The Cyberselves team recently enjoyed a day of productive meetings and discussions as we finalised plans for our experiments.
Representatives from Sheffield’s Department of Psychology and School of English and Hannah Maslen from Oxford University’s Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics also had the chance to experience the technology behind our researches and experiments. Have a look at the pictures below to get a sense of how things are coming along.
iCub meeting the team: (l – r) Tony Prescott, Hannah Maslen, Uriel Hernandez, Fabienne Collignon.
Michael meets iCub.
Michael sees the world through iCub.
These pictures illustrate how we will explore the idea of teleoperation, by using an Oculus Rift DK2 to experience the world – visually, audibly, tacitly – through our iCub robot. This is one of two experiments we are conducting into the nature of our emerging and changing notions of self in virtual and cyber spaces.
You can see from the video below how teleoperation will work, as iCub’s vision can be remotely controlled though the Oculus Rift and a haptic glove (and some very clever coding by Uriel and Luke Boorman.)
More updates will follow shortly, including a sneak peak at our virtual reality experiment as well.
Interoceptive inference, emotion, and the embodied self
Psychology Lecture Theatre, 12 noon, Friday 6th March
Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science
School of Engineering and Informatics,
University of Sussex,
Brighton BN1 9QJ, UK
‘Interoception’ is the sense of the internal physiological state of the body – the sense of the body ‘from within’. There is increasing interest in exploring how interoceptive and exteroceptive processes interact in specifying conscious states, especially those having to do with conscious selfhood and the experience of owning and identifying with a particular body. In this talk I will examine these interactions through the lens of ‘predictive processing’, which sees perception as a process of probabilistic inference on the causes of sensory signals. I will introduce a model of “interoceptive inference” which applies the framework of predictive processing to interoception. According to this model, subjective feeling states (emotions) arise from actively inferred generative (predictive) models of the causes of interoceptive signals. The model also predicts that embodied selfhood is grounded in active inference of those signals “most likely to be me” across interoceptive and exteroceptive domains. I will then some recent experimental evidence illustrating this view, based on examining the role of interoceptive feedback in psychophysical paradigms. This will include a novel version of the ‘rubber hand illusion’ incorporating visual feedback of heartbeat signals via augmented reality. The results show that multisensory integration across interoceptive and exteroceptive domains influences the experience of body ownership, and they bring new relevance to some old ideas from cybernetics and predictive control.
Seth, A.K. (2015). The cybernetic Bayesian brain: from interoceptive inference to sensorimotor contingencies. In Open MIND, eds. T. Metzinger & J. Windt. Frankfurt a.M., GER: MIND group (see http://open-mind.net/)
As part of our plan for world domination, we have also set up a Facebook group related to the Cyberselves project. Visit and ‘Like’ us at www.facebook.com/cyberselves.
Whereas the website will post news and developments about the project itself, it is our plan to use the Facebook page for more informal discussions and updates on wider development and news relating to virtual reality, immersion, teleoperation and the like.
Feel free to join in the discussion!
Hello world, and welcome to Cyberselves in Immersive Technologies. CiIT is an AHRC-funded, short-term project looking into our experiences of virtual worlds and telepresence technologies and how we are transformed, mind and body, in such spaces.
In the next year, we are going to be running experiments in immersion and teleoperation, to determine the objective measures and subjective factors that create believable experiences and that evoke a sense of presence. We will also be analysing the cultural perceptions and expectations of such technologies, and the ethical implications and potential challenges these technologies will pose now and in the future.
As our project is a collaboration of psychologists, literary and cultural scholars and philosophers, we will spend the next few weeks learning each others’ languages, assembling bibliographies and determining the most productive ways to move ahead. A big part of this will also include laying out the parameters and specific objectives of the two experiments we hope to run. Details and progress reports will be posted here, both for team members, other researchers and for the interested public.
In the meantime, please feel free to get in touch with any questions you have, or to flag up any items in the news or your own research in which you think we might be interested.