Thread for Team Project Descriptions

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Thread for Team Project Descriptions

Post by mpinter » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:37 am

Team Marco/Yun/Brian/Josh:
(Name TBD)
Cultural/Artistic motivation: -- A large scale public experiment on neuro-synesthesia. Inspired in part by the famous neuroscientific "kiki/booba" experiment, which demonstrates all people are synesthetic to some degree; this installation will seek out many other cross-sensory associations shared by the population.

Location: A multi-environment space, where each environment has a multi-sensory experience. The space is open to the public, with the intention of having many visitors at any given time.

Media: Visitors are presented with some multi-sensory environment in each sub-location. These will include not only video and audio , but also text, symbols (a la kiki/booba) and tactile sensations. (The latter could be a large tactile wall using technology as described here: ... =allsearch ) Also the sensations of natural light and enclosed spaces, through dynamic architectures, moveable ceilings/roofs, etc. The combinations of sensory experiences in each sub-space will be carefully designed to track user associations in a significant way; and will change over time.

Sensors: Visitor movement (and condition and interaction) is tracked over weeks and months. This may involve "surveillance-like" technology (to track which media elements the visitors gravitate toward), as well as some form of intentional user interaction.

Processing: Data is assembled and processed over time. Statistics will demonstrate cross-sensory (synesthetic) associations which resonate most with the populace, thereby illustrating experiential/cognitive/cultural trends. This data may in turn be visualized in the space; and also may feed back into the system, impacting the distribution of sensory experiences, perhaps to further explore and refine specific trends. In addition, this will ideally prove a fairly scientific experiment with potentially publish-able results; one that can cast light on human perception.

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Re: Thread for Team Project Descriptions

Post by dannyfan » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:28 pm

Fantastic! Thanks, Marco.

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Re: Thread for Team Project Descriptions

Post by veljko » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:47 pm

Team: Casey, Nick, Veljko

Human perception of traditional materials has been shaped by multiple legacy factors. Substances such as wood, clay, glass have been around since before the mankind and our means of handling them as well as our emotions when being surrounded by such materials are influenced by civilization and culture we belong to. For many purposes materials developed in the modern age, such as plastics, have substituted the traditional ones. Still, structural properties of those materials do not radically challenge our perception. Recently, materials have been developed that exhibit properties not readily available in nature. These materials called metamaterials show tremendous potential for technological advancements. They can influence electromagnetic waves in the way which allows creation of ultra strong microscopes, invisibility cloaks and high gain radio antennas. A subclass of them, so called acoustic metamaterials, can guide sound waves in a fashion which contrasts the traditional materials' physics.

However, the early stage of the metamaterial development, which we are in right now, does not provide much intuition behind the human perception of metamaterials. We speculate that novel properties of these materials will result in radically different human experience when the ubiquitous contact is finally made. Moreover, we feel that the lack of cultural and societal boundaries will result in the primal emotion when we start interacting with metamaterials.

As an early, yet comprehensive empirical analysis of human - metamaterial interaction we propose the metadome. The metadome is a flexible arts installation and a testbed for metamaterials research. It is envisioned as a spacious dome that hosts an abundance of interactive metamaterial content. The metadome is equipped with numerous sensors that keep track of the user behavior. The user actions are then transferred to the dome representation through electric stimuli that change the properties of the material which the user interacts with, essentially creating an emotional feedback loop.

The metadome is not a single user space. Through their interaction with the flexible environment the users indirectly impact each other's experience. Moreover, the structure is envisioned as an integral part of its immediate surroundings. The building walls will allow a level of transparency, while the acoustic metamaterial insulation can extend the aural perception of space for the people within the building.

In this project we sketch the initial research directions towards the metamaterial-human interaction understanding. We will outline the metadome, a facility for the direct, interactive contact with metamaterials and define the key concepts needed for the structure realization. We plan to present the metadome through audio and video simulation of the metamaterial behavior. Finally, we will investigate the use of data from sensed human reaction to steer the future technical research on metamaterials.


[1] Wikipedia - Metamaterial

[2] Albert A. Lysko, "Metamaterials: A New Frontier in Electromagnetics for Engineering Applications?"

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Re: Thread for Team Project Descriptions

Post by mhetrick » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:12 pm

Motivation and research problem description

There are growing interests in the scientific community to take a new approach in understanding human emotion, empathy, deep connection to arts and scientific approach to arts therapy. Such topics are explored through research in emotion recognition, brain computer interfaces and applications found in affective computing, cognitive neuroscience, medicine and entertainment industry, to name a few.

Biofeedback is a process in which bodily functions are measured. Information is conveyed to the subject, which then raises his awareness and gives the possibility of conscious control over the same bodily functions. We are interested in further exploring the connection of neurological signals with emotional stages by implementing a biofeedback system with the potential of scientific visualization and sonification in the development of visual and sonic therapies related to the creative mind.

It is common to scientifically observe natural phenomena via visual perception. However, the auditory system is more sensitive to temporal changes, and multidimensional datasets can be perceived simultaneously when presented both visually and audibly. Considering the experimentally demonstrated effectiveness of both traditional arts therapy and relatively new biofeedback therapy, a combination of the two approaches could also yield positive results.

Both the visuals and the sonics will be developed by addressing the found ratios of interest, filtering to isolation and then beginning to develop corresponding patterns to illustrate the desired emotional state.

The project will surely develop additional layers as we progress through the research component and necessary changes will be made and implemented in order to let the project generate the sought after results.

Finally, we are motivated to seek ways for allowing the growth and evolution of a neural dynamic system:

“A biofeedback system may be mistakenly viewed as simply a method for stabilizing particular behaviors and, thus, as a static equilibrium system. Indeed, a surface understanding of the therapeutic application of biofeedback techniques as mediators of runaway processes deleterious to an organism… may reinforce this wrong view. In fact, these processes all involve the self-organization of dynamical regimes within the organism, aided by the additional information feedback loops of the biofeedback mechanism, in such a way that the evolution of these regimes will tend toward a dynamic that promotes the self-renewal of the organism. The biofeedback system may qualify for description as an autopoetic system, capable of self-renewal merely by employing a process of self-reference.”

D. Rosenboom - Extended Musical Interfaces with a Human Nervous System [1997]

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