Is consciousness multisensory?

Charles Spence, Timothy Bayne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter investigates whether consciousness is multisensory—in particular, whether consciousness contains experiences associated with distinct modalities at the same time. It describes those who endorse a positive answer to this question as endorsing a multisensory view of the structure of consciousness, while those who endorse a negative answer as having a unisensory view. Based on the evidence reviewed in this chapter, the conclusion is that, as yet, the evidence that one might expect to have been published were the multisensory view of consciousness to be the correct one is largely absent, at least when considering the senses of audition, vision, and touch. As such, the authors tentatively endorse the unisensory view of consciousness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerception and its Modalities
EditorsDustin Stokes, Mohan Matthen, Stephen Biggs
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages38
ISBN (Print)9780199832798, 9780199832811
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • multisensory
  • attention switching
  • unisensory

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