Sensory Substitution and Augmentation: An Introduction

In Sensory Substitution and Augmentation (2018)
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It is hoped that modern sensory substitution and augmentation devices will be able to replace or expand our senses. But to what extent has this been achieved to date? To what extent are the experiences created by sensory substitution devices like the sensory experiences that we are trying to replace? To what extent can we augment people’s senses providing them with new information and new experiences? The first aim of this introduction is to delve deeply into this question to discover the usefulness of these devices, to outline the different sorts of experience that might be created, and what the evidence tells us about these experiences. While there are some reasons to be hopeful about the powers of sensory substitution devices, there are also reasons to wonder whether they will ever really have the practical applications that we hope they might have. The second aim is to look to see whether the study of modern sensory substitution and augmentation devices can shed light on the nature of our senses and perception in general. Much of the philosophical, psychological, and neuroscientific work that takes place concerning sensory substitution and augmentation is keenly aware of the possibility that it might help our understanding and it seeks to comprehend many different aspects of perception.



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Fiona Macpherson
University of Glasgow

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