sensation


sensation
sensation 1 Sensation, percept, sense-datum, sensum, image can denote the experience or process which is the result of the activity of a sense organ and its associated neural structures.
Sensation (see also SENSATION 2), the most general of these terms, is applicable to a specific awareness (as of heat, pain, or odor) resulting from adequate stimulation of a sensory receptor by a stimulus from without or within the body, whether this awareness enters fully into consciousness or not; specifically it means an impression received by a sensory end organ (as the retina of the eye, the taste buds of the tongue, or the tactile corpuscles of the skin) or by a combination of such end organs
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the four basic taste sensations, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty

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gave himself up to the enjoyment of the sensations provided by a perfect spring day

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a reptile that appears ... to squander more than two-thirds of its existence in a joyless stupor, and be lost to all sensation for months together— Gilbert White

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Percept, sense-datum, and sensum are technical terms especially of epistemology that are subject to widely varied interpretation, but that typically denote a strictly individual and personal neural event occurring centrally in response to sensory stimulation and constituting an immediate unanalyzable private object of sensation
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it makes for a neat little burlesque of the central debate between concept—the large, institutionalized idea, and percept—the irreducibly personal vision which must be coped with in its own terms— Rago

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instead of an irregular mass of pink sensation mixed with blue and red and topped with brown, he recognizes his mother's face. These emerging organized groups of sensations which cluster together (and soon seem to belong together) and serve to indicate things in the physical environment are called percepts; these may be defined briefly as "sensations plus meaning"—that is, groups of sensations that have become organized into meaningful wholes or patterns. Thus every physical object represents a percept, or at least a potential oneHunter Mead

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Observation of physical objects is primarily the noticing of sense-data; and each person has and observes his own color and sound sensa, just as he has and observes his own twinges, nausea and touch sense-data—A. C. Garnett

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a sense-datum is by definition whatever appears to the senses and in so far as we confine ourselves to a description of our sense-data we cannot possibly be in error— Pap

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our sense organs must select certain predominant forms, if they are to make report of things and not of mere dissolving sensaLanger

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Image (see also IMAGE 1) applies to a sensation that results in a mental representation of the thing seen, the sound heard, and the odor smelled and in the retention of that mental representation in the memory
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after I had looked long at it, and passed on, the image of that perfect flower remained . . . persistently in my mind— Hudson

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I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her... image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance— Joycey

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Image also refers to a mental representation that can be evoked in the mind in the absence of the thing represented; in this case, the term may apply to a mental representation that is in the memory as a result of previous sense experience or that is a construction of the imagination or fancy out of various bits of sense experience or as a result of a verbal description
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when I recall London, Paris, Rome ... the image that first presents itself is the earliest one— Grandgent

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a succession of efforts to call up before us veracious images of a bedroom, a bed, pillows, a lighted candle, a woman asleep, a man speaking to himself— Montague

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Analogous words: *impression, impress, print, stamp: feeling, feel (see ATMOSPHERE): consciousness, awareness (see corresponding adjectives at AWARE)
2 Sensation, sense, feeling, sensibility are comparable when they mean the power to respond or the capacity for or the act of responding to stimuli, especially external physical stimuli.
Sensation in technical use often denotes nothing more than the mere seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or feeling and does not imply recognition or comprehension
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the first step, which most children take at the age of about five months, is to pass beyond mere pleasures of sensation, such as food and warmth, to the pleasure of social approbation— Russell

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In more general use the term usually suggests somewhat more than mere receiving of impressions and may imply not only recognition but more or less clearly defined intellectual and emotional reactions (as pleasure or pain or curiosity). It therefore may apply to responses to other than purely physical stimuli
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the sensation of finding a command of no avail is to the mind what sitting down upon a suddenly withdrawn chair is to the body— Deland

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there are sensations you cannot describe. You may know what causes them but you cannot tell what portions of your mind they affect nor yet, possibly, what parts of your physical entity— F. M. Ford

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Sense is applied specifically to any one of the perceptive powers associated with the sensory end organs
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the sense of taste

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the sense of smell

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or in the plural (occasionally in the singular) to the combined powers which enable a sentient being to establish relations between itself and what is external to itself
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the sudden, violent shock almost took away my sensesHudson

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my brain immoderately stirred, my senses unusually quickened— Galsworthy

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but it differs from sensation, when applied to the power or act of responding to stimuli, in suggesting a less corporeal and a more intellectual reaction and often a less objective stimulus. In fact its most emphatic implication in this sense is often that of intense awareness or of full consciousness
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she had no sense at all of any word I said— W. H. Davies

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filled with a sense of pleasure so great that it constantly gave me pins and needles all along the lower parts of my legs— Dahl

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with a haze suspended all around them so that. . . their sense of direction and their sense of time were obscured— Cheever

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a deep sense of loss ... a sense of loss and unbelief such as one might feel to discover suddenly that some great force in nature had ceased to operate— Wolfe

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Feeling (see also FEELING 2; ATMOSPHERE 2) in its most specific meaning denotes the sense that has its end organs in the skin; usually it signifies the sense of touch
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had no feeling in his fingertips

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but often it is more inclusive and suggests other sensations (as heat, cold, or pressure) that are typically perceived through stimulation of the skin
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a feeling of chill in the air

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But feeling is also used to denote a response to a stimulus or a set of stimuli that is a combination of sensation, emotion, and a degree of thought
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judged a situation by his feelings rather than by the facts

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you know her feelings about the vulgarity of these people

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Often also, the term denotes not the response, but the power to respond in general or as a characteristic
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he complains that she has no feeling

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the delicacy of his feeling makes him sensibly touched— Hume

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In this latter sense feeling is often replaced by sensibility, especially when a keenly impressionable nature and unusually delicate powers of appreciation or its opposite are implied
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the extreme sensibility to physical suffering which characterizes modern civilization— Inge

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she was a creature of palpitating sensibility, with feelings so delicate that they responded to every breath— Crothers

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Sometimes sentimental or affected responsiveness is suggested
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the nerveless sentimentalist and dreamer, who spends his life in a weltering sea of sensibilityJames

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Analogous words: perceptibleness or perceptibility, tangibleness or tangibility, palpableness or palpability, ponderableness or ponderability (see corresponding adjectives at PERCEPTIBLE): reaction, action, behavior (see corresponding verbs at ACT): response, answer (see under ANSWER vb)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:
(without perception or a reference to any object that causes the feeling), , / ,


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  • sensation — [ sɑ̃sasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1370, repris XVIIe; bas lat. sensatio « compréhension » 1 ♦ Phénomène psychophysiologique par lequel une stimulation externe ou interne a un effet modificateur spécifique (⇒ 1. sens, I ) sur l être vivant et conscient; état… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Sensation — Sensation  ежегодный фестиваль электронной танцевальной музыки, организуемый компанией ID T. До 2005 года проводился исключительно в Нидерландах на стадионе Амстердам АренА. Начиная с 2005 проходил как минимум один раз в Польше, Испании,… …   Википедия

  • Sensation (ID&T) — Sensation (ID T) Sensation est un évènement de la musique électronique, organisée au Pays Bas par ID T depuis l an 2000 au Amsterdam ArenA et depuis lors, chaque année une nouvelle édition est organisée. De nombreux DJ y tournent de la musique du …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sensation — White 2007, Letonia …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sensation — Sen*sa tion, n. [Cf. F. sensation. See {Sensate}.] 1. (Physiol.) An impression, or the consciousness of an impression, made upon the central nervous organ, through the medium of a sensory or afferent nerve or one of the organs of sense; a feeling …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sensation — Sf std. (17. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. sensation oder frz. sensation, beides aus l. sēnsātio, aus l. sēnsātus mit Verstand begabt , zu l. sēnsus Verstand , Abstraktum zu l. sentīre (sēnsum) fühlen, denken ; sensibel. Die Bedeutung ist… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • sensation — [sen sā′shən] n. [LL sensatio < sensatus: see SENSATE] 1. the power or process of receiving conscious sense impressions through direct stimulation of the bodily organism [the sensations of hearing, seeing, touching, etc.] 2. an immediate… …   English World dictionary

  • Sensation — »Aufsehen erregendes Ereignis; Riesenüberraschung; verblüffende Leistung«: Das Fremdwort wurde im 18. Jh. – zunächst in der Bedeutung »Empfindung, Sinneseindruck« – aus gleichbed. frz. sensation entlehnt. Später (18./19. Jh.) übernahm es dann die …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • sensation — 1610s, a reaction to external stimulation of the sense organs, from M.L. sensationem (nom. sensatio), from L.L. sensatus endowed with sense, sensible, from L. sensus feeling (see SENSE (Cf. sense)). Meaning state of shock, surprise, in a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • sensation — [n1] feeling, perception awareness, consciousness, emotion, gut reaction*, impression, passion, response, sense, sensibility, sensitiveness, sensitivity, sentiment, susceptibility, thought, tingle, vibes*; concepts 34,410,529 sensation [n2]… …   New thesaurus