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Embodied Perception and Skillful Attention

An IMC Tuesday seminar with Dr. Frank Schumann, Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrück, Germany.

2013.11.22 | Lars Pallesen

Date Tue 26 Nov
Time 11:00 12:30
Location Aarhus University, Nobelparken, building 1483, 3rd floor, IMC meeting room (312)

Dr. Frank Schumann, Osnabrück University

Abstract for Dr. Franks Schumann's talk "Embodied Perception and Skillful Attention"

Sensory motor theories suggest that acquired knowledge of sensory-motor contingencies (SMC) is a basis of thought. In a first part, I show two lines of experiments that investigate the role of SMC in perception and attention. First, fully mobile eye-tracking confirms the well-known relation between gaze and salient environment features during spontaneous real-world behaviour outside the lab, but shows distinct contributions of eye, head and body movements to the orientation of gaze. Hence real-world behaviour suggests multiple sources of visual attention that rely on knowledge of specific SMC instantiated in the natural interaction between body and environment when directing gaze.

As a more generalized test of sensorimotor theories, second, a sensory augmentation paradigm investigates the prediction that exposing the sensory apparatus to novel SMC should evoke novel modes of perception and sensory behaviour. For this we developed a compass belt that signals the direction of magnetic north, not available in the natural modalities, via vibro-tactile stimulation around the waist. A set of complementary behavioural and physiological measurements allows examining the sensory consequences of learning the novel SMC afforded by this haptic compass belt.