Difference Between Sensation and Perception (With Table)

The human body reacts and responds to different actions in varying ways. It also responds to all the changes in its environment. The process of Sensation helps a body feel the changes, and perception helps a person in interpreting the acquired Sensation.

Sensation vs Perception

The difference between Sensation and perception is that Sensation is the process of sensing the changes in the surrounding environment, whereas perception refers to the systematic process of interpreting and analyzing the nature and the type of Sensation. The process of Sensation gives rise to perception, while perception involves analysis of the Sensation.

The sensation is the process of experiencing changes in the surroundings through the medium of sight, taste, sound, touch, and smell. The sensory organs like the nose, ear, skin, eye, and tongue get stimulated by these changes, and our sensory receptors send information to the brain on an immediate basis.

Perception is a process performed by our brain on receiving a signal from neural impulses. In this process, the brain interprets and translates the information received. The process of perception differs from person to person depending on the individual’s memory and experiences regarding the Sensation in the past. This is the reason why perception indicates how a person looks at his surroundings.

Comparison Table Between Sensation and Perception

Parameters of ComparisonSensationPerception
MeaningSensation refers to the process of receiving information and changes through the five senses.Perception refers to the process by which the brain interprets and analyzes the messages received by the brain.
Organs involvedThe organs involved in the process of sensation are the eye, ear, tongue, skin, and nose.The organ involved in the process of perception is the human brain.
SourceThe source of sensation is the stimuli received from sensory organs.The source of perception is the information received by the brain from sense organs.
ConsequenceThe consequence of a sensation is a perception.The consequence of perception is the interpretation and analysis of the information.
Procedure The sensation is a biological process.Perception is basically a psychological process.

What is Sensation?

The sensation is a systematic process in which all the sensory organs, after experiencing a stimulus, sends information to the brain. It is basically a biological process but can also be sometimes categorized as a psychological process. One of the most interesting facts about Sensation is that a person will not be able to enjoy ice cream and a bright sunny day.

Sensory receptors are a special type of neuron that responds to a specific nature of stimuli. Absolute threshold refers to the degree of sensitivity of a specific sensory organ in response to a stimulus. It means the degree to which light is dim and sound being soft is still detected by the related sensory organ. Absolute threshold is measured under highly controlled situations in order to analyze how much of a difference in stimuli is required to make the Sensation noticeable.

An example of a sensation may be a light entering the eye due to which a chemical reaction takes place in the cells that line the back of the eye. The way of recording and estimating the absolute threshold is known as signal detection. This process comprises testing the effect of various stimuli on a recipient in order to determine the efficiency of a given sensory system.

If we talk about the process of light sensation, humans have a tendency to adapt to different intensities of light, whether it’s very dim or very bright. For example, if we are out in the sun and return back into a dark room, our eyes will take at least 5-10 minutes for us to see anything in the room.

What is Perception?

Perception refers to series of processes we all utilize to make sense of every stimulus we encounter. All our experiences, memory and even all the previous encounters help us develop an interpretation of the message received by the brain from the sensory organ. Perception enables us to navigate the earth and make decisions regarding every aspect.

Perception starts with the transfer of the message and ends with the interpretation and analysis of the message. One of the most interesting facts about Sensation is that not all Sensation results in perception. We also do not perceive any sort of stimulus in case of constant changes in the environment.

The above process is known as sensory adaption. For example, you install a clock in your house which keeps ticking, and you notice and hear its ticking for the first one or two weeks as you are not familiar with it, but when you become familiar with it, then you do not further notice it as you have adapted to this change through the process of sensory adaption.

Main Differences Between Sensation and Perception

  1. Sensation refers to the process of reacting to a stimulus by our sensory organs, whereas perception refers to the process of interpreting and analyzing the messages send by sensory organs to the brain.
  2. The organs involved in the process of Sensation are the sensory organs which are the eye, ear, nose, skin and tongue, whereas the brain is the only organ involved in the process of perception.
  3. The sensation is a biological process, whereas perception is a psychological process.
  4. The source of Sensation is the stimuli, whereas the source of perception is the information received.
  5. The sensation is a primary process, while perception is a secondary process.


Everything in the world reacts to the change in its surrounding, so does the human body. The human body reacts and experiences the changes through the processes of Sensation and perception. The sensation is an initial process, whereas perception takes place after the process of Sensation when the message is sent by the neurons to the brain.

These processes are the reason why we are able to experience everything ranging from the sweetness of toffee to the heat of the sun. The coolness of the wind to the sudden opening of lights, Sensation and perception help us enjoy everything.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=mC8bIA1M-nkC&oi=fnd&pg=PA85&dq=sensation+and+perception&ots=a__j8FXbqJ&sig=Uinlpnjeie0iH8N8qHR-aW__awg
  2. https://philpapers.org/rec/LEVFOS
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