21 June 2023

New Grant: Mapping Perceptual Presence

Søren Overgaard and Mads Gram Henriksen have received 6.2 million DKK from the Independent Research Fund Denmark for an interdisciplinary project exploring perceptual presence.

Project description

Perception seems to give us direct access to reality. Researchers often articulate this point in terms of a special ‘presence’ characteristic of perception. Presence is what allows us to distinguish our perceptions from imagery or memories. Disturbances of presence seem a crucial factor in several mental disorders, including schizophrenia, delirium, and PTSD. Surprisingly, however, researchers rarely address presence explicitly, let alone analyse it in detail. The aim of this research project is to answer the following overarching research question: What is perceptual presence, and how does it manifest or fail to manifest in a variety of pathological as well as non-pathological experiences? We hypothesize that presence comprises several distinct phenomena. The project will disentangle these phenomena, and determine their structures and the relations between them. The results will be of value to several disciplines, including philosophy and psychiatry.

For more information about the project (in Danish).