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Costs and Benefits of Pain Perception
Considering the complexity of the world, it is tempting to think that the human senses are designed to take in information with as much accuracy as possible. However, the literature points to the fact that sometimes sensory systems actively distort information. For example, touch receptors stop signaling about the way clothes press against skin, or the visual system ignores blind spots in vision. In some cases, the distortion of information is beneficial, allowing humans to ignore unimportant details. Sometimes the distorted reports of sensory systems can be detrimental, as when an amputee suffers constant pain from a limb that is no longer there. To understand the mind, you have to understand how sensory systems report on the world. Important to this understanding is the distinction between sensation and perception.
For this week’s Discussion you consider the crucial difference between sensation and perception and how context may affect the perception of pain.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 4 a description of the most crucial differences between perception and sensation and explain why. Then, provide an example of how context may affect pain perception. Finally, explain two potential costs and two potential benefits of pain perception. Support your postings and responses with specific references to the literature and Learning Resources.
Breedlove, S. M., & Watson, N. V. (2018). Behavioral neuroscience (8th ed.) New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Chapter 8, “General Principles of Sensory Processing, Touch, and Pain”