Inhalation is a game studio building a walking simulator named Toy (working title). Toy produces three-dimensional digital representations of the subjective dimension of human experience, obtained using objects and locations our audience has a personal relationship with.

The walking simulator's content creation process is informed by our Mind and Cognition Lab, which is concerned with the research and production of experimental paradigms aimed at developing novel applications for video games.

store2.png

Toy (work in progress)

Toy is incrementally producing short-form game loops created using content provided directly by our audience. Toy creates models from these visual contents and offers back to the audience an external representation of their thoughts and their emotional relationship to those objects, locations, and events.

Audience content:

UpstairsBedroom_edited.png
bedroom2.png
bed_1v2_high_2.png
 

Re-modelling experience

The contents provided are elaborated with photogrammetry: a measurement technique of physical objects and locations obtained from photos and/or videos. The material is used to create three-dimensional digital models.

These models are then curated in order to become external representations of specific lived or imagined experiences associated with such objects and events that the audience decided to relate to emotionally.

Mind and Cognition Lab

Our research unit develops experimental paradigms exploring a number of questions about mental imagery and meta-awareness to inform Toy. 

We combine neuroimaging techniques with qualitative and quantitative assessments conducted through web-based versions of our experiments.

Mental imagery

Mental imagery is a notion used for describing perceptual processes that are not triggered by corresponding sensory stimulation in a given sense modality.

If we remember how we met a loved one, we sometimes see a visual image of how we first met them and this visual image can be accompanied by intense positive emotions. Similarly, we may vividly remember how it hurt when we were beaten up in the schoolyard and again this tactile image may come with intense negative emotions. 

Meta-awareness

Consider mental imagery to occur whilst driving a car, or whilst swimming. These would amount to instances of perceptual decoupling, that is the capacity to disengage attention from perception: an occurrence that often leads the mind to wander or to be blank even. In the second case, attention calls no perceptual inputs into conscious awareness.​ Mental imagery can be conscious or unconscious. The ability to take explicit note of the current contents of consciousness, is known as meta-awareness. 

Cognitive neuroscience

In particular, we are interested in non-propositional meta-awareness, or how we are capable of accessing the content of our mental states without relying on linguistic discourse. Mental imagery and non-linguistic meta-awareness can be explored with the help of non-invasive neuroimaging techniques such as Electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). These tools can help us understand the mechanisms of both the brain and the mind (with the additional support of techniques for qualitative self-assessment)

Take part in our initial online experiment

The White Maze is an online experiment designed as a first-person Pac-Man copy aimed at learning how individuals subjectively experience their attentional lapses.

Schermata 2022-02-11 alle 14.45_edited.jpg
The White Maze, in-game footage

Take part in our research

You can take part now in our studies in one of our partner labs. Why should you participate?  Participating in our studies may be enjoyable for you, and it will help us learn how individuals subjectively experience their attentional lapses.

Please email info@inhalation.dev with subject title "participate".

FMI online experiment protocol #01 (1).jpg
In-lab experimental procedure with EEG

Partner Institutions

Logo_per_eccellenza_202002-768x594.png
cropped-logo2-2.jpg
Tokai-University-logo.webp