SENSE ORGANS AND PERCEPTION

In order to be able to control a machine of any sort, the operator needs some form of ‘measuring device’ (sense organs) to receive information from the information dis­plays. For humans, these measuring devices perceive signals giving the information necessary to operate and control the process.

Table 10.1 and Table 10.2 summarise the capacity and types of the human sense organs. From these tables it may be seen that there are two characteristics of the human sense organs that are very important. First, most human sense organs span a very large range of amplitudes. The eye, for example, can cover an amplitude range that is 10 times higher than the threshold level for sight (the lowest visible light level). The sense of hearing can hear sounds that are 10 to 12 times the threshold level.

The tables also show the very wide frequency range that can be sensed by the different sense organs. However, despite the great amplitude and frequency ranges of the sense organs, there are still stimuli that lie outside the human detection ability.

TABLE 10.1

Подпись: The stimulus affecting the Electromagnetic radiation of wavelengths 300-1500 nm Pressure variations in the air with frequencies between 20-20 000 Hz Temperature changes Movement of the limbs Many gases Touch Подпись: Sense of organ that produces Eye Ear Cold and warmth receptors Muscle spindles Golgi tendon organs Tendon receptors Olfactory organs Touch and pain receptors Подпись: The effect Sight Hearing Heat and cold (Probably no conscious feeling) (Probably no conscious feeling) Limb movement Smell Pressure

Some Stimuli, the Sense Organs, and Their Effects

TABLE 10.2

Подпись: Sense organ Eye Ear Vibration sense Подпись: ,-2

SENSE ORGANS AND PERCEPTION

Functional Range of the Sense Organs

For the human senses there are certain electromagnetic waves that cannot be seen and certain sounds (mechanical waves) that cannot be heard. There are also certain types and qualities of stimuli (for example, ionising radiation, relative humidity) for which the human sense organs are inadequate.

It is easiest for humans to discriminate a signal if it can be compared with another signal at the same time. This is called relative discrimination. Absolute discrimina­tion, where the size of a signal has to be determined directly without having another one to compare it with, is considerably more difficult.

Apart from recognising the frequency and amplitude of signals, human beings can sense and discriminate other dimensions such as locational and temporal rela­tionships. Examples of this are a pulsing sound signal or a flashing light. Table 10.3 gives examples of the ability to recognise different types/variants of one and the same stimulus, and the ability to discriminate quantitatively different types of stim­uli. More detailed recommendations on these stimuli are given in Chapter 3.