Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Brian L. Keeley
Our most basic understanding of the sensory modalities derives from an almost unreflective, casual introspection of our perceptual engagement with the world: Our perceptions of the world seem to come in different categories or classes. These categories— modalities —of perceptual experience appear to us as falling into largely distinct groupings and, further, are associated with different bodily organs. For example, when we perceptually interact with a rose, some of our experiences are of a red appearance, a subtle flowery odor, and a soft, velvety texture. Further, these experiences are presented to us in association with our eyes, nose, and fingertips, respectively; if you close your eyes, the experience of the redness of the rose changes, but not the velvety texture. Manipulating the petals of the rose in your fingers is accompanied by more noticeable changes in the appearance of its texture than in its odor. In addition, some take it ...