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.
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.
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.
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.