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Sensory Substitution and Augmentation$
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Fiona Macpherson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266441

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266441.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Sensory Substitution and Augmentation: An Introduction

Sensory Substitution and Augmentation: An Introduction

(p.1) 1 Sensory Substitution and Augmentation: An Introduction
Sensory Substitution and Augmentation

Fiona Macpherson

, Fiona Macpherson
British Academy

In this essay I outline the main questions and the debates about sensory substitution and augmentation devices. I describe the two most studied modern sensory substitution devices (TVSS and the vOICe) and one sensory augmentation device (the feelSpace belt). I discuss whether use of these devices gives rise to new sensory experiences of objects or just new perceptual judgements about objects. Then, on the assumption that new sensory experiences are being had, I consider what sensory modality is operative—the substituted or the substituting one, or another altogether. I examine the evidence concerning whether the experiences had in sensory substitution are of a two- or a three-dimensional world, and about the nature of those experiences with respect to whether colour is represented in them. I consider whether there are any limits to what information or what experiences can be given via sensory substitution. And I discuss whether the results from sensory substitution experiments can be used to support certain theories of perception at the expense of rivals. Furthermore, the practical use of sensory substitution and augmentation devices is considered. Finally, I provide a brief overview of the rest of the essays that this volume contains and the host of further interesting issues that the authors consider and address.

Keywords:   sensory substitution, sensory augmentation, sensory experience, perception, perceptual judgements, sensory modalities, TVSS, vOICe, feelSpace

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