Cognitive scientist and phenomenologist Lynda Joy Gerry got into virtual reality after seeing the body swap experiments by Machine to Be Another as well as Shawn Gallager’s A Neurophenomenology of Awe and Wonder research. Gerry’s master’s thesis was on empathy in VR where she did a survey of the established theories on empathy from cognitive science, social science, phenomenology, and virtual reality.
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I had a chance to talk with Gerry at the IEEE VR academic conference in March where she was presenting her research on empathy in VR, and advocating for a more holistic framework for empathy research that bridges the objective theories of empathy from cognitive science with the more subjective, intersubjective, and experiential perspectives from the philosophical branch of phenomenology.
- Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen
- Multisensory Experience Lab at the University of Copenhagen
- Claire Petitmengin’s Elicitation Interview Technique
- Claire Petitmengin’s Microphenomenology techniques to get people to attenuate to their experience in a very detailed manner
- Francisco J. Varela, Evan Thompson, & Eleanor Rosch’s The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience
- Husserl’s concept of ‘objectivity’ as a form of Universal Intersubjective Verifiability
- Virtual Alterity – Gerry’s term for stepping into modes of experience as experienced by someone else
- Frédérique de Vignemont & the Body, Space, and the Self research group
- Dan Zahavi: Emotional contagion, empathy, and emotional sharing
- Shaun Gallagher: Philosophy in Virtual Environments
- Shaun Gallagher: A Neurophenomenology of Awe and Wonder
- Leonard Shlain: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image
- Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Reflexivity: Lived body experience is both interior and exterior.
- Phenomenology, Imagination, and Virtual Reality conference in Leuven that took place on May 29-30, 2017
- Thomas Metzinger’s mind wandering and mental autonomy: “The myth of cognitive agency: subpersonal thinking as a cyclically recurring loss of mental autonomy.” Gerry expanded this into reflected and unreflected notions of mental autonomy
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