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
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 facts
in relation to our surroundings. Vision in this case is considered to provide
the most detailed information about significant properties of objects in our
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 because
touching implies intimacy - a controversial notion in an age when
is increasingly replaced by remote control devices. For the longest time our
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 senses.
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 and
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.
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