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Perceiving Stimuli - Reliance on the Senses

Several theories (e.g. depth-of-processing theory, Paivio's dual-code hypothesis) suggest that vision is an important step in processing information. Hearing is the other sense relied on in perceiving stimuli. In addition, we have also discussed the importance of schemata to organize our world. Schemata are conceptual frameworks used to organize knowledge and inform how we interpret experiences. For individuals who are visually impaired, would you suggest that aspects of phenomenon are overlooked and compromised, or are schemata adapted?

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When confronted with the idea of someone who might be visually impaired, we have to consider the circumstances, because a distinction must be made between those who have become visually impaired due to a late in life pathology and those who were born visually impaired or have been impaired in such manner for large majority of their lives. With those who have the misfortune of losing their sight well beyond their formative years, the ability to adapt is arguably more compromised in comparison to someone who has had to survive most of their life under visual impairment. Even health departments acknowledge this adaptation issue (Department of Health (UK), p. 4). This can be used to argue that schemata adaptation would also be relatively constricted in those who have become visually impaired later in life as opposed to those who have never really had the opportunity to rely on or experience vision. However, in the case of ...

Solution Summary

Theories, such as levels of processing and the dual coding theory, do indeed stress considerable emphasis on vision, which is also often downplayed as an important aspect of stimuli perception. Vision does play an important role in schemata and sense of perception, and schemas have a tendency to evolve with the individual (Yu & Popa, 2005 p. 1006-1017). In those lacking vision, there can be both a shift in perceptual reliance as well as schemata adaptation towards reliance on other heightened senses. However, certain aspects of stimuli that are exclusively limited to vision can also be excluded in those who have been visually impaired their entire lives.

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