1. "Any physical energy… that (a) actually (not potentially) participates in the excitation (or activation) of sensory receptors, and, (b) is independent of any activity which the subject may engage in" (S. KATZ, 1976, p.42).
2. "Anything that touches off a receptor or causes a response" (J.J. GIBSON, 1986, p.56).
St. KATZ comments: "… the term stimulus is identical to what POWERS calls a disturbance" (Ibid).
However, the perceived stimulus is not anymore only an event in the environment: it is received and treated in a definite way by an autopoietic system.
As to GIBSON, he states "And note above all that an object cannot be a stimulus, although current thinking carelessly takes for granted that it is one" (Ibid). A response is then an effect in a perceiving organism, i.e. one that is organized to perceive it. Observe also that perception is not necessarily conscious: a living organism perceives ultraviolet light, but is not conscious of it.
Any organism need a proper level of stimulation. Insufficient stimuli, as well of excess of them would send the organism out of its limits of dynamic stability and could destroy it.
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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