Alien hand device
Roger Newport gave a talk on his research at the Body Up conference last week. [See work with the MIRAGE box here Augmented Hands] Speaking to him afterwards, he asked if I had ever experienced the 6 finger Illusion? He reached into his bag and revealed a mirror which he placed on the table. Placing my hand one side of the mirror, he skilfully performed the illusion. Looking into the mirror I watched as each finger was stroked predictably in series, moving from thumb to the little finger, but then continuing to apparently stroke an invisible 6th finger. This worked perfectly for me. What is really interesting is that apparently a very small amount of people have reported seeing this
In this experiment, which is now renamed the 'Alien Hands Experiment' one participant [A] places their hands under a flat-screen monitor. They then see what seems to be their own hands under the screen when in fact these are someone else's hands [B] who is mirroring their actions. The effect can be quite uncanny especially if the appearance of the hand contrast with their own [in scale, age or colour. Participants work together to lead or mirror the movements of what appears to be their own hands under a screen. After a short time, participants experience strange sensations which oscillate between a loss of agency over their own hands and feeling agency over someone else's hands. Action Intention Paradox uses a
Workshops at Manchester City Art Gallery The aim was to deliver an engaging fun activity for all the family which related to the theme of the body and ideas around perception illusion referencing the Leonardo show as well as the Bridget Riley drawings in the Gallery. The workshop was open as a drop-in open to the general public and over the 8 days, we had around 800 people take part in total. The workshop served as an introduction to the idea of ‘perceptual and multisensory illusions’ and was based around my Clay Hand Experiment. I asked participants to work collaboratively to create their own hands and 'unfeasible objects 'with which to perform their own experiments on each other. It provided a
‘Augmented hand series’ by Golan Levin, Chris Sugrue, and Kyle McDonald, 2013-2015) ‘MIRAGE Illusion Box’ (Roger Newport, 2008) These are two very similar projects which both transform the image of a hand in real time using Augmented Virtuality (AV, the digital manipulation of real-world objects). Both take the form of a black box, into which the hand is placed. When inside the participant can see their hand as if looking through a window into the box. Inside the box, a system of mirrors and motion tracking is used. An augmented or distorted digital image of the hand is relayed to a screen on the top of the box. Despite the technical similarities, both works stem from entirely different motivations. The ‘MIRAGE Illusion Box’ (Newport, 2018)
The first film of the Tactile Anchoring Device in progress, showing the use of brushes and fans to generate the illusion of an invisible hand... https://youtu.be/vHaB6HBbQrs The system is based on an Arduino controls two sets of identical stimuli which move in synchronisation with each other [ servo motor, articulating solenoids, fans, lamps etc] Once the participant is experiencing the illusion, the operator or autonomous systems can trigger a ‘shock’ or threat stimuli. This is currently in the form of a solenoid which releases a heaved plum line weight which drops into the empty space. See the project page here. http://antonyhall.net/blogtactile-anchoring-device/
A few notes from the BRnet Conference the Multi-faceted body. June 2018, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK I felt strangely at home among so many research projects that use the hand as a model for the wider issues of body representation and ownership. Keynote speaker Mel Slater's talked about his playful and engaging research. Slater’s work centres around the idea of using immersive virtual reality as a medium to transform the self, not just the reality of a space. His research projects include self-help therapy. The project Personified Self Interaction (Osimo et al., 2015) allowed ‘you’ [embodied within an avatar of Freud] are able to talk to ‘yourself’ [an automated replay of you, embodied within an avatar of yourself] and vice-versa. This enables the
This was the first of the public workshops performed specifically for my research. My experiments so far have taken place as 1-1 sessions in artists studios or at the university. In a more open drop-in format, the participants were invited to experiment on themselves. Opening up the environment to one of play rather than pure participation. Breaking the experimenter/participant loop, creating a flexible relationship between myself and the participants. This was more in keeping with the idea of a phenomenological investigation allowing the experience to ‘unfold’. This had a dual effect of actively involving and empowering the participants while being able to observe the process from the outside. This meant notes and make recordings could be taken more effectively. Further reading:Read more
Possibly one of the simplest experiments possible to conduct, requiring no special equipment. Simply stare at your hand for 5 mins. The experiment is described in the paper “the tickly homunculus and the origins of spontaneous sensations arising on the hands" in which you focus on your hand while staring at it (convergent focusing) or divergent focusing (staring at red marker next to the hand you are focussing on) for just 10 seconds and report the sensations. Here are the outcomes superimposed from 8 participants. In this experiment, many of the bemused participants described a tingling where the hand made contact with the table. They were bemused because I did this experiment in the context of our methods and methodologies discussion group - where I was
When I first learned about the Rubber hand illusion [RHI] I immediately began to think about ways in which the process could be automated to create an artwork, in which the experimenter's presence was removed. This could be done using sensors and a microcontroller to articulate solenoids to tap fingers for example. That thought train was on a back burner until discovered the work of fellow MMU PGR Lin Charlston. As part of her PhD research [See her profile here 'The Multimodal book as organism, artefact and assemblage: non-human agency in processes of growing and making'] She invented a beautifully simple, entirely mechanical device just to do exactly this. Your hand is placed inside a box, while the other hand turns a crank. On top of the box, another rubber hand
Further to my last post detailing experiments relating to the embodiment of invisible and even third hands, here are some notes on my first 'Clay hand Illusion' experiments... The ‘Rubber hand illusion’ shows it is possible to convince participants that a rubber hand is their own by placing it in front of them while stroking it in the same way as their hidden real hand. The use of self-made clay hands, or objects [see below] in place of the rubber hand raises several interesting possibilities for exploration, which move away from the embodiment of replica body parts, and towards the possible embodiment of modified body parts, or completely 'unfeasible' objects.The clay allows for the gradual and immediate morphing of forms and for the
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'
Blind drawing of hand starting from the left and using a continuous line, before and after experiments. Could this exercise be used as a measure of "proprioceptive drift" before and after 'Rubber hand illusion' type experiments? I will be exploring this idea soon with the research group at BEAM lab...
Here are are a selection of drawn outlines of clay hands created by workshop participants aged 6 to 12 for the original clay hand experiment (see posts tagged rubber hand or clay hand) Participants of all ages were asked to create a hand and use it in place of a replica rubber hand, the idea was to test if a self-created hand was easier to connect with. The hands were then taken and worked on further, sometimes becoming more distorted and abstract.
As part of my research into perceptual illusions, I looked into The ‘Rubber Hand Experiment’. This is 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 )”. Recent studies have gone on to experimentally induct of out of body experiences or create body swap illusions. See the work of Henrik Ehrsson and Olaf Blanke. [see link http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-08/ucl-foe081407.php ] I invited some psychologists to the studio [including Lizzi Lewis of BEAM Lab and Paul Sermon] who I have expertise in this area, they brought presentations and some kit to
Working again with Lizzi Lewis of BEAM Lab and Manchester Science Museum we developed a workshop based on the 'Rubber Hand Experiment'. As we had to work with a large number of people and we didn't have funding to get loads of rubber hands. So we made the hands in the workshop with clay and used gloves full of different materials, sand, gel, lentils, etc. This had some interesting outcomes, that warranted further research... As you can see the hands were diverse in form, for the illusion to be effective the hand does not need to be true to life necessarily. Some hands were made purposefully alien for experiments and seemed to work effectively. I wondered if participants are more likely