Thursday, April 05, 2007

listening with our bodies…?

A little while ago Chris Chatham at Developing Intelligence listed ‘10 Important Differences Between Brains and Computers’. I hope Chatham will not mind me quoting item 10 in full:

Brains have bodies
This is not as trivial as it might seem: it turns out that the brain takes surprising advantage of the fact that it has a body at its disposal. For example, despite your intuitive feeling that you could close your eyes and know the locations of objects around you, a series of experiments in the field of change blindness has shown that our visual memories are actually quite sparse. In this case, the brain is “offloading” its memory requirements to the environment in which it exists: why bother remembering the location of objects when a quick glance will suffice? A surprising set of experiments by Jeremy Wolfe has shown that even after being asked hundreds of times which simple geometrical shapes are displayed on a computer screen, human subjects continue to answer those questions by gaze rather than rote memory. A wide variety of evidence from other domains suggests that we are only beginning to understand the importance of embodiment in information processing.
This strikes me as potentially relevant to the business of theorizing an embodied, or corporeal, listening….

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