Sensory substitutionProject reference: 221013
Funded under :
Spatial cognition and sensory substitution
Total cost:EUR 168 256,91
EU contribution:EUR 168 256,91
Coordinated in:United Kingdom
Topic(s):PEOPLE-2007-2-1.IEF - Marie Curie Action: "Intra-European Fellowships for Career Development"
Call for proposal:FP7-PEOPLE-2007-2-1-IEFSee other projects for this call
Funding scheme:MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)
This multidisciplinary research project will investigate the mechanisms underlying the distinction between bodily and distant regions of space. Tool use, by modifying the representations of our bodily and perceptual spaces, allows for an understanding of the plasticity of the limits between self and non-self. Most studies conducted to date on this issue have investigated the mechanisms that allow extension of the body to include elements located in a distant space (e.g., rubber hand illusion). However, little attention has been given to the reverse phenomenon: How stimuli received on the body can be projected to a distant space. The research project proposes to use visual-to-tactile sensory substitution in order to investigate this phenomenon. In particular, it is hypothesized that the mechanisms allowing for distant perceived localization of stimuli received on the body surface involve the automaticity of perception and exteriorisation, which corresponds to the moment when tactile stimuli provided by a sensory substitution device are no longer felt on the skin, but are rather perceived as referring to objects located at a distance. In order to characterise these mechanisms, the research project proposes a first set of experiments to investigate the level of automaticity of perception after training with a visual-to-tactile sensory substitution device. The second set of experiments investigates the mechanisms of exteriorisation and, in particular, the laws of spatial exploration allowing for the perception of objects as located in front of the observer. Finally, the third part of the project investigates the cognitive functions and brain regions that mediate processing of distant perception with sensory substitution devices. Thus, by using an empirical methodology peculiar to cognitive neuroscience, this research will provide insights into one of the main questions of contemporary philosophy, namely the question of the distinction between self and non-self.
OX1 2JD OXFORD
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