— cognitive science and the Alexander Technique

Embodied, disembodied and re-embodied cognition:
the potentials and obstacles for elegant human-computer interfaces

Affiliations: Université de Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne and CREA, École Polytechnique

Postal address for correspondence: Rachel Zahn, 6 rue Greffulhe, 75008 Paris, France



It is clear that the ingenuity of brain interface technology will create significant changes in human lifestyles of the 21st century. Applications such as haptics, virtual reality, mind-reading computers, and perceptive pixel screens are pure genius. One can easily foresee the impact these developments might have on future generations.

Concurrently, a close intellectual neighbour, Enactive Cognitive Science, has been studying the dynamics of change in living systems. The enactive view of consciousness was introduced by the late Francisco Varela at CREA/LENA laboratories (Paris), one author of The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience [1].

This paper will briefly explain Varela's neuro-phenomenological model for laboratory experiments, which could easily find a place within brain interface technology. We will also propose an unusual adaptation of this model: by working with specialists with exceptional psychophysical expertise in high proprioceptive performance, engineers can come closer to the truly elegant human-computer interfaces they seek.

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