Digital Media · Human-ities

The Connected Life: From Email Apnea to Conscious Computing

“Eighty percent of us seem to have it. I broke the story about it in early 2008 on the Huffington Post, and called the phenomenon, “email apnea.” Later in 2008, in talks and interviews, I referred to it interchangeably as “email apnea” and also, as “screen apnea.”

Definition: Shallow breathing or breath holding while doing email, or while working or playing in front of a screen.

While we have a greater tendency toward email apnea or screen apnea, while doing email and texting on laptops and smartphones, we are at risk for breath holding or shallow breathing in front of any screen, any time. Not only does this increase stress levels, it impacts our attitude, our sense of emotional well-being, and our ability to work effectively.

In 2007, I noticed this in myself, and then placed heart rate variability ear clips (HRV is often used to measure stress) on visiting friends while I observed them doing email and texting. I observed and interviewed people in cafes, offices, and on the street. At the same time, I contacted and interviewed physicians, psychologists, cardiologists, neuroscientists, and others, to learn about the implications of breath holding and shallow breathing, especially when it’s chronic and cumulative — day after day, hour after hour.”

Excerpt from an article written by Linda Stone, at Huffington Post. Continue HERE

Human-ities · Science · Technology · Theory

Science in court: Arrested development

Neuroscience shows that the adolescent brain is still developing. The question is whether that should influence the sentencing of juveniles.

Advocates for juveniles have been embracing this work as part of a long-term strategy to ensure that young criminals are given less punishment than adults and more opportunities for rehabilitation. And many neuroscientists studying the adolescent brain are gratified that their work is contributing to these efforts. “It’s so satisfying to think that maybe in some minuscule way my work was relevant to society,” says Bea Luna, who studies adolescent brain development at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

But the brain research may not have as great an influence in court as some scientists and advocates like to think. Some say that the neuroscience offers no fresh insight into adolescent behavior, and may serve merely as a rhetorical flourish in judges’ opinions or as a tool that lawyers and advocates exploit to make their case. “The neuroscience is being used for an advocacy position,” says Emily Murphy of Stanford University in California, who was a fellow with the MacArthur Foundation’s Law and Neuroscience Project. “That’s all it’s always been, in a legal context.” Murphy and others worry that the neuroscience currently being used in court may be abused, and might overshadow other research that could make a deeper impact on juvenile crime and punishment.

Excerpt of an article written by Lizzie Buchen, Nature. Read it HERE

Neuroscience and the Law

Art/Aesthetics · Bio · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Design · Science · Technology

Emotional Cartography – Technologies of the Self

Emotional Cartography is a collection of essays from artists, designers, psychogeographers, cultural researchers, futurologists and neuroscientists, brought together by Christian Nold, to explore the political, social and cultural implications of visualizing intimate biometric data and emotional experiences using technology.

Essays by Raqs Media Collective, Marcel van de Drift, Dr Stephen Boyd Davis, Rob van
Kranenburg, Sophie Hope and Dr Tom Stafford.

Download full book HERE

Book-Text-Read-Zines · Human-ities · Science · Technology

My connectome, myself

The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each of which is connected to many others. Neuroscientists believe these connections hold the key to our memories, personality and even mental disorders such as schizophrenia. By unraveling them, we may be able to learn more about how we become our unique selves, and possibly even how to alter those selves.

Mapping all those connections may sound like a daunting task, but MIT neuroscientist Sebastian Seung believes it can be done — one cubic millimeter of brain tissue at a time.

“When you start to explain how difficult it would be to find the connectome of an entire brain, people ask, ‘What’s the point? That seems too far off.’ But even finding or mapping the connections in a small piece of brain can tell you a lot,” says Seung, a professor of computational neuroscience and physics at MIT.

Even more than our genome, our connectome shapes who we are, says Seung, who outlines his vision for connectome research in a new book, Connectome, published this month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “Clearly genes are very important, but because they don’t change after the moment of conception, they can’t really account for the effects of experience,” he says.

Via Medical Xpress. Continue HERE

Paint/Illust./Mix-Media · Performativity · Technology

The AIKON Project: Skediomatas (sketching robots) drawing humans

Drawing, is the human activity we investigate in the AIKON project. It has been practiced in every civilization for at least the last 30,000 years. The project will be using computational and robotic technologies to explore the drawing activity. In particular the research focuses on face sketching. What can explain that for a non-draughtsman it proves so difficult to draw what they perceive so clearly, while an artist is able to do so sometimes just with a few lines, in a few seconds? Furthermore, how can an artist draw with an immediately recognizable style/manner? How can a few lines thrown spontaneously on paper be aesthetically pleasing? Art historians, psychologists, neuroscientists — such as Arnheim, Fry, Gombrich, Leyton, Ramachandran, Ruskin, Willats, Zeki — have argued that artists perceive the world differently.

The Aikon robot was created by Frédéric Fol Leymarie and Patrick Tresset, computer scientists at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Text and Images via Aikon