How does your internal body model change when you pick up the mouse?

by phil on Friday May 14, 2010 12:48 AM

When you place your hands on the steering wheel, the internal model of your body shape expands to the boundaries of the car. This is why you can swerve in and out of traffic without bumping others, similar to how you naturally maintain a personal space while negotiating a crowd. Or when you're about to be hit by another car, you'll instinctively shirk away, as if the wheels were your legs.

Is there a similar phenomena happening in human-computer interaction? If I log onto facebook, is my profile an extension of my visage? If someone writes on my wall, have they written on me? If I "poke" my friends, does my internal body model expand all over cyberspace onto their screens like I were some kind of human-hydra hybrid? Like a new kind of species?


Farley said on May 14, 2010 2:28 PM:

On this article is shown the impact of having a mouse wired to our body.


"The findings come from a deceptively simple study of people using a computer mouse rigged to malfunction. The resulting disruption in attention wasn’t superficial. It seemingly extended to the very roots of cognition.

“The person and the various parts of their brain and the mouse and the monitor are so tightly intertwined that they’re just one thing,” said Anthony Chemero, a cognitive scientist at Franklin & Marshall College. “The tool isn’t separate from you. It’s part of you.” "

That's to say, in the physical level computing is really attached to us, but on the social-level i'd say that this integration is little more subtle.

Philip Dhingra said on May 14, 2010 5:48 PM:

Cool, thanks for finding that link. I knew I had read something like this somewhere, but I couldn't remember exactly where.

Creative Commons License