Author Archives: Jadah A Bird

Perceptual Consistencies!

To see is to understand, and to see clearly through our eyes is an incredible concept. Most people would say that they are one of our main senses (the blind may respectfully disagree). Although, we often do not appreciate how much work that our eyes actually do for us day to day. Life would be much more difficult if we didn’t see in perfect HD, with clarity and consistency as we do simple things, like running errands or playing video games. It would be pretty terrible if one’s eyes were always out of focus much like a broken lens of a camera. Thank goodness for glasses and contacts! One of the most overlooked concepts about our vision is the mental processes it takes to see things the way we do. One common concept is called “Perceptual consistency”, which helps our minds to perfectly encode the images before us, and sort out possible conflicting sensory information that, once resolved, gives us an image that is picture perfect.

When I was little, I would look outside a car window and watch in awe as all of the trees and signs outside zoomed by me. I would watch and much of the time it made my stomach sick! When I was a child I also spent a lot of my life boarding planes because my family loves to travel. When on the plane, I would take my usual spot by the window and watch as the clouds stayed peacefully still and when our plane took off, the land thousands of miles below me, stood very still. Why did the signs move so fast and the earth move so slow? The answer lies within perceptual consistency!

Everything that I was seeing, kept its usual color, shape, size, texture, depth, you name it, no matter where we see it or how we look at it. Our minds even at such a young age, decipher these images and encode them in a way that uses a series of indicators to determine how to correctly view the object. There are three types of these consistencies: shape, size, and color. When I am in the car and I see another car driving on the opposite side of the road, I don’t think that the car is becoming huge and doubling in size every second, I know that the car is just getting closer. This is because of size consistency. It is not our eyes performing alone, but instead our brains, analyzing and making one aware that the car is just coming towards us, making it look larger. Without this gift of perceptual consistency, we would not be able to live the life we do now. This handy brain function is thought about that often, due to how normal and common it is for one to do it all the time without even realizing. However, there are hundreds of components to vision, and each of those components is extremely important to overall mental processes, especially with regard to how we see the world as we do.

Jadah Bird

Nature Vs. Nurture Regarding Intelligence

I believe that all aspects of our lives are influenced by both nature and nurture. Not by just nature of the child, or likewise just nurturing your child. Both aspects work together when raising your kin and both aspects can affect them for the rest of their lives. Nature refers to the genetics that children inherit from their parents and family. Nurture on the other hand, is all the factors that influenced children as they grew up, as soon as they were conceived. Nurture is more of social and outside situations that shape us, while nature is who we are and what we born with. Both factors can be positive or negative outcomes for us. For example, with nature, children can inherit the ability to learn to play musical instruments easily like one of their parents or negative because they can also inherit a genetic disposition to alcoholism from them. With nature children can grow up with a lot of family parties and become social butterflies or the parents could abuse their child and the child could grow up with psychological problems. This is why I believe both nature and nurture are both crucial to the lives of every person.

I have seen this in both myself and my friends. For example, my best friend Amy is very intelligent. She has never gotten anything less than an “A-” on any assignment and if you ask her a question, she can answer it without any hesitation. Now this makes me wonder why Amy is the way she is. Is she so intelligent because of the way her parents raised her (Nurture) or her DNA they gave her (Nature). Well, let’s break this down, part of our intelligence and brain functions are determined by our genetics, which is all on the nature side of the debate. It could also be Nature because her father is a doctor, and her mother is a psychologist, both career paths show that her parents must be pretty intelligent. This means that Amy could have inherited her mother and father’s genes and thus be born intelligent. On the nurture side of the debate, there are all sorts of positive environmental inputs that can enhance intelligence. Amy grew up with a wealthy family, so they put her in better schools than other children in the area. Children who grow up in stimulating environments are likely to benefit from mental stimulation that activates their brain cells, develops their logical skills. Also, having those other private school children around her to talk to her and stimulate her mind with intellectual conversations can make her increase in intelligence. All these “nurture” factors had a major influence on Amy growing up so Nurture definitely played a role in her superior intelligence as well.

As you can see, both nature and nurture worked together to produce Amy’s impeccable intelligence. Having “good genes” alone is worth little if intelligence is not nurtured in healthy and stimulating environments. Both nature and nurture are crucial to any developing person.

Jadah Bird