WOK: Sense Perception Thomas Vincent



Thomas Vincent

  • Patrick Smith, Duc, Navi
  • Date January 30th-9th February 2017
  • WOK Badge; Sense perception
  • Color: Do you see what I see?

To what degree are our sense perceptions of sight influenced by culture?

Project background: For our project, we wanted to question how our perception of sight is affected by our culture and specifically our language. We really wanted to explore how a culture's language affects people's perception of colors. In order to this, we decided to ask students within our school to try a test, that scientists have used to demonstrate this.

Our sense perceptions are heavily influenced by our culture and one of the biggest aspects of culture that affects sense perception is language.

Data from our experiment in our presentation

Journal Entries

Day1: We discovered a very interesting article involving color, Navi found the article in where someone studied ancient documents where they have no word for blue. People never perceived the color blue. I listen to an interesting podcast on how some ancient cultures have no word for the color blue and therefor their culture does not acknowledge the color in any of their scriptures. It's a very lengthy podcast exploring reasons for this phenomenon.

I also learned how every sense is subjective and how they can be classified into different categories as well as the fact there may be more than just 5

Day 2: We have decided to do the article involving color, we are currently listening to the podcast and researching the ideas surrounding the article, this involves experiments and past research involving the topic. We plan on presenting with a powerpoint involving with illusions to demonstrate the idea we are presenting. We have to explore the idea of colors and how we perceive them and what it all means to us. Is it second hand or primary knowledge?

Day3: We will find out what we need to present, and how we want to present it. We will try and answer the key question with examples and studies and we will find our own examples For example find key illusions which demonstrate the ideas we are trying to convey. We want to at least have 60% done and then complete the rest over the weekend.

Day 3 Part 2:

We started the presentation, found the experiments however we still need to refine our question in order to accurately present the information we have collected. We still need to collect the feedback from our experiment which we will conduct on Google form. This will demonstrate our information and reaffirm what we have told the audience.

Day 4: presentation

We hope to present in a concise manner and in a manner in that people can fully understand what we’re trying to convey. I found a second resource about a blind man, Isaac who talks about how losing his eyesight let him control his own reality. He goes onto explain how our brains shapes our perception as it receives all of the information from our senses.

We hope our experiment goes well, and that people can see the relationship between the tribe and the relationship between the experiment we will be conducting. I am hoping that there are no fundamental flaws in our presentation that are spotted.

Hopefully I can learn about other’s presentation and am excited to see how they presented their work.

Day 4 no presentation:

How to present: We finally decided to present in a powerpoint format. A lot of our findings included scientific research and the best way to present this on slides where we could show the information required. We would include a scientific experiment which would display our findings. We used an experiment by scientists to display how an African tribe can see more shades of green than us but they cannot spot the difference between blue and green. This is due to their culture and specifically their language.


Overall outcome of the project: Overall, I think that this was a project that worked well, as my group members and I split up tasks and worked on separate parts of the project and then finally came together to collaborate. The project and surrounding chapters was very beneficial to trying to learn and understand the Way of Knowledge of sense perception. We started off reading a chapter and trying to understand vocabulary terms. At the beginning of this project, there was a lot of independence as everyone had to read and understand the chapter. After taking the quiz, the project became very revolved around working as a group. I felt as if everyone in the group made a great contribution and that the project was very successful. We all worked together as individuals with our research, but we all collaborated and presented our findings as a group.

Elective Readings:

Radiolab. “Why isn’t the sky blue?

  • http://www.radiolab.org/story/211213-sky-isnt-blue/

This resource explains the general concept of what my group was exploring, the fascinating topic of how a culture's language can affect their perception of color. Throughout history, there have been an overwhelming amount of examples of this, for example the color blue, which does not feature throughout historical texts and yet surrounded these cultures on a daily basis. The podcast goes into how people can see different things due to their differing perceptions.

How Can Going Blind Give You Vision?


This Ted Talk is about a man who lost his eyesight, yet he speaks about it like it's a blessing. Isaac talks about how losing his eyesight let him control his own reality. He goes onto explain how our brains shapes our perception as it receives all of the information from our senses. What you see isn't the capital T truth, but rather what is true to you. It will not apply to others as due to all of our perception and senses are different due to the different ways our brains work.

Essential question: "What is the physical world if everything is perception?"

This question reflects on the information found in chapter 5. It can involve all senses of perception and it can spark a lengthy debate on the topic. It makes student delve deeper past the knowledge of chapter 5 as well.

Extension Proposal:

"How Brains Learn to See":https://www.ted.com/talks/pawan_sinha_on_how_brains_learn_to_see

I chose this resource as it explores how brain's visual system develops. The researcher and his team provide vision-restoring treatment to children born blind, and then study how their brains learn to interpret visual data. This is important as in chapter 5 we have explored this concept, where people have never experienced a sense and then are allowed to experience it. Typically the way they interpret their data will be different than someone who has always had this available to them. This is due to the fact that they have never had to

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