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Blesser, B., & Salter, L.-R. (2007). Spaces speak, are you listening? Experiencing aural architecture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.  
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 4/21/22, 10:30 PM
      A discussion on auditory spatial awareness. Conclusions, based mainly on case studies of blind people:

  • Auditory spatial awareness is a skill that must be learnt and is difficult to learn.
  • Different aural cultures have different abilities and there is no one sensitivity to aural space; rather a group of independent sensory skills (some more aware of spatial volumes, others more aware of objects in that space).
  • Controlled experiments showing humans have give auditory spatial awareness should be treated with care as they are artificial and, in testing one spatial factor, usually remove other potentially confusing factors.
Clark, A. (2013). Expecting the world: Perception, prediction, and the origins of human knowledge. Journal of Philosophy, CX(9), 469–496.  
Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 7/26/18, 10:36 AM
      "Perception [...] is the successful prediction of the current sensory signal using stored knowledge about the world. [The model] explains why perception, although carried out by the brain, cannot help but reach out to a distal world; it shows why that 'reaching out' reveals a world that is already structured"
      Clark presents two alternate models of perception:

"What happens when, after a brief chat with a colleague, I re-enter my office and visually perceive the hot, steaming, red cup of coffee that I left waiting on my desk? One possibility is that my brain receives a swathe of visual signals (imagine, for simplicity, an array of activated pixels) that specify a number of elementary features such as lines, edges, and color patches. Those elementary features are then progressively accumulated and (where appropriate) bound together, yielding shapes and specifying relations. At some point, these complex shapes and relations activate bodies of stored knowledge, turning the flow of sensation into world-revealing perception: the seeing of coffee, steam, and cup, with the steaming bound to the coffee, the color red to the cup, and so on.


As I re-enter my office my brain already commands a complex set of coffee-involving expectations. Glancing at my desk sets off a chain of visual processing in which current bottom-up signals are met by a stream of downwards predictions concerning the anticipated states of various neuronal groups along the appropriate visual pathway. In essence, a multi-layer downwards cascade is attempting to "guess" the present states of all the key neuronal populations responding to the present state of the visual world. There ensues a rapid exchange (a dance between multiple top-down and bottom-up signals) in which incorrect guesses yield error signals which propagate forward, and are used to extract better guesses. When top-down guessing adequately accounts for the incoming signal, the visual scene is perceived. As this process unfolds, top-down processing is trying to generate the incoming sensory signal for itself. When and only when this succeeds, and a match is established, do we get to experience (veridically or otherwise) a meaningful visual scene."


      "Perception [...] is a matter of the brain using stored knowledge to predict, in a progressively more refined manner, the patterns of multi-layer neuronal response elicited by the current sensory stimulation."
      Clark presents another example of the two competing models of perception this time concerning speech recognition (quoting p.936 of Poeppel & Monahan):

"Representations constructed at earlier stages of processing feed immediately higher levels in a feedforward manner...this process proceeds incrementally until access to a ''lexical conceptual'' representation has been achieved. In speech recognition...this involves a conversion from acoustic features onto phonetic representations, phonetic representations onto phonological representations, and finally access of the lexical item based on its phonological structure.
(1) the extraction of (necessarily brief and coarse) cues in the input signal to elicit hypotheses, that while coarse, are sufficient to generate plausible guesses about classes of sounds (for example, plosives, fricatives, nasals, and approximants), and that permit subsequent refinement; (2) the actual synthesis of potential sequences consistent with the cues; and (3) a comparison operation between synthesized targets and the input signal delivered from the auditory analysis of the speech."

David Poeppel and Philip J. Monahan “Feedforward and feedback in speech perception: Revisiting analysis by synthesis”, Language and Cognitive Processes 26:7, (2011): 935-95.

      "Perceptual content, as delivered by such a process of active self-prediction, is inherently organized and outward-looking [...] it reveals ‒ and cannot belp but reveal ‒ a structured [...] external world ... the world thus revealed is inherently meaningful ... It is an external arena populated not by proximal stimulations but by distal, causally interacting items and forces whose joint action best explains the current suite of sensory stimulation."
      "the brain's job is to account for the sensory signal by finding a way to generate, in a kind of rolling present, that incoming signal for itself. To do this, the brain must find the structure in the signal. But the structure in the sensory signal is mostly determined by the structure in the world (making sure that's the case is pretty much the job description if you are a sensory transducer). So the best way to anticipate/match the incoming signal is to discover and deploy internal resources that amount to a kind of 'virtual reality generator' that models the distal elements and their typical modes of interaction (simplistically, if it generates 'car' and 'sudden braking' it might also generate 'smoke from tires'). An agent perceives when the virtual reality generator can use its resources to capture (match, cancel out) the structure of the incoming signal."
      perception "is a process of explaining away the sensory signal by finding the most likely set of interacting distal causes"
      Arguing that the model he presents does not support the view of the reality of the world being created within us (i.e. indirect perception), Clark states that: "The internal representations at issue function within us, and are not encountered by us. Instead, they make it possible for us to encounter the world. Moreover, they enable us to do so under the ecologically common conditions of noise, uncertainty, and ambiguity."
Prediction-based models that Clark espouses "learn to construct the sensory signal by combining probabilistic representations of hidden causes operating at many different spatial and temporal scales [...] they must match the incoming sensory signal by constructing the signal from combinations of hidden causes (latent variables). The so-called 'transparency' of perception emerges as a natural consequence of such a process when it is conditioned by an embodied agent's lifestyle-specific capacities to act and to choose. We seem to see dogs, cats, chasings, pursuits, captures [...] because these feature among the interesting, nested, structures of distal causes that matter for human choice and action."
      Perception is "an active process involving the (sub-personal) prediction of our own evolving neural states."
Connor, S. (2004). Sound and the self. In M. M. Smith (Ed.), Hearing History (pp. 54–66). Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press.  
Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 1/22/20, 6:13 AM
      "Since traversal and transference are in the nature of sound, it also becomes the privileged figure of sensory interchange."
Erlmann, V. (2000). Reason and resonance: A history of modern aurality. New York: Zone Books.  
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 11/27/14, 9:46 AM
      Summarizing from Ernst Mach's (1838 - 1916) unpublished diaries, "physics, physiology, and psychology are part of a single field of knowledge in which "reality" is but a conglomeration of "sensational elements".

Summarizing some of von Helmholtz's work c.1856 (On the Sensations of Tone: a sound (Klang) comprises several partials (Ton) thus perception, which is accomplished without reflection, is the act of fusing the sensation of several partials into one sound. Perceptions are thus the means by which we are aware of external objects whilst sensations allow us to become conscious of ourselves. "[P]erception is not based on conscious awareness and knowledge of the external world, but on a largely unconscious act" (p.237).

cf Humphrey's (2000) reference to Thomas Reid's (1785) assertion that sensation presupposes a sentient being and no more but perception is an acknowledgement of something external to that being.

Humphrey, N. (2000). The privatization of sensation. In C. Hayes & L. Huber (Eds), The Evolution of Cognition (pp. 241–252). Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
      Re Helmholtz's assertion that perception is unconscious, he suggests that conscious analysis of the Klang into Ton constituents would be disturbing. Thus, according to Helmholtz, as Erlmann puts it: "Hearing is repression." (p.257)
Gibson, J. J. (1966). The senses considered as perceptual systems. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  
Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 4/26/13, 10:00 AM
      Distinguishes between senses/sensation and perception. The former are "qualities of experience" or "sources of conscious qualities" while the latter are "sources of knowledge" p. 47. Gibson makes a clear distinction and argues that they operate at least semi-independently: "...the pickup of stimulus information ... does not entail having sensations. Sensation is not a prerequisite of perception, and sense impressions are not the "raw data" of perception..." pp.47-48.
Lee, K. M. (2004). Presence, explicated. Communication Theory, 14(1), 27–50.  
Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 7/1/21, 7:58 AM

"If sensation is the sole basis for the perception of physical objects, the feeling of compelling reality will not be possible unless all human sensory cues are provided. Thanks to the subjective nature of the perception process, however, people can sometimes have the feeling of presence despite the poverty of sensory stimuli in current media. That is, imagination and other information-processing mechanisms simulate the remaining sensory cues and create a compelling sense of reality. That might be the reason people can sometimes feel a strong sense of presence based solely on cognitive stimuli for imagination (e.g., written narratives) without receiving any direct sensory stimuli."

Locke, J. (1690). An essay concerning human understanding. 2nd ed.  
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 5/14/21, 1:58 PM
      "How often may a man observe in himself, that whilst his mind is intently employed in the contemplation of some objects, and curiously surveying some ideas that are there, it takes no notice of impressions of sounding bodies made upon the organ of hearing, with the same alteration that uses to be for the producing the idea of sound? A sufficient impulse there may be on the organ; but it not reaching the observation of the mind, there follows no perception: and though the motion that uses to produce the idea of sound be made in the ear, yet no sound is heard. Want of sensation, in this case, is not through any defect in the organ, or that the man’s ears are less affected than at other times when he does hear: but that which uses to produce the idea, though conveyed in by the usual organ, not being taken notice of in the understanding, and so imprinting no idea in the mind, there follows no sensation."
Marco, E. J., Hinkley, L. B. N., Hill, S. S., & Nagarajan, S. S. (2011). Sensory processing in autism: A review of neurophysiologic findings. Pediatric Research, 69(5 Pt 2), 48R–54R.  
Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 3/29/20, 6:04 PM
      "Many of the atypical perceptual experiences reported in those with ASD are believed to be due to an inability to properly filter or process simultaneous channels of visual, auditory and tactile inputs"
      "Functionally, an individual must be able to select certain sensory inputs for enhanced processing while either filtering out or suppressing others."
Schafer, R. M. (1994). The soundscape: Our sonic environment and the tuning of the world. Rochester Vt: Destiny Books.  
Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 2/14/14, 4:44 PM
      "Sounds may be classified in several ways: according to their physical characteristics (acoustics) or the way in which they are perceived (psychoacoustics); according to their function and meaning (semiotics and semantics); or according to their emotional or affective qualities (aesthetics). While it has been customary to treat these classifications seperately, there are obvious limitations to isolated studies."
Slater, M. (2003). A note on presence terminology. Presence Connect, 3(3).  
Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 5/28/21, 1:42 PM
      "Presence is about form, the extent to which the unification of simulated sensory data and perceptual processing produces a coherent 'place' that you are 'in' and in which there may be the potential for you to act."
Westerhoff, J. (2011). Reality: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 7/20/21, 11:22 AM

Discussing Libet's (1985) experiment. While we prefer to believe that we have willed our hand to rise, our intention, there is a precursor in the subconscious, the readiness potential, that can be measured using EEG and that precedes the hand movement and the reported time at which subjects noted their intention to lift the hand. The conclusion is that intention (and thus free will?) is manufactured after the event. See also (Rosenberg 2018, p.99).

Libet, B. (1985). Unconscious cerebral initiative and the role of conscious will in voluntary action. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 8(4), 529–566.
Rosenberg, A. (2018). How history gets things wrong: The neuroscience of our addiction to stories. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
      "The different information coming in from our senses, visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory sensations are processed in different regions of the brain. They have to travel different distances [...] and arrive at different times. The processing speed for different kinds of sensory information varies; visual stimuli take longer to process than other stimuli. (The difference is about 40 milliseconds. [...]) On the other hand, light travels much faster than sound. Putting together these different speeds means that sights and sounds from about 10 metres away are available to consciousness at about the same time; for everything closer or further away information about its sight or sound arrives at different times. In these cases, the apparent simultaneity of, for example, hearing a voice and seeing the speaker's lips move has to be constructed by our brain."

Detailing a set of experiments by Libet helping to explain how our brain builds a consciousness of the present and the time delay involved.

  • Stimulating the brain directly, an electrical impulse must be applied for at least 500 milliseconds to produce a perception (see, for example Libet 1985). Shorter impulses had no effect neither did increasing the intensity (with shorter times). Sensation can be detected by the brain within 500msecs but the subject is not consciously aware of it (e.g. we can react 'instinctively').
  • Stimulate the skin then, 200 milliseconds after, stimulate the brain – the skin stimulation is not perceived but is masked by the brain stimulation. The brain edits past events to give an impression of the 'present'.
  • Stimulate the brain then, 200 milliseconds later, stimulate the skin. Brian stimulus is perceived after about 500msecs but the skin stimulus is perceived as being before the brain stimulus. A temporal reordering: "There is no guarantee that the order in which we perceive events actually corresponds to the order of their occurrence" (Westerhoff 2011, p.100).

Libet, B. (1985). Unconscious cerebral initiative and the role of conscious will in voluntary action. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 8(4), 529–566.
Westerhoff, J. (2011). Reality: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Williams, S. M. (1994). Perceptual principles in sound grouping. In G. Kramer (Ed.), Auditory Display: Sonification, Audification, and Auditory Interfaces (pp. 95–125). Reading MA: Addison-Wesley.  
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 5/6/08, 3:42 PM
      Provides a definition for sensation, perception and cognition as these (especially the first two) are confusingly and interchangeably used in the literature: "sensation refers to immediate and basic experiences generated by isolated, simple stimuli; perception involves the interpretation of those sensations, giving them meaning and organisation; and cognition involves the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of knowledge."
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