Seeing with the Brain.

Int. J. Hum. Comput. Interaction 01/2003; 15:285-295. DOI: 10.1207/S15327590IJHC1502_6
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT We see with the brain, not the eyes (Bach-y-Rita, 1972); images that pass through our pupils go no further than the retina. From there image information travels to the rest of the brain by means of coded pulse trains, and the brain, being highly plastic, can learn to interpret them in visual terms. Perceptual levels of the brain interpret the spatially encoded neural activity, modified and augmented by nonsynaptic and other brain plasticity mechanisms (Bach-y-Rita, 1972, 1995, 1999, in press). However, the cognitive value of that information is not merely a process of image analysis. Perception of the image relies on memory, learning, contextual interpretation (e. g., we perceive intent of the driver in the slight lateral movements of a car in front of us on the highway), cultural, and other social fac-tors that are probably exclusively human characteristics that provide "qualia" (Bach-y-Rita, 1996b). This is the basis for our tactile vision substitution system (TVSS) studies that, starting in 1963, have demonstrated that visual information and the subjective qualities of seeing can be obtained tactually using sensory sub-stitution systems., The description of studies with this system have been taken

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    ABSTRACT: This paper details an investigation into sensory substitution by means of direct electrical stimulation of the tongue for the purpose of information input to the human brain. In particular, a device has been constructed and a series of trials have been performed in order to demonstrate the efficacy and performance of an electro-tactile array mounted onto the tongue surface for the purpose of sensory augmentation. Tests have shown that by using a low resolution array a computer-human feedback loop can be successfully implemented by humans in order to complete tasks such as object tracking, surface shape identification and shape recognition with no training or prior experience with the device. Comparisons of this technique have been made with visual alternatives and these show that the tongue based tactile array can match such methods in convenience and accuracy in performing simple tasks.

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Jun 5, 2014