The Senses Considered as One Perceptual System

  • Thomas A. Stoffregen, Bruno Mantel, Benoît G. Bardy
  • Ecological Psychology, July 2017, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/10407413.2017.1331116

Humans' perception makes use of only one sense, not five (or more)

What is it about?

How many senses do we have? Five? more? We propose that we have only one, by which we perceive the world in relation to ourselves (affordances). We explain why such breaking away from traditional accounts, which consider sensory modalities as separate channels, each conveying its own information, is necessary to understand perception, how it has evolve, what role plays movement in it, what it implies for simulators, etc.

Why is it important?

Contrasting with most existing theories and research which consider each sensory modality as a separate channel conveying its own information, we propose that information proper only exists in higher-order patterns that extend *across* the senses. This is important because these higher-order patterns contain (new, qualitatively different) information that is not available in any of the individual sensory channel, similar to the triangular shape which is not to be found in any of the triangle's sides but only in the relation that sides bear to each others. It follows that existing attempts to explain perception only considers a very small part of information actually available to living organisms. The same is true, consequently, for most approaches to design and ergonomics.

Read Publication

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Bruno MANTEL