Category: the brain

A short film outlining the themes of the exhibition and images from the opening on 6th September 2013 at Djanogly gallery, Nottingham. Featuring curators Victoria Tischler and Esra Plumer.

Digital Human, Series 18, Episode 4: Devotion

An evening with the author of Mirror Touch: Notes from a Doctor Who Can Feel Your Pain

Digital Human: Series 17, Episode 1 – Numb

Buffet: All You Can Eat Las Vegas

Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 5 – Insatiable

The Skinner Box – How Games Condition People to Play More – Extra Credits:

The Skinner Box – How Games Condition People to Play More – Extra Credits

Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 5 – Insatiable

Your Addiction to Social Media Is No Accident:


On February 9, 2009, Facebook introduced the like button. Initially, the button was an innocent thing. It had nothing to do with hijacking the social reward systems of a user’s brain.

“The main intention I had was to make positivity the path of least resistance,” explains Justin Rosenstein, one of the four Facebook designers behind the button. “And I think it succeeded in its goals, but it also created large unintended negative side effects. In a way, it was too successful.”

Today, most of us reach for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with one vague thought in mind: Maybe someone liked my stuff. And it’s this craving for validation, experienced by billions around the globe, that’s currently pushing platform engagement in ways that in 2009 were unimaginable. But more than that, it’s driving profits to levels that were previously impossible.

“The attention economy” is a relatively new term. It describes the supply and demand of a person’s attention, which is the commodity traded on the internet. The business model is simple: The more attention a platform can pull, the more effective its advertising space becomes, allowing it to charge advertisers more. All this might seem a little underhanded, but it’s nothing compared to some of the design features currently showing up on Snapchat. Of these is the one causing the most concern, and uses elongating red lines to display the number days of since two users interacted. According to Adam Alter, this design feature is so effective that he’s heard of teens asking friends to babysit their streaks while on vacation.

“It’s clear here that the goal—keeping the streak alive—is more important than enjoying the platform as a social experience,” he says. “This is a clear sign that engagement mechanisms are driving usage more than enjoyment.”

Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 5 – Insatiable

How Dolby is measuring human emotions to hack Hollywood

So you guys can see in Poppy Crum’s fascinating lab. Movies with tech she’s working on are something I couldn’t get enough of 🙂

Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 5 – Insatiable

This can hardly be a spoiler by now – but did you know Hitchcock was hacking your mind with this scene? And all his movies?

Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 5 – Insatiable

Dolby’s Poppy Crum wants to give you sensory superpowers:

Dolby is constantly developing new sound and imaging technologies, and an understanding of how the brain perceives is vital to doing that effectively. “All of our products take advantage of perception in some way. Our codecs are a computational neural model which reduce information but maintain the perceptual experience by getting rid of information which I wouldn’t experience in real life.” One of the products in development is an imaging technology that can produce up to 20 thousand nits (a measure of light emitted per unit area as perceived by the human eye), as opposed to the 450-1000 nits emitted by a typical HDTV display. When Crum watched a video of fire on one of these new screens, something strange happened.

“I was watching a variety of content, all of which was producing the same amount of nits, but when the content was fire, I experienced my cheeks get warm,” Crum explains. “So I used thermal imaging cameras to track people’s faces, and there were changes when they saw flame. When we see flame in real life, our bodies are already preparing to expel heat based on the luminescence which is reaching our retina in conjunction with the fact that we know it’s fire. I ran the same test on HD displays, and you don’t see anything like this. This technology is truly creating a realistic experience by tricking the body.”

If we can create technology that can trick the body, all kinds of new sensory experiences become possible. “You don’t just want to create reality, you want to create something that’s even better. By using the synergistic effects of our senses on each other, we can amplify them so we have heightened experiences and potentially heightened emotional responses. Many species have superpowers, like bats and their ability to navigate. You can look at these species and how their brains have solved problems and use technology to create an experience that is not limited by the physical capabilities of our senses.”

Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 5 – Insatiable

Your Reality Might Not be Mine: Sensory Perception and Empathy | Poppy Crum | TED
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Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 5 – Insatiable