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Perception comes from per - through and ceptari - take. It means to take take through. One of the Three Sisters of Mind, Perception weaves the strands of awareness into the focus of a being.
Each perception is a communication, an interchange of information, between the creature and its internal and external environment.
Perceptions are regulated by
The sensitivity of cellular organs (light sensing organs in retinal cells, olfactory sensing organs, pressure sensitive organs, and so on).
The organization of sensory systems designed to monitor changes in the environment (like eyes, ears, noses, tentacles).
The interval of awareness (the interval required to reset the organs of sensitivity)
A creature's ability to successfully compare these changes with memory and create a model to understand the meaning of the information.
Filters to eliminate noise in the information system.
Each creature has a horizon of perception limited by its perceptual and mental ability.
There are many more senses than most people realize. Counting the sensory abilities of animals, Guy Murchie lists 32 senses grouped into five categories of Radiation Senses, Feeling Senses, Chemical Senses, Mental Senses and a Spiritual Sense. I include his list here as a tribute to Guy's perception and an introduction to his delightful and valuable books.
We also have a sense of time, as do most creatures, allowing us to judge intervals with fine detail.