Perception is defined in Merriam Webster as "the way that you notice or understand something using one of your senses". The moment we experience something, we perceived it since we are able to process the information based on the sense that we have. In other definition, perception is the way an individual is able to understand someone or something - which is as well based on the information provided; or simply "the way we look at things".
Critical thinking is how an individual is able to evaluate, understand or judge a particular thought whether it is true, false or inconsistent. This includes the assessment of interpretation of one's thoughts, information, and reasoning.
Perception can influence the critical thinking. It is a complex process on how the two are related and how it affects a particular individual as a whole. We can say that perception is a factor in the critical thinking since we should be able to use our senses in order to define a particular thing. However, we cannot always rely on how we just perceive things because there are factors that can affect it. For example, a group of children is asked to draw an apple. Children that will draw the apple larger are those who value apples more than anyone in the room. This means, that our emotion and past experience can affect how we perceive the things in the present.
Perception can also allow our minds to think. Scientists often start their researches on how world see things. Then they will try to decipher if the things they perceived are the same how others perceive it. Then they will try to research why other people perceive the other way. At this point, critical thinking enters the arena.