3 1 discussion visual perception

Review the websites below and take the perception tests listed:

After completing the tests, briefly describe what you did and discuss the activity in relation to the topics you learned about in this week’s readings (above). Consider the following questions:

  • How do the activities relate to the theories of visual processing?
  • How does the activity help you understand how the visual system works?
  • What strengths or weaknesses in the visual system did you discover through the activities? How might these strengths or weaknesses impact your day-to-day life in the real world?
  • In your response to your peers, consider their response as to how visual processing impacts day-to-day life. What potential improvements might you suggest to help overcome these weaknesses or capitalize on strengths?

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.



I enjoy watching crime shows and have always heard how witnesses to crimes never can seem to remember the details of the crime or the perpetrator. I tried to keep an open mind when doing these experiments. I enjoyed the Facial Recognition test and tried to use the tips that I got off the different crimes shows to help me. When I was shown a face, I made a point to focus on features of their faces that reminded me of someone I knew. I found this to be very helpful, but I can see where this could cause someone to misidentify an individual.

The Visual Search Experiment was an experiment that I have done before. I think the hardest thing when first starting the experiment is training your brain to hit the button that corresponds to the correct answer. I tried not to look for the blue triangle and found that my reaction time was faster and more accurate. When I focused on trying to find the object, it took me longer and hit the wrong button more frequently. I discovered that by using my peripheral vision, I was more accurate and much faster. This experiment also helped me to utilize the computational approach along with object recognition based on features of the shapes in the experiment called geons (McBride & Cutting, 2019). While doing this experiment, I was able to perceive the shape of the correct object without having to directly look at it.

The Blind Spot Experiment I felt was not that interesting. I looked at a number, slowly looked away and determined when the yellow dot eventually disappeared from my site. I did not find this experiment challenging or something that was hard to do. I still am not sure that this experiment taught me anything about my cognition and my visual processing or what it should mean. If I had to pick an approach, I would think that the perception/action approach would apply. I chose this approach only because we are perceiving the object and moving at the same time. I moved my eyesight away from the yellow dot, my perception of the yellow dot was that it moved farther away from me mainly because it got smaller and eventually disappeared from my eyesight.

The Facial Recognition test was the most interesting. I scored 92%, which 80% is typical for adults. As I took the test, it seemed too easy but as the lighting shifted, I noticed how the faces seemed to change. It appeared at times parts of the faces were missing but because of the Gestalt approach of good continuation and closure, I knew that the entire face was there (McBride & Cutting, 2019). When I tried not to focus on what was missing and focused and what was there, it helped me to figure out which face was correct. When the faces were pixeled, it was hard to determine which ones were correct. At times I felt when I was looking at one face, the one next to it seemed to be correct but when I looked at it closer, I wasn’t sure. As I stated above, I focused on features of the individuals that reminded me of someone I know personally such as my son’s friend but with darker eyes. When I used this technique, I was using the Gestalt psychology approach focusing on similarity. According to McBride and Cutting (2019), we organize like objects together because it is more natural than describing each object individually. I noticed that some of the men in the photos looked similar and at times I could see how someone would choose the wrong man. However, since I focused on features that I reminded me of someone I know, I believe it helped me to recall the correct faces.

One weakness that I noticed, especially with the facial recognition section, was how easy it was to choose the wrong individual. It is very important at times to pay attention to detail. In my line of work, I work with medications. I am required to provide the correct meds to my residents so paying close attention to detail is key. Many medications look similar (i.e. round and white) and a quick glance will not necessarily prove that the medication is correct. Most medications and vitamins have information imprinted on them at least on one side. However, this is not always true. I make it a point to read each description and verify the medication from the pill box. When doing this, it has helped prevent the wrong medication being given at times. I have turned a weakness that many people have into one of my strengths. I believe that slowing down and being purposeful is an important part of our visual and cognitive perceptions.



McBride, D., & Cutting, J. (2019). Cognitive psychology: Theory, process, and methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.


Each week, these discussions are becoming more and more fascinating. Visual processing refers to our brain’s ability to use and understand visual information and differentiate it from the world around us. Researchers approach the study of perception in several different ways to get a better understanding of how perception operates in different roles. Each approach considers a different way that stimuli are processed in the brain. There are strengths and weaknesses in the visual system. The sense organs: ears, eyes, nose, tongue, and skin, all are the beginning of the visual perception process. We use these organs to process information in the world. This can be a strength because it helps keep us safe in our environment. Our peripheral vision gives us the ability to detect side movement. This is crucial in our everyday lives. There are also weaknesses in visual processing that often times contributes to learning disabilities. Many children suffer from sensory processing disorders (I have 3 of them). The brain may not interpret and process the stimulus the same way as other peoples.

I chose to do the facial recognition test to start out with. I scored 93% on the test. I feel like the bottom-up processing theory relates the closest to the facial recognition test. The bottom-up processing theory is “conducted starting with the most basic units or features of a stimulus and adding the parts together to understand and identify a coherent whole object” (McBride & Cutting, 2019). Before diving into the textbook, I chose to enjoy the visual perception tests and noticed that when I did the facial recognition one, that I took my 20 seconds or so and made mental notes of the different face shapes, the nose, eyes, roundness of the face, and if there was any facial hair, etc. This is essentially the bottom-up theory. I took the smallest parts of the human faces and used that information to pick out the particular face on the next screen.

Top-down processing allows us to use our knowledge of the world and cues from the environment to perceive things. I always find it interesting when people go on vacation and take pictures of famous landmarks and them trying to hold it up. For example, I have seen pictures of someone posing near the Leaning Tower of Pisa and it looks like they are trying to push it back up. It is always interesting to see optical illusions and how the brain can be “tricked” to see things that may or may not be there.

The blind-spot test is extremely familiar to me. I would think the best approach to this test would be the perception/action approach. This test is about what we see in our peripheral vision when moving closer or further away from the object. Because I have a medical disorder that can affect my optic nerves, I have to have yearly vision testing. One of the main tests that they focus on is the visual field test. I sit with my face in a bowl-shaped instrument and with one eye closed, I must stare at a dot in the middle of the bowl. All around the dot, little flashing dots appear, and I must click a button in my hand each time I see a dot flash on the screen. These types of tests are important for many people that may suffer from issues that affect their eyes.


McBride, D.M., & Cutting, J. C. (2019). Cognitive psychology interactive ebook. 2nd ed. Cengage Learning.

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