Senses in Space: Mapping the Universe to the Human Body

  • J. AguileraEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9176)


This paper articulates the challenges of the human senses in the experiencing of space at extreme scales. It surveys the issues astronomy simulations confront when attempting to make sense of the kinds of scales that are integrated in the same experience, especially if one is to interact with them so that the ranges of size make sense with each other. In some cases parameters are hidden, while in other cases they are proportionally altered to become noticeable. In other cases, senses can be swapped for the benefit of creating a multi-sensory space that the human body can relate to. This is where research of outer space, and the technologies developed for people with disabilities, have an interesting area of affinity. Whereas missing a sense such as hearing, smell, vision or proprioception has been incorporated into alternative ways of experiencing our own world, now some of those same approaches can be reflected upon to experience the universe that is beyond reach for human perception.


Senses Visualization Space Interaction Astronomy Perception Body Integration 


  1. 1.
    Johnson, M.: The Body in the Mind. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1987)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pallasmaa, J.: The eyes of the skin: architecture and the senses. Wiley, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Giard, M.H., Peronnet, F.: Auditory-visual integration during multimodal object recognition in humans: a behavioral and electrophysiological study. J. Cogn. Neurosci. 11(5), 473–490 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    von Uexküll, J.: A stroll through the worlds of animals and men. In: Schiller, C.H. (ed.) Instinctive behavior: The development of a Modern Concept. International Universities Press, New York (1934)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Norwood, K.W.: Reliability of’the motor observations with regards to sensory integration’: a pilot study. British J. Occup. Ther. 62(2), 80–88 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kenyon, R.V., Leigh, J.: Human augmentics: augmenting human evolution. In: Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC, Annual International Conference of the IEEE. IEEE (2011)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pouget, A., Driver, J.: Relating unilateral neglect to the neural coding of space. Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 10(2), 242–249 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Milligan, A. et al.: Drawing Sounds. A Grand Day Out: Empathic Approaches to Design (2008)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Andersen, R.A.: Multimodal integration for the representation of space in the posterior parietal cortex. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lon. Ser. B: Biol. Sci. 352(1360), 1421–1428 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bechara, A., et al.: Deciding advantageously before knowing the advantageous strategy. Science 275(5304), 1293–1295 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Clark, A., Chalmers, D.: The extended mind. Analysis 58, 7–19 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sander, Z., et al.: Multisensory integration mechanisms in haptic space perception. Exp. Brain Res. 157(2), 265–268 (2004)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Adler PlanetariumChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Planetary CollegiumUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK

Personalised recommendations