, Extended Abstracts CHI 18,
Science and technology have profoundly affected our abilities to observe, transform, and manipulate bodily functions as well as our concepts of the body. Recent research into empathic technologies and empathic embodied technologies suggests that our embodied experience through virtual reality strongly influence our cognitive state and social biases. However, this trend of examining the effect embodied experience has on the mind is complicated when the target group of the empathic exercise may experience a disconnection between their physical body and their experienced body. Recent investigations indicate a potential biological basis for gender dysphoria. This brings into question how to create empathic technologies to explore the embodied experience of a transgender person, when a transgender person may not necessarily identify with their own embodied experience? To explore this, we present three Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) for the development of empathic technologies beyond immersive embodiment. Hex Plexus investigates BCI music composition practices as the basis for a series of mobile performances. Synapstraction is an installation which allows users to create abstract paintings based on neuro-feedback. The Gender Generator allows users to explore gender expression and construction in the form of a P300-based BCI paradigm. We conducted a series of user studies to understand the effectiveness of these machines as expressive tools and educational experiences. These projects address the notion of empathic technologies for body-dysmorphic users by building towards a Machine-Empathy Interface system which serves to create an empathic link between users.