[Cyborg] Fwd: Wiley InterScience :: JOURNALS :: Cognitive Science

David Allen david.r.allen1 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 20 19:16:30 UTC 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Joshua Marker <joshua at nowhereville.org>
Date: Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 9:01 AM
Subject: Wiley InterScience :: JOURNALS :: Cognitive Science
To: David Allen <davidrallen1 at gmail.com>

In this month's issue of CogSci. Not sure you have journal access, so it's

Perception With Compensatory Devices: From Sensory Substitution to
Sensorimotor Extension
Malika Auvray a , Erik Myin ba Computer Laboratory for Mechanical and
Engineering Sciences, CNRS
b Center for Philosophical Psychology, Department of Philosophy, University
of Antwerp
Correspondence should be sent to Malika Auvray, LIMSI, B.P. 133, 91403,
Orsay, Cedex, France. E-mail: malika at malika-auvray.com
Sensory substitution • Sensory modalities • Neural plasticity • Vision •
Perceptual adaptation • Extended mind

Sensory substitution devices provide through an unusual sensory modality
(the substituting modality, e.g., audition) access to features of the world
that are normally accessed through another sensory modality (the
substituted modality,
e.g., vision). In this article, we address the question of which sensory
modality the acquired perception belongs to. We have recourse to the four
traditional criteria that have been used to define sensory modalities:
sensory organ, stimuli, properties, and qualitative experience (Grice,
to which we have added the criteria of behavioral equivalence (Morgan,
dedication (Keeley,
and sensorimotor equivalence (O'Regan & Noë,
We discuss which of them are fulfilled by perception through sensory
substitution devices and whether this favors the view that perception
belongs to the substituting or to the substituted modality. Though the
application of a number of criteria might be taken to point to the
conclusion that perception with a sensory substitution device belongs to the
substituted modality, we argue that the evidence leads to an alternative
view on sensory substitution. According to this view, the experience after
sensory substitution is a transformation, extension, or augmentation of our
perceptual capacities, rather than being something equivalent or reducible
to an already existing sensory modality. We develop this view by comparing
sensory substitution devices to other "mind-enhancing tools" such as pen and
paper, sketchpads, or calculators. An analysis of sensory substitution in
terms of mind-enhancing tools unveils it as a thoroughly transforming
perceptual experience and as giving rise to a novel form of perceptual
interaction with the environment.

Received 15 January 2008; received in revised form 20 October 2008; accepted
10 February 2009


Turkish: I really must apologise for spilling coffee over your kilim, and
dripping yoghurt over your turquoise divan.
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