Visual experiences in the blind induced by an auditory sensory substitution device

Consciousness and Cognition 19 (1):492-500 (2010)
In this report, the phenomenology of two blind users of a sensory substitution device – “The vOICe” – that converts visual images to auditory signals is described. The users both report detailed visual phenomenology that developed within months of immersive use and has continued to evolve over a period of years. This visual phenomenology, although triggered through use of The vOICe, is likely to depend not only on online visualization of the auditory signal but also on the users’ previous (albeit distant) experience of veridical vision (e.g. knowledge of shapes and visual perspective). Once established, the sensory substitution mapping between the auditory and visual domains is not confined to when the device is worn and, thus, may constitute an example of acquired synaesthesia.
Keywords Sensory substitution  Mental imagery  Synaesthesia  synesthesia  blind
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2009.10.006
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 37,146
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Sensorimotor Account of Vision and Visual Consciousness.J. Kevin O'Regan & Alva Noë - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):883-917.
Neural Plasticity and Consciousness.Susan L. Hurley & Alva Noë - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (1):131-168.
Making Sense of the Senses.Brian L. Keeley - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (1):5-28.
Tactile Sensation Via Spatial Perception.Ned Block - 2003 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (7):285-286.
How Are Qualia Coupled to Functions?Jeffrey Gray - 2003 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (5):192-194.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Synthetic Synaesthesia and Sensory Substitution.Michael J. Proulx - 2010 - Consciousness and Cognition 19 (1):501-503.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Abstract Making the Blindsighted See.Juha Silvanto - 2007 - Neuropsychologia 45 (14):3346-50.
Object Perception: Vision and Audition.Casey O’Callaghan - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):803-829.
Visual Imagery: Visual Format or Visual Content?Dominic Gregory - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (4):394-417.
A Sensorimotor Account of Vision and Visual Consciousness.J. Kevin O'Regan & Alva Noë - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):883-917.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
76 ( #88,477 of 2,308,439 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #57,548 of 2,308,439 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature