About Sensation, Perception, and Attention

Key factors in mental processes and interpreting different experiences deal with sensation, perception, and attention. There is a certain amount of stimuli that each of us can handle before we are unable to perform in a productive manner. We have explored each individual’s limits to auditory stimuli along with the ability to perform in a specific setting. The majority of our team can handle a great deal of stimuli when participating in various activities. There can be noises of every sort, and it will not distract them in what they are in the process of completing or participating in. The ability to multi-task allows us to handle various stimuli at once. It also allows us to handle many tasks we are obligated to uphold throughout our busy lives. On the other side of the spectrum, there are also team members who can only study or complete specific tasks when there is little to no noise. These individuals can only handle a limited amount of stimuli or they will not be able to perform at maximum capacity. We will further discuss the different experiences and comfort levels of each team member, and how dividing attention will facilitate or impede our learning abilities.

Our team has seemed to have adapted to our environments and have similar ways to dealing with noise going on around us. Take Luz for instance, she grew up in a home where everyone yelled to communicate. When she moved away her household was quieter, and she grew accustomed to living in a more serene environment. She is not able to distinguish different conversations at once and is more comfortable in a quiet environment. Christina’s normal environment has loud noises and she can continue with her activities relatively well with loud noise. Her activities include working while listening to other activities going on around her. At home, she can complete her schoolwork although the children play. Christina can tune out noise and continue to work without allowing herself to be distracted.

Nicole was told as a child to keep from being quiet in the house so that her sister would adapt to noises while she was sleeping. She can hold multiple conversations while the television is on, the dog barking, and the children acting as children. Nicole seems to need some noise to sleep whether it is a television, radio, a train moving on the track, or an airplane flying overhead. Catherine also needs noise to complete her tasks. She works in an environment in which there are people taking orders, asking for assistance, and warnings of food coming through. She could be distracted by the quiet of her house. Catherine needs music or the television on to sleep. Towanda needs to concentrate on her tasks. She has to be stress free or only have minimal stress to accomplish her homework. Towanda can listen to multiple conversations and share that information with others. Patricia can multi-task and carry more than one conversation at a time. If she wants to eaves drop on more than one conversation, she has to concentrate rather hard. She can handle loud situations but if she is going to comprehend it all she has to concentrate.
Dividing attention between people can affect people differently. Some people can multitask several things at a time. Whereas others need the area there in to be quiet, so they do not lose their concentration. As far as team C, the majority of us, have many activities going on at once and the threshold for audio stimuli is very high. However, we also had a team member who preferred their environment to be calm and quiet, this worked well for her and her family. When developing a conversation with someone and not giving him or her one’s undivided attention, you will be missing something he or she tells you even if you are a multi-task kind of a person. In addition, when taking part in a conversation one must make the person one is conversing with feel as they are valued. Undivided attention entails good eye contact, minimal or no distractions, listening to the person speaking and waiting to speak once the person has spoken their part. Undivided attention also goes hand in hand with proper interpersonal skills. These skills allow one to properly communicate with others without offending them in any manner. Proper interpersonal skills must also be utilized when giving negative feedback. In order to properly converse and collaborate with others undivided attention and proper interpersonal skills are imperative regardless of one’s tolerance level for stimuli.

Not only can dividing attention facilitate or impede the team. It can put so much stress on someone that is not used to experiencing this kind of situation. While we have not had a conference call between the team, I am sure if we do, the team will have a quiet atmosphere for that we want to make sure that we can hear each other and give each other our full attention. While most of the team can handle more than one thing at a time, we need to respect anyone that does not want the distractions.

Perception is the process of attaining understanding or awareness of sensory information. Sensory perception problems arise because of several factors such as stress, background noise, medical issues, and the level of interest for the subject matter; all of these items affect cognition and learning of information. The stress level of each team member highly affects the individual’s ability to intake information and retain it. If a team member has, a low tolerance for background noise while trying to take in information this could impede his or her ability to concentrate on the information being discussed. Medical issues such as hearing or sight impairments would definitely have an impact on absorbing information that is discussed. The level of interest for the subject matter would also positively affect or negatively impede the progress of a group assignment. When a person takes away something from a situation in which something entirely different was meant, sensory perception has been misconstrued and alternately interpreted. Many factors could contribute to the misunderstanding of information but attempting to be completely focused could alleviate many misunderstandings.

A Learning team has members who may perceive and interpret information differently. However, to work and communicate effectively in a team, the members involved must be able to function together to complete assigned projects. Therefore, learning team members have different needs and recommendation on ground rules. When it deals with accommodating auditory sensation, perceptions and attention when learning during group meetings, especially since the learning team is attending classes online and communicated about class projects via Internet. Prepare ourselves for conference calls when assigned projects are due, and each team member should be well prepared, organized, and minimize or avoid distractions when team meeting is in progress. The team members should take care of all daily needs before the meeting begins to avoid interruptions and to stay attentive, so that he or she can take down accurately notes to understand all the information that was shared during the team meetings. During the learning team meetings, the work environment or area a person is conducting his or her meeting through conference call should be quiet, without the sounds of music television, family disturbance, or ringing sounds of another phone. Each member should be able to give his or her undivided attention, so he or she can hear all barriers communication given as well as avoid distracting other members involved.

Another way team members can communicate is through instant messaging; considering some team members have many background sounds going at once in their homes. The conversation one has through instant message can also serve as notes for an assignment. This way to track a dialogue will allow team members to keep a log of conversations offline or although they are away from a personal computer. Another major ground rule is that team members must also be flexible and understanding toward others lifestyles and obligations. It is imperative that we communicate properly in order for the learning team meeting to be productive. We all have many obligations that must be fulfilled throughout our day therefore; we have to accommodate one another. At one point or another, we will have an issue come up that will not allow our auditory sensation, perception, and attention to be used to the best of their ability. We do not all have the same schedules and availabilities therefore we must always exercise flexibility.

However, during team meetings all members will be respectful and identify superior communication skills by listening and allowing all members to share thoughts and ideas, and hear what each member has to say without interruptions. The learning team will listen and pay attention to each team member’s needs, differences, strengths, and weaknesses to provide appropriate feedback in a positive tone when needed. Effective communication along with effective listening will allow team members to produce better quality assignments. It is inevitable for a group of people to disagree on certain subjects but professionals will disagree in a tasteful manner. Great communication skills allow team members to give constructive criticism as well as receive the constructive criticism. Therefore, at the end of all team meetings conference calls or forum discussions the team leader would summarize all information discussed, so that all members understand the topics discussed, and the plans, and goals of the whole learning team. However, each team member involvement and understanding the team projects will result in a successful and positive manner as well as the team effective communication skills will be noticeable.

In conclusion, we all have different learning abilities and are able to work better with or without noise. The majority of us are used to different activities surrounding us while participating in schoolwork, work projects, and our simple everyday duties. We know how adapt to different environments to achieve what we need to. We also have respect for one another to the fact that if in a group conversation or conference call that we will give our undivided attention as well as keep a noise free environment. Each of us understand the stress levels that we have and are able to work around if needed. All of us are great communicators and are able to achieve the goals that we need to regardless of the situation that we are in.