Perception and Multimodality

Casey O'Callaghan

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195309799
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Perception and Multimodality


The article presents some findings concerning multimodality, and the philosophical implications of these findings. One of the findings is that crossmodal illusions show that perception involves interactions among processes associated with different modalities. Patterns of crossmodal bias and recalibration reveal the organization of multimodal perceptual processes. Multimodal interactions obey intelligible principles, they resolve conflicts, and they enhance the reliability of perception. Multimodal processes also demonstrate a concern across the senses for common features and individuals, for several reasons such as the intermodal biasing and recalibration responsible for crossmodal illusions requires that information from sensory stimulation associated with different senses be taken to be commensurable. The commensurable information from different senses shares, or traces to, a common source since conflict resolution requires a common subject matter. One important lesson of multimodal effects is that an analog of the correspondence problem within a modality holds between modalities. Spatio-temporal unity, objectual unity, and integration are tied to the capacity to detect constancies and solve correspondence problems across modalities. Solving crossmodal correspondence problems requires a common modal or multimodal code that is shared among modalities.

Keywords: perception; multimodality; crossmodal illusions; conflict; senses

Article.  11952 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind ; Epistemology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »