Article

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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