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Re: Difference between cognition and perception?

Some of the literature on the auditory mismatch negativity
(pre-attentive event-related potential response that is elicited by
deviations in acoustic regularity) attempts to address this issue to
some degree. Two good reviews:

Näätänen, R., Tervaniemi, M., Sussman, E., Paavilainen, P., &
Winkler, I. (2001). ‘Primitive intelligence’ in the auditory cortex.
Trends in Neurosciences, 24, 283-288.

Näätänen, R., & Winkler, I. (1999). The concept of auditory stimulus
representation in cognitive neuroscience. Psychological Bulletin, 125,

The authors may not draw a clear, concise division between perception
and cognition (I think many would argue that in reality there is no
clear point at which one stops and the other starts), but they
articulate some of the more concrete aspects each may involve. They also
discuss the topic largely in terms of neural activity that seems to
underlie the concepts. Drawing from auditory scene analysis, a holistic
representation (sensory memory) of events in the auditory scene seems to
be a key factor in reaching the level of cognition. Such
representations, which the authors argue are largely established in the
auditory cortex, can then be used by higher brain areas for more
advanced cognitive processes.

Hope this is useful,


Woojay Jeon wrote:


I am wondering if anyone can clarify the exact difference between
"cognition" and "perception", at least in terms of acoustics, and also
provide some examples illustrating the difference?

Woojay Jeon

Jeffrey J. Sable, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

E-mail: jjsable@sigmaxi.org