Sensory Substitution Systems
Human thinking is inextricably linked with the process of perception. We get information about the world through the senses. That is, we perceive only what we can feel. For example, we have no sense organs for magnetic fields or radiation, so we create special sensors and devices to record and measure them. New human sensitivities can lead to changes in mindset and create new directions of activity.
Universal Problem
The process of perception is shaping thinking. However, a person is able to absorb only a small fraction of the information coming from the outside world. The perception of a person is limited by the sensory range available to it. At the same time, some people experience sensory disorders. And all people experience a decrease in perception due to age changes in the body.
Expanding the range of human-sensed information with the aid of devices that adapt data from external sensors for processing by the human nervous system. The principle of action of sensory substitution and expansion systems is based on the phenomenon of neuroplasticity, a property of the human brain, which consists in the ability to change under the action of experience and in response to external influences.
Target Image
In the future, sensory expansion systems will allow people to perceive the world around them more fully. They should not completely replace the existing mechanisms of perception but can be voluntarily used by a person in order to obtain additional information. The emergence of new types of sensitivity creates new opportunities for intellectual and creative human activity.
Experiment Framework
Sensory substitution systems are used to rehabilitate people with cognitive impairments. They do not require surgery and can be used regardless of the type of disorder. Sensory expansion systems are used to create an immersive experience in games and art.
Tools and Technologies
  • Technologies for registration and visualization of brain activity
  • Human-machine interfaces
  • Cognitive technologies
Scaling Plans
Research on the physiological and mental mechanisms of information perception and processing, which is being carried out to develop sensory expansion systems, has great potential for application in robotics and the management of multi-agent systems.

In robotics, they can be used to create new types of sensors. For example, a mechanical manipulator with "touch" and the ability to "feel" pain can perform actions that require special delicacy. In multi-agent systems, a person will be able to perceive and analyze information received by other parts of the system.
Standards and Values
Artificial sense organs do not replace, but supplement and strengthen the existing mechanisms of perception.
Community and Leaders
The main promoter of sensory expansion is David Eagleman, neuroscientist, book author and founder of Neosensory. Neosensory develops devices that allow us to perceive sound information through tactile sensations. Also working in this direction are vOICe vision, whose devices enable people with visual impairments to "see" using sound signals. And Facebook Reality Labs develops tactile interfaces, and others.
Work on the creation of new types of sensing and the study of mechanisms of perception is also going within the framework of such a direction as embodied artificial intelligence (embodied AI). For example, Hanson Robotics is an AI and robotics development company.
What you can do to join the practice of developing sensory expansion systems:
Learn how to work with biosignals
Join the community of neuroscientists
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