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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, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 18 November 2019

What Can Sensory Substitution Tell Us about the Organization of the Brain?

What Can Sensory Substitution Tell Us about the Organization of the Brain?

Chapter:
(p.94) 6 What Can Sensory Substitution Tell Us about the Organization of the Brain?
Source:
Sensory Substitution and Augmentation
Author(s):

Sarah Hillenbrand

Dina Raveh

Amir Amedi

, Fiona Macpherson
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266441.003.0006

We discuss how sensory substitution devices (SSDs) can be used to study the organization of the brain. To do so we look at the use of SSDs in the blind and how SSDs can be used to identify sensory-dependent and sensory-independent brain function. Cross-modal interactions may represent new patterns of connectivity or the unmasking of pre-existing associations. We show how the blind brain can be a window into cross-modal plasticity and can dissociate intrinsic and experience-dependent brain functions. We argue that the brain is a sensory-independent task machine and explain the implications for the rehabilitation of blind people.

Keywords:   sensory substitution, brain organization, brain function, blind, cross-modal, plasticity, experience-dependent, rehabilitation, sensory independence

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