Mental development is a continuous process starting even from the infancy stage. But during certain stages certain activities are more prevalent. During the first few months there will be rapid development of sensory function. The child’s response to a stimulus is influenced not by the sensory stimulus, but by the effects of past experience also. The sensory stimulus separated from past experience is called sensation. The stimulus interpreted and loaded with meanings and ideas are called perception.
I have asked my wife and two young kids aging 11 years and 6 years in my family. When we were sitting in our wide hall room after the dinner, I told them that I am going to conduct a memory test for them. I called them one by one and asked each of them to observe the brown objects in the hall room for one minute. Then I asked them to close their eyes and tell me the names of each of them. My wife has correctly told me about 12 objects out of the 14 in my hall room. My elder daughter recollected 10 and the younger one 7.
Based on the above facts we can conclude that the perception of elder ones better than the younger ones. This is quite natural since the elder ones always have more experience and more developed intellectual levels than the younger ones. When a sense organ comes in contact with a stimulus, the nerve endings connected with the sense organ become stimulated and this produces a nerve energy which is passed on to the central nervous system and is carried to the area sensory area of brain. The stimulus is interpreted and loaded with meanings and ideas.
Now it can be called as perception. Though this is a simple experiment, it involves lot of complicated activities of our senses and the brain. The outcome of this experiment is little bit surprising for me. Even the 37 year old my wife could not tell me the complete list of brown objects, but at the same time the 6 year old kid identified 7 objects out of the 14. My 11 year kid has identified 1o which is just 2 less than her mother. This is because of the fact that the intellectual levels or the sensations and perceptions of individuals are different.