This participant did not see any hallucinatory visuals. It was noted the participant blinked a lot - almost with the regularity of a pulse. This could have an adverse effect on the illusory process.
The mirror gaze experiment requires the participant to sit in a near dark room and to stare at their own reflection for a set amount of time while listing to white noise. After only a short amount of time most people experience powerful illusions of facial distortion, grossly exaggerated features, faces of animals, the face of a lion or Darth Vader for example. These emerge as if from nowhere, disappearing at the slightest movement or eye blink, before manifesting new forms. These flowing cascades of illusory effects can elicit powerful emotional responses. In my own research, the mirror gaze experiment has resulted in significant illusory experiences across the full range of participants. I documented the way in which the illusory experience
1-1 experiment sessions in the studio I invited participants to come to my studio to take part in phase 2 of my research. This opens up to using the Ganzfeld and the Strange Face in the Mirror Illusion. Both use white noise connected to a system of biofeedback, using Galvanic skin response signals to subtly modulate the noise. Through this, I have been developing my interview technique and also the working questions that I ask. This has resulted in a new artwork which is taking the form of a questionnaire. Currently, I'm referring to it as the "Hall Anomalous Perception scale" a tongue in cheek reference to the Cardiff scale designed to asses experiences of anomalous perceptions in daily life. A participant
A rapidly prototyped blackout box for the mirror gaze box, this is to create a dark space for the Mirror Gaze Experiment. Inside is an Infra Red LED spotlight and modified web camera. The camera films the participant in real time from behind a two-way mirror, as they experience the illusory effect of sensory deprivation. Mirror Gaze Box - prototype
For the Mirror Gaze experiment, I need a camera that works in darkness and can pick up Infrared light. Most webcams have an IR filter. Many such as this Logitech HD webcam have instruction online. Turns out mine was a slightly different model to this and meant that the entire thing needed dismantling and the camera module had to be unsoldered to get to the filter.
Inspired by last weeks conference and some examples of how artists are working with Eye Tracking, I went back to BEAM Lab the following week to start the process of learning how to set up my own experiment using Eye-tracking. My plan is to incorporate this with the strange face in the mirror experiment. My main problem is how do I calibrate the sensor - if I am to measure how they look at a reflection how do I map this precisely to the sensors. Normally the experiment has the participant looking directly at a screen surface, but how would this work with a reflected image? So I need to get a two-way mirror and perhaps get the participants to draw the
“… a quiet room dimly lit by a 25 W incandescent light. The lamp was placed on the floor behind the observer so that it was not visible either directly or in the mirror. A relatively large mirror (0.5 m60.5 m) was placed about 0.4 m in front of the observer. The luminance of the reflected face image within the mirror was about 0.2 cd mÿ2 and this level allowed detailed perception of fine face traits but attenuated colour perception…The task of the observer was to gaze at his/her reflected face within the mirror. Usually, after less than a minute, the observer began to perceive the strange-face illusion…” Giovanni B Caputo, Perception, 2010, volume 39, pages 1007 – 1008 2010
I have previously posted about the original 'rubber hand illusion' in which participants are convinced a fake rubber hand is their own. A classic low tech experiment that can help us "understand how sight, touch and “proprioception” the sense of body position, combine to create a convincing feeling of body ownership, one of the foundations of self-consciousness (Nature 1998, vol 391, p 756 )” Further to this research recent studies have gone on to experimentally induct of out of body experiences or create body swap illusions. [ Henrik Ehrsson and Olaf Blanke http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-08/ucl-foe081407.php ] Between these two experiments, several interesting versions of hand-related experiments also exist which demonstrate the plasticity of our body perception... The Alien Hand Experiment first created in the 1960s predates the Rubber hand experiment, seems more 'trick'
Trying to create a simple motion tracking patch using PD_extended and Gem, I came across this project by Elektro Moon Vision http://elektromoon.co.nr/ the mini App provides OSC data from movements such as eyebrows, nose, mouth, orientation scale etc. This is massively useful for an experiment I have in mind related to the "strange face in the mirror illusion" The data can be captured and used to control a 3D model in virtual space for example. Matching rotation, scale and orientation to the model and the movement of my head... This is a simple motion detection patch that tracks the difference between two frames creating ghostly outlines of momentarily disembodied features. It's sensitive enough to pick up facial expressions such as the movement of muscles and
Shortly after my experience of the "Strange face in the mirror experiment" I made these drawings in low light conditions as a way of recording the perceivable elements of my face and shape of the head. The particles of carbon and graphite reflect well the visual noise, like static, one experiences in the experiment. These drawings don't illustrate the hallucinations I experienced [these will follow] "staring at one's own reflection in a mirror in a darkened room for some time can induce vivid hallucinations. For purposes of research, I had to try it" My experience of the ‘strange face illusion’... For my description of my experience of the 'strange face', illusion see here... "staring at one's own reflection in a mirror in a darkened room for