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Empathy for People series

In this series of interactive works, the viewer experiences atypical stimuli — an immersive presentation that compellingly simulates the perspective of a person who perceives the world very differently.  Through poetry, digitally processed sound, and manipulated stereoscopic video, an observer looking into the sculpture “The Ethical Viewer" witnesses the various permutations of the ‘Perceptual Fog.’   This metaphor alludes to the selective masking and emphasis of sights and sounds, and the resulting interference with our brain’s processes.  Simulating visual hypersensitivity, aural hypersensitivity, ADHD, and more, the viewer’s field of view is constrained, modeling the disruption of attention and agency.

 

Further research in this series includes production of disability computer simulations for a pilot study, in collaboration with psychology scholar Nava Silton, PhD.  Their research investigates the potential of computer simulations, and in particular the affordances of virtual reality technology, as an interventional tool to enable cognitive empathy in young people:  to promote place-taking, understanding, acceptance, and social integration of disabilities.   Their research is presented in a forthcoming book chapter entitled, "Employing Disability Simulations and Preliminary Virtual Reality Technology to Foster Cognitive and Affective Empathy towards Individuals with Disabilities.”

 

Works during the Tenure Track include:   include:  The Ethical Viewer: Perceptual Fog (2017), Realabilities pilot simulations (2017)

 

 Our book chapter  delineates why virtual reality technology can play an important role as part of a comprehensive interventional program to promote empathy for disabilities.  As part of my supplemental materials for the tenure review, a preprint copy of be viewed by clicking here:

"Employing Disability Simulations and Preliminary Virtual Reality Technology to Foster Cognitive and Affective Empathy towards Individuals with Disabilities” (forthcoming, 2018) with Nava Silton, Ph.D.

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