The role of the body in perceptual spatial representation

Date of Completion

January 2009


Philosophy|Psychology, Cognitive




In this thesis I characterize a component of information carried by neural signals used in the perceptual system in the formation of spatial representations. I call that component of information “bodily information”. My claim is that in perception (in us and other terrestrial creatures), any information transferal from outside to inside the head has two components of variation, and bodily information is carried by one of those components. Bodily information has the character of measuring the body, and that measurement of the body is necessary for perceptual spatial perception. ^ Describing spatial perception in this way allows me to explain and predict otherwise perplexing phenomena, such as certain disruptions to the representation of space as found in spatial disorders and in artificial lab conditions. Describing the pick up and transfer of spatial information in term of bodily information also allows me to make a further claim in which I characterize the activity of certain processes in the brain as engaging in a form of identification. ^