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

Consciousness and Cognition 19 (1):492-500 (2010)
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Abstract

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.

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References found in this work

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 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.

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