Translating/Augmenting/Substituting Senses

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We explore the ways in which sensory modalities can be mapped onto each other and how new sensory information is integrated to perception.

About this event

This series of discussions aims to bring together the community of researchers, practitioners, artists and designers working on sensory augmentation. We seek to advance this interdisciplinary engagement in order to explore the plurality of perspectives on the modulation of human sensory and perceptual abilities. Discussing insights gained on the philosophical, ethical, creative, anthropological, scientific and technological aspects of research.

Each session will include 4 short presentations from diverse perspectives, with ample time for discussion and the exchange of ideas for the remainder of the session.

Session details

This session focuses on the process of translation between sensory modalities. It questions how the attributes of one sense are mapped onto another, how this new sensory information is integrated to perception, and how novel information is translated into senses. What technology is needed to do this? What information is sent? What is lost? How does that affect the resulting perception? And how does this, in turn, affect social interaction and performance?

Our brains receive information from our sensory organs, interpreting the incoming electrical signals and conveying them to us as a sensory perception. Today, technology makes it possible for individuals to receive information in one sensory mode and have it interpreted in another. For instance, ‘hearing’ light is possible. It is also possible to transmit non-sensory, or non-human sensory information to the brain to interpret as a sensory perception. For example, one can feel the Earth’s magnetic field.

For humans, this means that they either substitute some original (natural) senses with technology-based ones, try to add new senses to those they have, or to perceive in an enhanced manner. Perhaps, sensory augmentation technologies are even both substituting and augmenting senses at once.


Dr Giles Hamilton-Fletcher - Postdoctoral Research Fellow at NYU Langone Health

Antal Ruhl - lecturer and researcher at Avans University of Applied Sciences, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Roseanne Wakely - co-founder of Rusty Squid

Carl Hayden Smith - Director of the Learning Technology Research Centre at Ravensbourne University London

Registered attendees will receive an email with a link to the online event prior to it starting.

Check out the re:MAKING SENSE website for more info and future events:

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