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Sensory Integration and the Unity of Consciousness$
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David J. Bennett and Christopher S. Hill

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027786

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027786.001.0001

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The Unity Assumption and the Many Unities of Consciousness

The Unity Assumption and the Many Unities of Consciousness

(p.105) 5 The Unity Assumption and the Many Unities of Consciousness
Sensory Integration and the Unity of Consciousness

Ophelia Deroy

The MIT Press

Sometimes features experienced through different senses are experienced only as present together in awareness, without being referring to the same object or event (“phenomenal unity”). For example, one might consciously hear the whistle of a kettle while also visually experiencing a viewed computer screen. But if one turns to look at the whistling kettle, the heard whistle and the seen shape and color of the kettle seem to in some way all be referred to the same object (“object unity”). It seems natural to think that such switches from mere phenomenal unity to sensed object unity are governed by central, underlying principles of multisensory integration. In this chapter Ophelia Deroy explores just how to understand and explain such apparent switches between phenomenal unity and object unity, both at the phenomenological and processing levels.

Keywords:   Multisensory integration, Object unity, Phenomenal unity, Binding, Multimodal binding parameter, Space, Time, Crossmodal correspondences

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