The senses linking mind and matter

Mind and Matter 6 (1):51-86 (2008)
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Abstract

The present paper suggests how, from a scientific perspective, the senses establish a link between mind and matter. Ongoing research in sensory science and data analysis is related to the ongoing debate about a non-reductive theory of consciousness based on psychophysical principles. Sensory science is interdisciplinary and deals with the human perception of objects by the senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing etc. Perception as information pro- cessing is here understood in terms of interactions between external physical stimuli and internal mental states resulting in behavioral responses. To deal with the complex and dynamic transformation between external physical energies and internal psychological experiences multivariate methods of data analysis are shown to be useful Examples will be given from food science where cognition and emotion, activated by sense perception are vital for the survival health and well-being of humans. These approaches may contribute to bridging the explanatory gap between the subjectively experienced and the objectively observed world. Future challenges towards deeper interdisciplinary discourses addressing mind-matter research in real-world situations are at stake.

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