Understanding the mind, brain, and games.
Diary's content creation is informed by the work of research conducted at our Mind and Cognition Lab.
Alongside objects and locations, Diary provides an in-game diary log system, with which the audience can externalise their thoughts and their emotional relationship to objects, locations, and events. This system can be scheduled and has a light narrative feature in the game content of Diary. This content is incrementally built in short-form game loops, using content produced directly by the audience.
Mind and Cognition Lab
Our research unit develops experimental paradigms exploring a number of questions about mental imagery and meta-awareness.
We combine neuroimaging techniques with qualitative and quantitative assessments conducted through web-based versions of our experiments. We believe that such a hybrid approach to the understanding of the subjective dimension of human experience provides for a wider landscape of applications.
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.
Consider mental imagery to occur whilst driving the 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.
In particular, we are interested in non-propositional meta-awareness, or how are we capable of accessing the content of our mental states without relying on linguistic discourse. Mental imagery and non-linguistic meta-awareness can be understood 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 explore the mechanisms of both the brain and the mind.