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      Return to Nature: How media art heals?

      Proceedings of EVA London 2019 (EVA 2019)

      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

      8 - 11 July 2019

      Media, Art, Technology, Consciousness, Attention, Wellbeing, Nature, Visualisation, Cyberdelics, Mindfulness

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          Abstract

          This paper contextualises developments in media art and electronic visualisation with the ‘Consciousness Hacking’ movement, and the potential for technology to improve psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. The narrow focus of attention demanded by many contemporary media devices, such as smart phones and some immersive technologies, may be harmful to cognitive functioning and emotion regulation. These technologies are arguably a distraction that diminishes our natural capacity for rich sensory experience. Conversely, artists and researchers have experimented with new media in an attempt to challenge and engage our sensory experience, in order to re-connect us to nature. Trials comparing simulated natural environments with actual nature are reviewed within the context of their potential to restore attention. Do multi-sensory media artworks and visualisations re-connect us with the natural world, or remove us further from it? The potential benefits of technology are assessed as a tool for ecotherapy in mediated environments and for new models of mental healthcare and wellbeing. Comparison is made between ‘Cyberdelics’ virtual applications, which may narrow or distract the focus of attention, and works using more natural systems, which engage with the periphery and interconnectedness of the senses. The interventions are assessed in their efficacy to affect change in psychological and physiological states, and as a non-pharmacological enhancement with therapeutic applications. Transformation and healing is possible when media art and technology are created and disseminated with mindful intention.

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          Most cited references 15

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          The polyvagal theory: new insights into adaptive reactions of the autonomic nervous system.

          The polyvagal theory describes an autonomic nervous system that is influenced by the central nervous system, sensitive to afferent influences, characterized by an adaptive reactivity dependent on the phylogeny of the neural circuits, and interactive with source nuclei in the brainstem regulating the striated muscles of the face and head. The theory is dependent on accumulated knowledge describing the phylogenetic transitions in the vertebrate autonomic nervous system. Its specific focus is on the phylogenetic shift between reptiles and mammals that resulted in specific changes to the vagal pathways regulating the heart. As the source nuclei of the primary vagal efferent pathways regulating the heart shifted from the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus in reptiles to the nucleus ambiguus in mammals, a face-heart connection evolved with emergent properties of a social engagement system that would enable social interactions to regulate visceral state.
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            A comparison of the restorative effect of a natural environment with that of a simulated natural environment

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              What's wrong with virtual trees? Restoring from stress in a mediated environment

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Conference
                July 2019
                July 2019
                : 394-401
                Affiliations
                Fovolab

                Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales
                Article
                10.14236/ewic/EVA2019.73
                © Langford. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of EVA London 2019, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Proceedings of EVA London 2019
                EVA 2019
                London, UK
                8 - 11 July 2019
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Electronic Visualisation and the Arts
                Product
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Categories
                Electronic Workshops in Computing

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