of information that must be compiled together to be useful. Although each area of perception gathers information on its own, the brain uses the information as a whole to present an idea about the surroundings of a person at any given point in time and in any location.

When all of the perception information is processed by the brain, a person can interact with his environment on any level. Environmental perception controls how the environment affects a person and the role a person has within the environment. This perception plays a large part in how a person uses his surroundings to suit his needs. Humans learn to adapt to their surroundings based on how they perceive things.


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