Perception comes from the information received

CogniFit - perception

Perception can be defined as the ability Actively absorbing information via the senses, processing it and giving it meaning. This cognitive process makes it possible to interpret the environment via the stimuli that are received by the sensory organs. This basic cognitive ability is very important in everyday life. It is possible to train and improve perception through cognitive stimulation. This is because the Perception is an active process. We are not passive subjects limited to a bottom-up process (guided by stimuli reaching our senses). We can also interpret information through top-down processes (we have important expectations that guide this perception).

Types of perception and neuroanatomy

Perception is a complex process through which contact with the environment is possible. The classic division of perception is based on the five senses:

  • Eyesight or visual perception: The ability to perceive and interpret light information that hits the eyes within the visible spectrum. The brain region responsible for this is the occipital lobe (primarily visual cortex V1 and secondarily visual cortex V2).
  • Hearing ability or auditory perception: The ability to perceive and interpret information that comes to the ear (sound) through audible frequencies via the air or other means. The brain region responsible for basic auditory perception is the temporal lobe (primary auditory cortex A1 and secondary auditory cortex A2).
  • Sense of touch, somatosensory or haptic perception: The ability to interpret information that is absorbed through the skin through pressure or vibration. The parietal lobe is responsible for basic haptic perception (primary somatosensory cortex S1 and secondary somatosensory cortex S2).
  • Smell or olfactory perception: The ability to interpret information from chemical substances present in the air (smell). The basic olfactory perception takes place via the olfactory cortex (primary olfactory cortex and secondary olfactory cortex).
  • Sense of taste or perception of taste: The ability to interpret information derived from chemical substances dissolved in saliva (taste). The most important brain regions that are responsible for basic taste perception are referred to as primary taste areas G1 (gyrus postcentrails inferior, ventral parietal lobe, anterior insula, operculum frontoparietale) and secondary taste areas G2 (caudolateral orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingular cortex).

Other types of perception

Today we know that there are other types of perception in addition to the five classic senses:

  • spatial imagination: The ability to be aware of the relationship between the environment and oneself. This ability is closely related to haptic and kinaesthetic perception.
  • Form perception: The ability to recognize information about contours and the unity of an object through contrast and delimitation. This capacity is related to visual and haptic perception.
  • Vestibular perception: This is about the sense of balance, which is used to orient the body in space and, for example, to relate the position of head and floor. This can be used to control balance and posture. This sensory perception is closely related to the auditory perception.
  • Thermoreception or thermoception: It is about the temperature perception on the skin surface, which is closely related to the haptic perception.
  • Nociception, or pain perception: The ability to sense low or high heat stimuli, the presence of harmful chemicals, or high pressure. This ability is closely related to haptic and thermoception.
  • Itching sensation: The ability to sense harmful stimuli on the skin that lead to itching. This is related to haptic perception.
  • Proprioception, or deep sensitivity: Sensory perception through which the body informs the brain about the position and condition of muscles and tendons in order to recognize the posture and the exact location of each part of the body. This ability is related to vestibular and haptic perception.
  • Interoception: Ability to interpret feelings that capture the state of internal organs.
  • Perception of time: Ability to interpret changes in stimuli and to organize them in a timely manner.
  • Kinaesthetic Perception: Ability to interpret information about movements and speed of the environment and one's own body. Visual, spatial, temporal, haptic, interoceptive, proprioceptive and vestibular perception play an important role.
  • Chemosensory perception: The ability to interpret chemical substances dissolved in saliva and to give them a strong taste. This is related to taste perception, but uses different structures.
  • Magnetic reception: The ability to interpret information about magnetic fields. This capacity is better developed in animals such as pigeons. However, it was found that people also have magnetic material in the ethmoid, which enables magnetic reception.

Perception is not a single process that occurs spontaneously. Rather, it consists of different phases that enable the correct perception of a stimulus. In order to perceive visual information, for example, the reflecting light of an object must not only be picked up by the retinal receptors in order to then send the corresponding information to the relevant brain regions. Since this is an active process, we also need to select, organize and interpret this information:

  • selection: The number of stimuli we are exposed to every day is far beyond our capabilities. Because of this, the information needs to be filtered to select what exactly we want to perceive. This selection is made on the basis of our attention, experience, needs and preferences.
  • organization: As soon as we know what we want to perceive, the corresponding stimuli must be included in groups in order to be able to give them a meaning more easily. Synergy plays an important role in perception, because the total information recorded cannot be reduced to the properties of the individual stimuli. The Gestalt principles accordingly, the organization of the stimuli is not random, but according to very specific criteria.
  • interpretation: Once the chosen stimuli are organized, they are processed to give them meaning and thus complete the perceptual process. The process of interpretation is modulated by experience and expectations.

Other gestalt principles

Other gestalt principles emphasize the role of the person in the perception process, with three sequences being distinguished:

  • Step 1: First hypothesis about what we perceive. This guides the selection, organization and interpretation of the stimuli.
  • 2nd step: recording the sensory information.
  • 3rd step: Comparison of the first hypothesis with the sensory information obtained.

Examples of perception

  • It is very important to discover perceptual problems in students in a timely manner. In this way, the necessary measures can be taken so that those affected do not lose any auditory information (what the teacher says) or visual information (text on the blackboard and in the books).
  • Correct perception helps working people to do their job efficiently. Artists are a clear example of the importance of perception in professional life. But in every job the ability to perceive is necessary to a lesser or greater extent: street sweepers, taxi drivers, designers, police officers, cashiers, construction workers, etc. need this cognitive ability.
  • Perceiving traffic signs and noises from your own car is essential for safe driving.
  • Perception makes it possible to move forward in the environment and to establish communication. Shopping, a video game, cooking or washing, for example, require our senses.

Agnosia and other cognitive disorders

Under certain circumstances, it is possible that the perception does not reflect reality, even if there is no disease. This misinterpretation can result from an illusion or hallucination. A illusion refers to a hallucination caused by external stimuli while one is under hallucination understands a faulty perception without detectable external stimuli. This perceptual experience can occur even if there is no pathology, mostly physiological or cognitive factors of the system or an altered state of consciousness (drug consumption or sleep) being responsible. An example of illusions are the familiar ones optical illusions (For example, if you perceive two identical colors differently or if you think you can hear movement in a static image ...). The most common hallucinations are hypnagogic hallucination (optical, acoustic or haptic illusion when falling asleep), the hypnopompic hallucination (the same illusion that arises when you wake up) and illusions that go through the use of hallucinogenic drugs arise (for example LSD or hallucinogenic mushrooms, which lead to deeper hallucinations). However, illusions and hallucinations can also be pathological, for example at schizophrenia, psychotic episodes or delusional disorders .

Perception can also be caused by an injury to the sensory organs (for example an eye injury), an injury to the nerve tracts that transmit the information to the brain (for example glaucoma) or an injury to those areas of the brain that are responsible for perception (for example, an injury to the occipital cortex). Injury to any of these three areas can alter normal perception of a stimulus.

The most common perception disorder is called Agnosia. These are difficulties in aligning and controlling perception, which go hand in hand with problems in general behavior. There are two different types: the Apperceptive visual agnosia (Inability to recognize an object, since only individual parts are recognized, which, however, cannot be integrated into an overall picture) and the associative visual agnosia (The object is perceived as a whole, but cannot be recognized). It is very difficult to understand this cognitive disorder because although patients can see, their experience is similar to that of blindness. There are also sub-types of associative visual agnosia such as Akinetopsia (Inability to see movement) Achromatopsia (Inability to see colors) Prosopagnosia (Inability to recognize faces) auditory agnosia (Inability to assign a sound to an object; if it is verbal information, those affected cannot recognize the language as such), Amusia (Inability to recognize or imitate sounds or rhythms). These disorders are caused by a brain injury by one Ictus, a Brain trauma or one neurogenerative disease.

How can you measure and evaluate perception?

The evaluation of perception can be very helpful in different areas of life. Educational area: To know if a student needs additional help in class to be able to perceive information. Healthcare: To know if a patient has difficulties relating to his environment. Working life: To know if a worker needs help due to perception problems.

Through the complete neuropsychological evaluation perception and other cognitive abilities can be measured efficiently and reliably..

CogniFit uses various classic tests as the basis for the various tasks, for example the following: Stroop Test, Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM), Continuous Performance Test (CPT), Hooper Visual Organization Task (VOT ) and NEPSY test (Korkman, Kirk, Kemp, 1998). In addition to perception, it also assesses the following cognitive skills: naming, contextual memory, reaction time, working memory, updating, visual memory, processing speed, divided attention, focused attention, eye-hand coordination, displacement, inhibition, and visual scanning.

  • Identification test COM-NAM: Objects appear as a picture or sound on the screen. The user must then remember in which form (picture or sound) the object was last shown. When the item is seen for the first time, the user must select the appropriate option.
  • Programming test VIPER-PLAN: The user has to move a ball through a maze as quickly as possible.
  • Concentration test VISMEM-PLAN: stimuli with sound light up on the screen in a certain order. The user has to concentrate on this in order to be able to reproduce the stimuli in the same order afterwards.
  • Inquiry test REST-COM: Objects can be seen briefly on the screen. The user must then identify the relevant objects as quickly as possible.
  • Decoding test VIPER-NAM: Various images can be seen on the screen for a short period of time, which then disappear. Then four letters are shown, whereby only one of these letters corresponds to the first letter of the object shown. The user has to identify the correct letter as quickly as possible.
  • REST-HECOOR speed test: A blue square can be seen on the screen. The user has to click in the center of the square as often and as quickly as possible. The more often he clicks, the higher the score.
  • Recognition test WOM-REST: Three objects can be seen on the screen. The user has to remember these in order to subsequently identify them and make the right choice.
  • Resolution test REST-SPER: Various stimuli move on the screen. The user must click on the target stimulus as quickly as possible, but without hitting irrelevant stimuli.

Perceptual categories

Visual perception Auditive perception Spatial imagination Recognition Field of vision

How can one rehabilitate or improve perception?

Every cognitive ability, including perception, can be trained and improved. CogniFit makes this possible with a professional tool.

The Brain plasticity is the basis for the rehabilitation of perception and other cognitive skills. The brain and the neural connections can be strengthened by the stimulation. So if we train perception correctly, the related neural connections in the respective brain structures improve.

CogniFit was founded by a team of experts specializing in neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. So could a personalized cognitive stimulation program that adapts to the individual needs of each individual user. This program begins with an initial assessment of focused attention and other basic cognitive skills. A personalized training program is then created for each user on the basis of the results. The program automatically collects data during the initial cognitive assessment that is used to create a program through complex algorithms that can be used to train the cognitive weaknesses and strengths of each individual user.

The key to improving sustained alertness is adequate, regular exercise. CogniFit provides professional assessment and training tools available that can help both individuals and experts to improve this feature. It only takes 15 minutes two to three days a week.

The CogniFit assessment and stimulation program is in place available online and can be used on most computers and mobile devices. The program consists of entertaining interactive brain jogging games. At the end of each training session it will automatically A detailed graphic is created that shows the cognitive progress of the user.

Credentials:Evelyn Shatil, Jaroslava Mikulecká, Francesco Bellotti, Vladimír Burěs - Novel Television-Based Cognitive Training Improves Working Memory and Executive Function - PLoS ONE July 03, 2014. 10.1371 / journal.pone.0101472 Korczyn AD, Peretz C, Aharonson V, et al .- Computer based cognitive training with CogniFit improved cognitive performance above the effect of classic computer games: prospective, randomized, double blind intervention study in the elderly. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association 2007; 3 (3): S171. Peretz C, Korczyn AD, Shatil E, Aharonson V, Birnboim S, Giladi N. - Computer-Based, Personalized Cognitive Training versus Classical Computer Games: A Randomized Double-Blind Prospective Trial of Cognitive Stimulation - Neuroepidemiology 2011; 36: 91-9. Korczyn AD, Peretz C, Aharonson V, et al. - Computer based cognitive training with CogniFit improved cognitive performance above the effect of classic computer games: prospective, randomized, double blind intervention study in the elderly. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association 2007; 3 (3): S171. Shatil E, Korczyn AD, Peretzc C, et al. - Improving cognitive performance in elderly subjects using computerized cognitive training - Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association 2008; 4 (4): T492. Haimov I, Shatil E (2013) Cognitive Training Improves Sleep Quality and Cognitive Function among Older Adults with Insomnia. PLoS ONE 8 (4): e61390. doi: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0061390 Thompson HJ, Demiris G, Rue T, Shatil E, Wilamowska K, Zaslavsky O, Reeder B. - Telemedicine Journal and E-health Date and Volume: 2011 Dec; 17 (10,): 794-800. Epub 2011 Oct 19.