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Group 5 Lucy Forbes Elle Georgiou Stephanie Gibson Department of Psychology PS30017 Controversies in Cognition Living Digitally.

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Presentation on theme: "Group 5 Lucy Forbes Elle Georgiou Stephanie Gibson Department of Psychology PS30017 Controversies in Cognition Living Digitally."— Presentation transcript:

1 Group 5 Lucy Forbes Elle Georgiou Stephanie Gibson Department of Psychology PS30017 Controversies in Cognition Living Digitally

2 Presentation Outline 1. The Mind-Body Controversy 2. Embodiment and Presence 3. The Contemporary Controversy 4. Case Study (Living Digitally) 5. Progressive Embodiment 6. The Cyborg Dilemma 7. Discussion

3 The Mind and the Body An age-old philosophical An age-old philosophical and psychological controversy What is real? How can we know it? Can we ever know it? (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999)

4 Dualism The dualistic view of the mind-body relationship emphasises: Mind and body must be separate Mind and body must be separate Superiority of the mind over the body Superiority of the mind over the body Reality is the interpretation of the mind only Reality is the interpretation of the mind only Descartes (1596-1650) argued that the mind has no biological reality and therefore can not be studied using scientific methods Descartes (1596-1650) argued that the mind has no biological reality and therefore can not be studied using scientific methods

5 Holism In opposition to dualism, the holistic view of the mind-body relationship emphasises: The fused unity of the body and mind The fused unity of the body and mind The dynamic, ongoing life of unified, whole people The dynamic, ongoing life of unified, whole people Embodiment Embodiment

6 Embodiment Can refer to the things we consciously notice about the role of our bodies in shaping our self-identity and our sense of reality (Brandt, in Rohrer, 2003) Can refer to the things we consciously notice about the role of our bodies in shaping our self-identity and our sense of reality (Brandt, in Rohrer, 2003) The bodily aspects of human subjectivity The bodily aspects of human subjectivity Gives concrete form to an abstract concept Gives concrete form to an abstract concept Used as a counter-Cartesian philosophical account of the mind Used as a counter-Cartesian philosophical account of the mind Merleau-Ponty (1902-1961) suggested that man is characterised as an embodied consciousness (Hartman, 2005) Merleau-Ponty (1902-1961) suggested that man is characterised as an embodied consciousness (Hartman, 2005)

7 Physiological vs. Phenomenological Body Embodiment enables us to distinguish between: An objective body i.e. a physiological entity and A phenomenological body i.e. some physiological body but as we experience it Embodiment is not a concept that pertains to the body grasped as a physiological entity. Rather, it pertains to the phenomenal body and to the role it plays in our object directed experiences. (Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1999, pg. 258)

8 Presence Presence and immersion in virtual environments (VE) illustrates how embodiment helps us to make sense of what is real Presence and immersion in virtual environments (VE) illustrates how embodiment helps us to make sense of what is real Presence is the subjective sense of being in the virtual place. Presence is the subjective sense of being in the virtual place. The presence phenomenon is central to psychological research in VEs The presence phenomenon is central to psychological research in VEs Psychology determines what is and what is not virtually real Psychology determines what is and what is not virtually real (Schubert et al., 1999)

9 Embodied Presence in VEs User embodiment is concerned with the provision of users with a representation of their choice so as to make others (and themselves) aware of their presence in a virtual space Mania and Chalmer (2004) What can embodiment tell us about how we construct virtual What can embodiment tell us about how we construct virtual environments as our reality? Can this be extended to explain our experiences of sense of self and reality? Can this be extended to explain our experiences of sense of self and reality? Can virtual environments provide a contemporary means to Can virtual environments provide a contemporary means to explore the mind-body controversy?

10 The Contemporary Controversy So if we exist consciously as a body, does it need to be our objective, physiological body? So if we exist consciously as a body, does it need to be our objective, physiological body? Virtual environments provide evidence that we are able to develop a sense of our selves outside of the physical body Virtual environments provide evidence that we are able to develop a sense of our selves outside of the physical body What does this contribute to the mind-body debate? What does this contribute to the mind-body debate? And what implications does this have for the future? And what implications does this have for the future?

11 Case Study Living Digitally: Embodiment in Virtual Worlds (Taylor, 2002) Living Digitally: Embodiment in Virtual Worlds (Taylor, 2002) Ethnographic study examining how digital bodies facilitate life in a virtual world Ethnographic study examining how digital bodies facilitate life in a virtual world The : graphical and text-based multi-user system, 2 1/2D world, third- person perspective, real time The : graphical and text-based multi-user system, 2 1/2D world, third- person perspective, real time

12 Avatars in The Dreamscape An embodiment, as of a quality or concept, an archetype An embodiment, as of a quality or concept, an archetype The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language An image representing a user in a multi-user virtual world An image representing a user in a multi-user virtual world The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing The material out of which relationships and interactions are embodied The material out of which relationships and interactions are embodied Taylor (2002)

13 Living in The Dreamscape

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16 1. Social Life Users do not simply roam through the space as mind but find themselves grounded in the practice of the body, and thus in the world Users do not simply roam through the space as mind but find themselves grounded in the practice of the body, and thus in the world It is through a performance of the body, in this case via the avatar, that ones self is rooted in the VE It is through a performance of the body, in this case via the avatar, that ones self is rooted in the VE - communication of collective sentiments Avatar bodies dont exist in isolation, they Avatar bodies dont exist in isolation, they exist in context - personal boundaries (Becker & Mark, 1999) It is through the use of the body as material in the dynamic performance of identity and social life that users come to be made real, not only to the user themselves but to others around them - embodied social practice It is through the use of the body as material in the dynamic performance of identity and social life that users come to be made real, not only to the user themselves but to others around them - embodied social practice

17 Living in The Dreamscape

18 1. Social Life Users do not simply roam through the space as mind but find themselves grounded in the practice of the body, and thus in the world Users do not simply roam through the space as mind but find themselves grounded in the practice of the body, and thus in the world It is through a performance of the body, in this case via the avatar, that ones self is rooted in the VE It is through a performance of the body, in this case via the avatar, that ones self is rooted in the VE - communication of collective sentiments Avatar bodies dont exist in isolation, they Avatar bodies dont exist in isolation, they exist in context - personal boundaries (Becker & Mark, 1999) It is through the use of the body as material in the dynamic performance of identity and social life that users come to be made real, not only to the user themselves but to others around them - embodied social practice It is through the use of the body as material in the dynamic performance of identity and social life that users come to be made real, not only to the user themselves but to others around them - embodied social practice

19 Living in The Dreamscape

20 1. Social Life Users do not simply roam through the space as mind but find themselves grounded in the practice of the body, and thus in the world Users do not simply roam through the space as mind but find themselves grounded in the practice of the body, and thus in the world It is through a performance of the body, in this case via the avatar, that ones self is rooted in the VE It is through a performance of the body, in this case via the avatar, that ones self is rooted in the VE - communication of collective sentiments Avatar bodies dont exist in isolation, they Avatar bodies dont exist in isolation, they exist in context - personal boundaries (Becker & Mark, 1999) It is through the use of the body as material in the dynamic performance of identity and social life that users come to be made real, not only to the user themselves but to others around them - embodied social practice It is through the use of the body as material in the dynamic performance of identity and social life that users come to be made real, not only to the user themselves but to others around them - embodied social practice

21 2. Personal Identity Avatars can foster different associations and forms of self Avatars can foster different associations and forms of self They reflect the inner self and the social world They reflect the inner self and the social world Users can identify their avatars as more them than their corporeal body Users can identify their avatars as more them than their corporeal body You not only project yourself into your digital body, but you are actually made most real, most true via it You not only project yourself into your digital body, but you are actually made most real, most true via it Avatars provide the opportunity to see your self as others see you; a better version of self Avatars provide the opportunity to see your self as others see you; a better version of self

22 3. Bodies With Limits Living digitally raises questions about what our bodies are, who we are, and what we can be digitally Living digitally raises questions about what our bodies are, who we are, and what we can be digitally Although embodiment helps foster identities and social lives, avatars can also limit and constrain progressive possibilities Although embodiment helps foster identities and social lives, avatars can also limit and constrain progressive possibilities The Dreamscape operates within a specific gender dichotomy which shapes the possibilities for identity The Dreamscape operates within a specific gender dichotomy which shapes the possibilities for identity Current graphical representations of the body are limited Current graphical representations of the body are limited

23 Case Study Summary Avatars are the central artifacts through which people build their social lives and identities in a virtual world Avatars are the central artifacts through which people build their social lives and identities in a virtual world The avatar as a body is woven into the structure of life in these worlds The avatar as a body is woven into the structure of life in these worlds This provides evidence for the role of body as a representation of the mind This provides evidence for the role of body as a representation of the mind

24 Addressing the Controversy So if we exist consciously as a body, does it need to be our objective, physiological body? So if we exist consciously as a body, does it need to be our objective, physiological body? What does this contribute to the mind-body debate? What does this contribute to the mind-body debate? What implications does this have for the future? What implications does this have for the future?

25 Progressive Embodiment How does the changing representation of the body in virtual environments affect the mind? (Biocca, 1997) How does the changing representation of the body in virtual environments affect the mind? (Biocca, 1997) Progressive embodiment, as a result of technological developments, may lead to the individual becoming unnatural, a cyborg Progressive embodiment, as a result of technological developments, may lead to the individual becoming unnatural, a cyborg The interface of the physical body with technology The interface of the physical body with technology

26 The Cyborg Dilemma The more natural the interface the more human it is, the more it adapts to the human body and mind. The more the interface adapts to the human body and mind, the more the body and mind adapt to the non-human interface. Therefore, the more natural the interface, the more we become unnatural, the more we become cyborgs. Biocca (1997)

27 The Cyborg Dilemma The more natural the interface the more human it is, the more it adapts to the human body and mind. The more the interface adapts to the human body and mind, the more the body and mind adapt to the non-human interface. Therefore, the more natural the interface, the more we become unnatural, the more we become cyborgs. Biocca (1997)

28 You are already a cyborg. Everyday, without thinking, you merge with machines and machines merge with you. Climb into your car and you conjoin with a ton of moving metal; between you and the road, the vehicle is perfectly responsive, an extension of your nerve and nerves, adjusting its grip on the asphalt as you turn the wheel. Log on to the Net and your body vanishes from the metaspace of your study and pops up in a wider world. We are cyborgs when we receive a titanium heart valve, get a MRI scan, breathe climate- controlled air, eat processed food, or fall asleep in front of the TV and hear the language of infomercials in our dreams… The Cyborg Manifesto (2005)

29 Its life Jim, but not as we know it… - Spock

30 References Biocca, F. (1997). The Cyborgs Dilemma: Progressive Embodiment in Virtual Environments. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 3(2). Becker, B., & Marl, G., (1999). Constructing Social Systems Through Computer-Mediated Communication. Virtual Reality, 4:60-73. Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (2 nd ed.) (1999) Embodiment, pg. 258. Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind [online]. Available: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~philos/MindDict/ [Accessed April 2005]. Hartman, G. (2005). Maurice Merleau-Ponty [online]. Available: http://jmchar.people.wm.edu/Kin493/kinst08c.html [Accessed April 2005]. Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. New York: Basic Books.

31 References Mania, K., & Chalmers, A., (1998) A Classification for User Embodiment in Collaborative Virtual Environments Collaborative Virtual Environments In: Proc. of the 4th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, pgs. 177-182. IOS Press: Ohmsha, Ltd. Rohrer, T., (2003) Embodiment and Experientialism. In Geeraerts, D., & Cuyckens, H., (eds.) The Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. Oxford: University Press. Schubert, T., Friedmann, F. & Regenbrecht, H. (1999). Embodied Presence in Virtual Environments [online]. Available: http://www.personal.uni-jena.de/~sth/papers/vri98.pdf [Accessed March 2005] Taylor, T.L. (2002). Living Digitally: Embodiment in Virtual Worlds. In Schroeder, R. (ed.) The Social Life of Avatars: Presence and Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments. London: Springer-Verlag.

32 References The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Avatar [online]. Available:http://www.bartleby.com/cgibin/texis/webinator/ahdsearch?search_type=enty& uery=avatar&db=ahd [Accessed April 2005]. The Cyborg Manifesto [online]. Available: www.cyborgmanifesto.org [Accessed March 2005]. The Free Online Dictionary of Computing. Avatar [online]. Available: http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/foldoc.cgi?query=avatar&action=Search [Accessed April 2005].

33 Group 5 Lucy Forbes Elle Georgiou Stephanie Gibson Department of Psychology PS30017 Controversies in Cognition Living Digitally


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