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Sensory Substitution and Augmentation conference

Tuesday 26 – Thursday 28 March 2013 The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

Tuesday 26 March 2013, 9am – 5.30pm
Wednesday 27 March 2013, 9.30am – 5.30pm
Thursday 28 March 2013, 9.30am – 1.00pm

Since the 1960s, scientists have created sensory substitution and augmentation devices that try to replace, enhance or create a sense by exploiting another sense. For example, in tactile–vision, stimulation of the skin by vibrating pins, driven by input to a camera, is used to try to replace the ordinary sense of vision.

This conference brought together the neuroscientists and psychologists developing these devices and studying the brains and behaviour of subjects who use them. The limits and possibilities of these technologies were investigated, and the nature of perceptual experience and sensory interaction explored, in collaboration with philosophers.

Click here for a copy of the conference programme


Professor Amir Amedi (Medical Neurobiology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) Dr Malika Auvray (Computer Science and Psychology, CNRS, Paris) Professor Jonathan Cohen (Philosophy, University of California at San Diego) Professor Jerome Dokic (Philosophy, Institute Jean Nicod, Paris) Professor Peter Konig (Neurobiology, Osnabruck University) Professor Fiona Macpherson (Philosophy, University of Glasgow) Dr Michael J Proulx (Experimental Psychology, University of Bath) Professor Maurice Ptito (Neuroscience, University of Montreal) Dr Laurent Renier (Experimental Psychology, Catholic University of Louvain)

Commentators: Dr David Bain (Philosophy, University of Glasgow) Dr Jon Bird (HCI, University College London) Professor Robert Briscoe (Ohio University) Derek Brown (Philosophy, Brandon University) Dr Jennifer Corns (Philosophy, University of Glasgow) Dr Ophelia Deroy (Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, University of London) Professor Mohan Matthen (Philosophy, University of Toronto) Professor Barry Smith (Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, University of London) Professor Charles Spence (Psychology, Oxford)

The conference was funded by the British Academy, the SSHRC grant awarded to the Network for Sensory Research centre at the University of Toronto and the Chancellor’s Fund of the University of Glasgow.

The conference was organised by Professor Fiona Macpherson under the auspices of the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience at the University of Glasgow ( and the Network for Sensory Research (

At the end of this conference, there was a public Demonstration of Sensory Substitution and Augmentation Devices.