Proprioception where the briain maps the orientation and movement of our
body and limbs-especially in an age of mobile phones armed with compasses
and accelerometers-the case of Ian Waterman should give us all pause when
discussing multisensory perception:
*Loss Of Proprioception- The Case of Ian Waterman *
*At the tender age of only nineteen, Ian Waterman became sick with a viral
diarrhoea which slowly began to diminish his co-ordination. When he was
eventually taken into hospital, he was initially thought to be drunk; his
speech had become slurred and he could neither walk nor maintain an upright
position. Things, from then on, progressively became worse, culminating at a
stage where he no longer had any control whatsoever over his own bodily
movements.The virus had cause him to lose all sense of touch and
proprioception from the neck down. He could initiate a movement but did not
have any control over it or where it happened. All of the large sensory
nerves and receptors had been destroyed and, as such, were no longer sending
the relevant information to his brain to maintain and update his body
schema. This meant that he could be lying on the bed and yet not feel his
body at all, and if he did not look at them, he could not tell where his
arms or legs, or any other part of his body, were at any given time. *
*Through constant concentration and visual input, Ian Waterman, slowly
learnt to move again. He was able to do so by planning, and concentrating
on, every movement his body had to make in order to produce the desired
action. However, in doing so, he found he could only do one thing at a time.
It took so much concentration just to move one leg, that he could not move
his arm simultaneously, for then the concentration would have to shift to
his arm, and he would lose control of his leg. Moreover, if he was to, shall
we say, hold an egg, he could not walk at the same time. His concentration
would have to shift to the act of walking and would, in turn, leave nothing
for the task of holding the egg. Without being able to concentrate on the
act of holding the egg, it would either be crushed or dropped.*
*Ian Waterman never fully recovered but did learn to deal with his problems
in a rather incredible way. He can walk, drive, and maintain a normal job.
However, the above problems still stand and every action is the result of
unfaltering planning and concentration. Simple movements and sensations,
that we are normally unconscious of and that we all take for granted,
suddenly become very complex without proprioception as this case clearly
On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 4:43 PM, nina czegledy <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Dear Yasminers,
> It a great pleasure to introduce the Multisensory Perception
> discussion, its leaders Raewyn Turner and Richard Newcombe.
> and respondents Sergio Basbaum, Jenny Marketou, Hilda Kozari
> and Ian Ferguson
> I have initiated this theme due to my long time interest in
> spatial and multisensory perception. While I will remain in
> the background of this conversation, I post a few introductory
> lines based on my previous research on the subject.
> Sensory awareness presents a key factor in our existence and
> relates significantly to social and cultural developments of direct and
> instantaneous communication.
> In our visually and auditory privileged world we take it for granted that
> vision and sound provide the major source of sensory information.
> This belief is due to the generally accepted rule that our sensations tend
> to be dominated by the perceptual tool that provides the most reliable
> in relation to our surroundings. Vision in this case is considered to
> the most detailed information about significant properties of objects in
> environment. Auditory or olfactory spaces seem to have different properties
> and while they belong to our most basic senses, are less considered in
> industrialized societies. Tactile space is viewed as "friendly" maybe
> touching implies intimacy - a controversial notion in an age when direct
> is increasingly replaced by remote control devices. For the longest time
> senses were considered entirely autonomous 'perceptual modules', each
> functioning independently. Recent studies have shown however, that our
> perceptual experiences are formed by manifold, complex interactions between
> sensory modalities. Clinical tests indicate that the senses are not only
> fundamentally connected but also that our perception of visual, auditory or
> tactile events can be altered dramatically by information from other
> Invariably, the different zones of human existence include physical,
> psychological and spiritual spaces, whilst it remains to bee seen how
> this contributes to a fundamental shift in human perception, technologies
> have a significant impact on our spatial awareness in ways that artistic
> creative practices are just beginning to tease out.
> The next post is from Raewyn Turner and Richard Newcombe.
> Looking forward with great expectations to contributions.
> nina czegledy
> Yasmin_discussions mailing list
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Professor of Digital Creativity
De Montfort University
IOCT/Art and Design
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HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
HOW TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.