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Distal stimulus

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The distal stimulus is an object which provides information for the proximal stimulus. The proximal stimulus registers, via sensory receptors, the information given by the distal stimulus.

An example would be a person looking at a shoe on the floor. The shoe itself is the distal stimulus. The image recorded onto the person's retina (sensory receptor) is proximal stimulus.

Another example would be a telephone ringing. The ringing of the telephone is the distal stimulus. The sound being recognized and understood as the ringing of a telephone, by our sensory receptors, is the proximal stimulus.

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