SOPhiA 2021

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Multisensory Perception and Multimodal Mental Imagery
(Philosophy of Mind, )

A Multisensory perception and multimodal mental imagery describe two very common phenomena in daily life. The first refers to multisensory events that are perceived in more than one sense modality (e.g. vision and audition). Whereas the second refers to multisensory events that are perceived in one or more sense modalities and that also trigger mental imagery in another (or others) sense modality (or modalities). For example, when we are looking at a running motorcycle, we are experiencing a multisensory perception, which involves sight (the motorcycle), smell (the fuel), and hearing (the noise of the running motorcycle). Therefore, we perceive this event by means of vision, olfaction, and audition. In another occasion, we may experience the same event but without seeing the actual motorcycle and smelling the fuel (if we are inside, for instance). In this case, we are receiving sensory stimulation from a multisensory event by means of one sense modality (i.e. audition). The result is a multimodal mental imagery of both the vision of the motorcycle and the smell of fuel. Consequently, on instances like this one, we have multimodal mental imagery: perceptual processing in two sense modalities (vision and olfaction) that is triggered by sensory stimulation in another sense modality (audition). The aim of this study is to combine philosophical research with empirical evidence to address the following questions: What is the role, if any, of top-down influences in multimodal mental imagery? And how does the brain integrate multimodal experiences? These issues still need further investigation, which combines philosophical, psychological and neuroscientific studies.

Chair: Matej Drazil
Time: 16:00-16:30, 09 September 2021 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.005
Remark: (Online Talk)

Fabio Tononi  
(University of London, )

Testability and Meaning deco