About the possible physiological reactions / interactions achievable thorugh sonic coupling of two individuals, both connected to the BioSynth.

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[DP] You can assume that the sound you are producing will affect people in some ways.


[EG] Well even physiologically though. I know, for example, that when I was working with my actors trying to get my sweat levels down to an extremely low level through meditating for about 15 to 20 minutes, even if someone shut a door outside the sweat level would spike. So the sound physiologically affects your arousal levels.


[DP] And this connection between these two people that you are generating, that you are artificially composing, is a function of how the sound is informed by the state of the one person or the other person. And if you modulate this function, if you re-composite it, you will probably be able of generating different behaviors, different changes in the physiological state of the participant.


[EG] Yes, I see what you are saying, if I made a test with different kinds of sonification it could probably affect the behavior directly. This is really difficult to chart and it is something I’m super interested in.


[DP] I think this is a question that would be very difficult to tackle with standard analysis methods. It’s extremely subjective and changing. So I would suggest that, if you are interested in this aspect, that you just observe what’s happening. Record your observations, maybe ask people if they want to talk about it, and try to adapt your approach to the modulation, to the recomposition of your artifact. Just observe what is happening in relation to what you are doing with the sound.

[EG] I really like this relation to the Ligeti’s metronome work, although it is a much more complicated situation.


[HHR] Well it could be a direction. Maybe you don’t get there, but it’s an interesting perspective, a nice angle to look at what you are doing. It’s anyway still a coupling. It means that the situation is different because somebody else is there.


[DP] But I would expect on a long run, if you do a lot of tests, that there would be some sort of synchronization. The most prominent would probably be respiration. The heart rate is probably more difficult. But it would be interesting to try it out.


[EG] The other thing that I’ve been thinking about is that if you have a light, like a LED fading in and out over a certain period, and people actually choose to follow that light, a lot of synchronization could happen. But I was also thinking that the LED fading in and out is very “programmed”.


[DP] Yeah, but the cool thing here is that the LED is another person, so you have two cicada. Probably it is too little to observe very special behaviors, but it would be interesting to see what happens.


[EG] If the heads are relatively close you can hear them breathing a bit more.


[HHR] Although you would hear it from the sound also in your case, right?


[DP] Yes, you could do very interesting stuff. For example, if you notice that there is some sort of synchronization, then in the following experiment you could delay the sonic result for exactly half of the period for one of the two participants. You could then observe if they de-synchronize exactly with inverted phases.


[EG] I like what you are saying David, because what I think it is really cool is this idea of treating the human body as something that could be composed like a musical experience.


Physiological Coupling

Signale Soirèe 28_05_18

[EG] In one of the conversations that we had we were talking about the potential of having two people together and of this relationship with Ligeti’s ‘a 100 metronomes’ work. I think it really kind of sparked something for me, because of the sympathetic vibrations between the metronomes that eventually sync them. I don’t think that people will sync to each other, but I do think that there is something really socially interesting about being connected to another person in this kind of relationship where you are both listening to each other’s biosignals. And I think that it’s very possible that the arousal levels of one person will affect the arousal levels of another person, specifically because even the sound itself will just increase the arousal levels. 

Sonic Coupling

meta: true
persons: [DP, EG]
kind: conversation
date: 180522
keywords: [coupling, sonification, physiological data]