The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat By Oliver Sacks

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Sensation is the way in which our senses of vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell receive external stimuli. Perception, on the other hand, according to Hunt & Ellis (2004), is the way in which our internal, psychological processes add meaning to these sensory experiences (p.39). In the well-known book, “The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat,” Oliver Sacks writes of Dr. P., a musician of distinction, with one peculiar trait; he does not recognise faces (Sacks, 1998). Dr. P., like Oliver Sacks himself, has prosopagnosia. This condition is also known as ‘face-blindness,’ but it really has nothing to do with being blind at all. In fact, there is nothing wrong with Mr. P.’s vision; his problem lies in the area of perception and his ability to make sense of facial features and forms.…show more content…
Without perception, our view of the world would be a jumble of forms, shapes and wavelengths of light. Hunt & Ellis (2004) write of how the physical description of light waves differs from the psychological experience of the object that we actually see (p.38). However, while sensations exist despite Dr. P.’s lack of perception, without sensation, there would be no perception. Hunt & Ellis (2004) writes that even though we are aware only of our perceptions, every perceptual experience starts when “physical energy contacts nerve cells that respond to that energy” (p.38). In other words, all perception begins with sensation. This essay will focus on the sense of sight and the role of sensation in how the individual perceives

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