The Concept of Cognitive Feedback Loop: Applying eye tracking and affective visualisation for new states of consciousness (2011)

Author(s): Zics B

    Abstract: This paper introduces the philosophical concept of ‘cognitive feedback loop’ that in its application aims to guide its participant toward new states of consciousness. The main objective of this text is the human and computer interaction and how such interconnection might be seen as potential applications for creative production of novel experiences. In order to example this concept the paper introduces a technology enhanced environment that facilitate affective interaction between the participants eye gaze and the specially developed visualisation. Challenging approaches that only apply technologies within its scientific realm the paper suggest that philosophical application of new technologies might introduce new modalities of consciousness that recover new qualities of human condition. This paper’s inspiration is one of the radical examples of human condition a fully locked-in women who developed a new method of communication by imagining either milk or lemon. Through measuring her pH of saliva that showed the change in acidity of her spit, she could externalise her answer by pushing her pH value in one way to say “yes” and to the other to say “no“. Such a novel ”semantics of imagination” produced novel meaning of embodied experiences that could be a basis for novel human-machine interactions and experiences.Taking up such an approach the paper introduces the concept of cognitive feedback loop which is a technological feedback loop (when both, the state of the system and the participant’s cognition changes) in which “simple”, repeated actions between human and computer produce complexity in the participant cognitive engagement. This condition might be evaluated as a new state of consciousness. In order to apply this in practice the paper explains the concept of affective interaction that uses technology to affect and evaluate the participant to produce a dynamic cognitive profile of the participant. Affective quality here will be understood as a “prepersonal intensity corresponding to the passage from one experiential state of the body to another and implying an augmentation or diminution in that body’s capacity to act” (Massumi, 1987, p. xvii). Furthermore the paper explain the concept of affection that here will be understood as interplay between technological effect and affective human response. One of the applications of the cognitive feedback loop is the affective environment of Mind Cupola (2008), where instant affection technologies (affecting the user – audiovisual effect, mechanical effect: hot or cold stream etc.) and solutions of affective computing (monitoring the user – eye and head gaze tracking) are interconnected in order to guide the person toward an optimal state of experience. The paper will show user studies of this affective environment as interaction affective interaction through eye-gaze, participant’s behaviour and the semantics of visualisation. The “semantics of imagination” of this work is the exploration of human attention, decision making and cognitive capabilities through visual feedback with a result of the participant’s immersive state as a cognitive feedback loop. Massumi, B. Notes on the Translation and Acknowledgements. In: Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F., A Thousand Plateaus. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987)p. xvii.


      • Date: Wed 4 May 2011
      • Conference Name: Toward a Science of Consciousness: Brain, Mind, Reality
      • Pages: 172-172
      • Publisher: Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona
      • Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. abstract)
      • Bibliographic status: Published