The main difference between cognition and perception is that cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses, but perception is the ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses.
Cognition and perception are two inherently tied concepts. In fact, one can say that perception is a part of cognition. However, cognition and perception are not the same. Cognition is a much broader concept than perception.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Cognition
– Definition, Characteristics
2. What is Perception
– Definition, Characteristics
3. What is the Difference Between Cognition and Perception
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Cognition
Cognition refers to the mental process of knowing, learning, and understanding things. In other words, it involves gaining knowledge and comprehension. It includes many aspects of higher brain functions and processes such as memory, attention, the formation of knowledge, judgment and evaluation, reasoning, problem-solving and decision making, comprehension, and production of language. Furthermore, cognitive processes use existing knowledge and generate new knowledge. Cognition also involves forming beliefs, making decisions, and solving problems, based on already existing information.
Cognition is studied in different disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and neurology. Cognitive psychology focuses on how processing information influences behaviour and the role of different mental processes in the acquisition of knowledge.
Furthermore, cognitive processes are techniques we use to incorporate new knowledge and make decisions based on that knowledge. Attention, memory, perception, etc. are different cognitive processes having different roles in cognition. Cognitive processes can happen consciously or unconsciously, naturally or artificially, but they happen fast. They are always at work, even without our knowledge.
What is Perception
Perception is basically the ability to capture, process, and make sense of the information that our senses receive. In this process, our brain identifies and organizes the information it obtains from the neural impulses and then begins to interpret them. In other words, after our five senses receive several stimuli that are sent to our brain as nerve impulses, our brain interprets those impulses as a visual image, a sound, taste, odour, touch, or pain.
Since the interpretation of this sense happens as a result of one’s experiences, the result of perception differs according to each individual. Recipient’s experiences, learning, memory, expectation, and attention can also shape perception. Moreover, perception is not just a single process that happens spontaneously, but it is a series of processes.
Perception involves both bottom-up and top-down processing. It involves bottom-up processing since perceptions are built from our sensory input. On the other hand, it also involves a top-down method since our available knowledge and experience influence how we interpret those sensations.
Difference Between Cognition and Perception
Cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses, but perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.
Cognition involves cognitive processes like memory, attention, perception, reasoning and language, whereas perception uses the five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
Perception is the process of acquiring new information, but cognition uses already existing information.
The main difference between cognition and perception is that cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses, but perception is the ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses. Perception is a mental process that helps in perception. Therefore, cognition is a much broader concept than perception.
1. “Perception.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2018, Available here.
2. “Introduction to Psychology.” Lumen, Open SUNY Textbooks, Available here.
3. “Cognition and Cognitive Science – The Importance of Cognition.” CogniFit, 8 June 2016, Available here.
4. “Cognition.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Jan. 2020, Available here.
1. “4695538” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “4685029” (CC0) via Pixabay
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