"The modern experimental investigation of perception involves the study of the human eyes and brain to determine the processes involved in converting the sensory stimuli detected by the eyes into the meaningful images produced the mind. The investigation of this topic during its history has been studied and influenced by other disciplines, such as philosophy. As theories into this field developed, perception moved from a concept studied by philosophers, to a phenomenon of consciousness before establishing itself as something that can be systematically studied by experimentation.
The philosophers of Ancient Greece first noted some of the important issues regarding perception. Aristotle was an empiricist and thought that the senses perceived the form or essence of an object without appealing directly to its matter. He claimed, “sense is what has the power of receiving into itself all the sensible forms without the matter.”* Aristotle claimed that senses were passive and conformed to external stimuli and so were reliable. He believed that information detected by the sense organs was being relayed to common sense, common sense was then able to judge the information and convey it into meaningful ideas by appeal to imagination and memory.
This highlights the distinction between the stimulation of photosensitive cells in the retina and the mental images that are relayed in the mind. Modern psychology is interested in the processes in the brain which convert visual stimuli detected by photosensitive cells in the retina into meaningful images. For example, prosopagnosia is a case where the individual is unable to recognise faces as the biological processes in the brain, which integrates the separate elements of facial features into a meaningful image of a face, are compromised. Therefore, the image of a face is coherent, recognisable and perceivable, not merely aggregation of the facial features.
Whilst Aristotle's theory that ‘common sense' is responsible for...