How Does It Feel to Not Feel Anything?

Wednesday, February 7
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society
5701 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Humans cannot know the internal experience of others, but our common vocabulary effectively allows for communication about internal states and external circumstances. We can even imagine the inner life of a blind or deaf person by closing our eyes or plugging our ears. But how would it feel to have no sense of touch, temperature, or pain? No tactile sense of the body at all? At this workshop, sponsored by The Language of Kim research project, Peggy Mason, a neurobiologist, and Lenore Grenoble, a linguist, will introduce their work with an individual who lacks somatosensation. This cross-disciplinary work aims at understanding how language based on sensory experience can be acquired even in the absence of direct sensory experience.