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Sensation and Experience

Our senses are extraordinary. Refined over billions of years of evolution to enable us to experience our immediate environment, as humans we use our sense perceptions to make sense of the world. With our ability to remember our previous experiences we make sense of the repetition and patterns we perceive, and use our shared knowledge to give us advantages far beyond any other life on this planet. But what is it we are perceiving and sensing?

With the modern advances in our neurological understanding we now understand just how complex the systems are that collect and interpret the data from our senses. Our eyes take in billions of photons and are able to sort and categorize them by wavelength, frequency and amplitude, and then pass this mass of information to our brain where it is processed further to differentiate colors, shapes and edges. This information then processed, labeled and associated with memories to become the consciousness experience of seeing.

Yet it all occurs so seamlessly and seemingly effortlessly that we take our senses for granted the vast majority of the time. When was the last time you marveled at your ability to distinguish between color? When examined our ability to experience and interpret the vibration of the millions of electromagnetic waves that reach our eyes is awesome; it is literally awe inspiring, how effortlessly we interpret, distinguish, and create meaning from this bombardment of information. It happens so effortlessly and naturally that we almost never question it.

And the rest of the senses are working just as hard. But what are they telling us? And are they telling the truth?

This is a topic I am fascinated by and I will continue to explore and delve into the intricacies of how we make sense with our senses. To be continued…


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