Cognitive Terrains


Session Title:

  • Education/Media (Panels & Roundtables)

Presentation Title:

  • Cognitive Terrains




  • Location is not just an external, geographic terrain, but can be an internal cognitive site within the human brain. Instead of gazing outwards, peering inwards can reveal new insights about human perception. The new ten‑year initiative undertaken in the United States by President Obama is mapping the human brain, bringing into focus both startling and troubling insights. There already exist special algorithms developed by MIT computer scientists to track the non‑visible changes in the human body like iris dilation and facial blood flow. The semantic brain, a new area of research, maps multiple areas of brain topography that process similar conceptual and visual information across gender, age, language and cultural differences. The University of California at Berkeley is investigating the semantic brain, and has a rudimentary experimental method to recreate a bank of images of what one experiences while dreaming. The location of one’s memory, fantasy, dream, and identity are being mapped as a new cartography, though a robust analysis of the human mind is years away. These tools can be used for diagnosis, healing, or in a more dystrophic scenario, surveillance and interrogation, issues artists are beginning to address. This panel aims to present and discuss work in brain mapping, imagery, artistic practice and the various implications for visualizations, performance, sonic, and haptic works produced now, and in the future.