Multisensory Perception and Learning: Linking Pedagogy, Psychophysics, and Human–Computer Interaction

In: Multisensory Research
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  • 1 U-VIP — Unit for Visually Impaired People, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy
  • | 2 Institute of Education, University College London, London, UK
  • | 3 Department of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • | 4 Interaction Centre, Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences, University College London, London, UK
  • | 5 Casa Paganini — InfoMus, DIBRIS, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
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In this review, we discuss how specific sensory channels can mediate the learning of properties of the environment. In recent years, schools have increasingly been using multisensory technology for teaching. However, it still needs to be sufficiently grounded in neuroscientific and pedagogical evidence. Researchers have recently renewed understanding around the role of communication between sensory modalities during development. In the current review, we outline four principles that will aid technological development based on theoretical models of multisensory development and embodiment to foster in-depth, perceptual, and conceptual learning of mathematics. We also discuss how a multidisciplinary approach offers a unique contribution to development of new practical solutions for learning in school. Scientists, engineers, and pedagogical experts offer their interdisciplinary points of view on this topic. At the end of the review, we present our results, showing that one can use multiple sensory inputs and sensorimotor associations in multisensory technology to improve the discrimination of angles, but also possibly for educational purposes. Finally, we present an application, the ‘RobotAngle’ developed for primary (i.e., elementary) school children, which uses sounds and body movements to learn about angles.

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