Perceptual approaches have been widely used in many areas of visual information processing. This paper presents an overview of perceptual based approaches for image enhancement, segmentation and coding. The paper also provides a brief review of image quality assessment (IQA) methods, which are used to evaluate the performance of visual information processing techniques. The intent of this paper is not to review all the relevant works that have appeared in the literature, but rather to focus on few topics that have been extensively researched and developed over the past few decades. The goal is to present a perspective as broad as possible on this actively evolving domain due to relevant advances in vision research and signal processing. Therefore, for each topic, we identify the main contributions of perceptual approaches and their limitations, and outline how perceptual vision has influenced current state-of-the-art techniques in image enhancement, segmentation, coding and visual information quality assessment.