Perception With Compensatory Devices: From Sensory Substitution to Sensorimotor Extension

Cognitive Science 33 (6):1036–1058 (2009)
Abstract
Sensory substitution devices provide through an unusual sensory modality (the substituting modality, e.g., audition) access to features of the world that are normally accessed through another sensory modality (the substituted modality, e.g., vision). In this article, we address the question of which sensory modality the acquired perception belongs to. We have recourse to the four traditional criteria that have been used to define sensory modalities: sensory organ, stimuli, properties, and qualitative experience (Grice, 1962), to which we have added the criteria of behavioral equivalence (Morgan, 1977), dedication (Keeley, 2002), and sensorimotor equivalence (O’Regan & Noe¨, 2001). We discuss which of them are fulfilled by perception through sensory substitution devices and whether this favors the view that perception belongs to the substituting or to the substituted modality. Though the application of a number of criteria might be taken to point to the conclusion that perception with a sensory substitution device belongs to the substituted modality, we argue that the evidence leads to an alternative view on sensory substitution. According to this view, the experience after sensory substitution is a transformation, extension, or augmentation of our perceptual capacities, rather than being something equivalent or reducible to an already existing sensory modality. We develop this view by comparing sensory substitution devices to other ‘‘mind-enhancing tools’’ such as pen and paper, sketchpads, or calculators. An analysis of sensory substitution in terms of mind-enhancing tools unveils it as a thoroughly transforming perceptual experience and as giving rise to a novel form of perceptual interaction with the environment.
Keywords Sensory substitution  Sensory modalities  Neural plasticity
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,826
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Paul Bach-Y.-Rita, Mitchell Tyler & Kurt Kaczamarek (2003). Seeing with the Brain. International Journal Of Human-Computer Interaction 15 (2):285-295.
Ned Block (2003). Tactile Sensation Via Spatial Perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (7):285-286.

View all 21 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Alison Simmons (2003). Descartes on the Cognitive Structure of Sensory Experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):549–579.
Kirk A. Ludwig (1996). Shape Properties and Perception. In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Philosophical Issues. Atascadero: Ridgeview. 325-350.
Vincent Picciuto & Peter Carruthers (forthcoming). Inner-Sense. In Biggs S., Matthen M. & Stokes D. (eds.), Perception and its Modalites. Oxford University Press.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-05-31

Total downloads

29 ( #63,451 of 1,100,128 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #33,348 of 1,100,128 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.