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Re: Difference between cognition and perception?

Dear All,
I've been following this discussion with interest because it may
relate directly to one of my experimental findings.

Background:  I study how a person's voice F0 responds to pitch
shifted auditory feedback.  In most people, when voice pitch feedback
is shifted up, the voice F0 goes down; and vice versa for a downward
shift in voice pitch feedback.  We call these "compensatory responses"

However, some people, or take the case of a single person when tested
at different times, will produce a change in voice F0 that follows
the direction of the change in pitch feedback.  We call these
"following responses."

In some pilot studies I have found that whether a person produces a
"following" or compensatory response may depend on how they are
focusing their attention.  For example, if they are focusing their
attention on the feeling in their larynx, it may be a "following"
response, and when they focus on the sound of their voice, it may be
a compensatory response.

In the context of the remarks made by Dan Tollin, our observations
appear to relate to reflexive behavior that may be modulated by
cognitive variables.   I think Dan is correct when he says that
reflexes probably don't require cognition.  But our observations
suggest that a cognitive set, or 'state', may influence reflexive
behavior of the audio-vocal system.  For me, an interesting question
is whether the cognitive state influences   either the perception of
the voice feedback or the motor response.

Chuck Larson


  Some might argue that reflexes are an optimal respose to a given
situation since they are rapid and have obvious benefit.  Reflexes would
seem to fit your description of cognition.  For example, touching a hot
stove results in a quick movement of the hand away from the stove.
Following your definition, one could interpret this sequence of events
as a simple 'perception' of heat by the thermoreceptors of the skin
which is then followed by a simple 'cognition' of this input which is
comprehended as 'bad' resulting ultimately in the 'decision' to move the
hand away from the stove in an optimal fashion.

However, I'd wager that most people would not classify reflexes as
something that requires 'cognition.'  Additionally, once you define
'cognition' using terms like 'meaning' and 'comprehending' and
'displayed information' then you've got to define what those terms mean.

Daniel J Tollin, PhD

 -----Original Message-----
 From: John K. Bates [mailto:jkbates@COMPUTER.NET]
 Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 12:59 PM
 Subject: Re: Difference between cognition and perception?

 Dear List,
     How about considering the following generalized
 definitions of perception and cognition? I think that they
 could apply to all systems, biological or manufactured, that
 use sensors for the purpose of optimizing performance and/or
 preventing failure.

 Perception: The process of receiving, separating, and
 presenting for interpretation the information contained in an
 incoming stream of data.

 Cognition: The process of interpreting the meanings of
 situations as represented by the displayed information.
 Comprehending these meanings enables an optimum response.

 These definitions were derived from my operational analysis
 of auditory perception available at:

        Best regards,
              John Bates

Chuck Larson
Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders
2240 Campus Dr.
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 847-491-2424
Fax: 847-491-4975
email: clarson@northwestern.edu