Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Symposium in ICP 2016

On July 27, we will have a symposium on Self in the 31st International Congress of Psychology (ICP 2016 Yokohama).

As you can see in the abstracts below, this symposium will be a rare opportunity to bridge phenomenologists (Dr. Applebaum, Dr. Ferrarello and me), experimental psychologists (Dr. Asai and Dr. Miyazaki), and researchers in neuro-cognitive science (Dr. Shimada and Mr. Ismail M Arif F B). The main focus is on the notion of minimal self and the experimental researches. I look forward to the discussion in the venue.

[Contributed Symposium]
In search of the self: Embodiment and interaction
Wednesday, July 27, 12:50 – 14:20 Conference Center 4F 413

[Organizer] Shogo Tanaka (Tokai University)
Since the publication of the classic work by William James, psychologists have investigated the concept of the self from diverse perspectives. Recent studies based on the neurocognitive approach have suggested that the minimal sense of self is embodied and experienced through both the sense of agency and the sense of ownership. Research has also indicated that psychopathologies such as schizophrenia can be explained as a disturbance of the minimal self. However, since the presence of another person is seemingly essential for the sense of the self, we plan to expand the discussion in this symposium from embodiment to embodied interactions. How do embodied interactions with others affect the sense of the self? Are such interactions necessary to foster the self in a developmental sense? Is the self and the other essentially interlaced? On this occasion, we plan to address these questions from neurocognitive, developmental, pathological and phenomenological perspectives.

Sotaro Shimada (Meiji University)
[Title] The senses of ownership and agency for a robot hand controlled under delayed visual feedback
[Abstract] The rubber hand illusion (RHI) is an illusion of the self-ownership of a rubber hand that is touched synchronously with one’s own hand. Here we investigated a similar self-ownership illusion of a robot hand that is moved synchronously with the subject’s hand movement, which is referred to as the ‘robot’ hand illusion (RoHI). We systematically introduced the delay in the robot hand movement and found that the participants felt significantly greater RoHI effects with temporal discrepancies of less than 200 ms compared with longer temporal discrepancies, both in terms of the senses of ownership and agency. Interestingly, participants still felt a significant, but weaker, sense of agency with temporal discrepancies of 300–500 ms, but not the sense of ownership. We discuss self-recognition models that can account for the relationship between the senses of ownership and agency based on our results.

Tomohisa Asai (NTT Communication Science Laboratories)
[Title] Between self and other in sensorimotor system
The sense of agency refers to the subjective experience of controlling one’s own action. This sense is sometimes regarded as a postdictive illusion of causality. However, agency has an important function in theory. When we move our own body, we implicitly attribute that movement to ourselves and utilize that sensory information in order to correct “our own” movement. The current study examined this intrinsic relationship between self-other sensory attribution and feedback control in motor control. The current study, where the participants were asked to trace a sine wave target using a pen tablet device, examined the effect of “self or other” visual feedback on the subjective agency rating as well as on the motor performance. The result indicates that the subjective ratings and motor performance highly depend on the self-other morphing ratio of the visual feedback, suggesting the sense of agency as the coordinator within the sensorimotor dynamics.

Michiko Miyazaki (Otsuma Women’s University)
[Title] The experience of controlling a virtual character affects choice of the character among 8-month-olds
[Abstract] When you control an on-screen character in a video game, you perceive yourself to be one with the character. The subjective experience of controlling external objects is called “extended self-agency,” and how this sense develops in infancy is especially important for elucidating the ontogenesis of self-consciousness. However, this evaluation is extremely difficult, because infants during their first year cannot explain their feelings or easily control objects with their hands. To overcome these problems, we developed gaze-contingent paradigms for estimating infants’ spontaneous object control (Miyazaki et al. 2014) and explored the related indices. We prepared two kinds of characters: one controllable by an infant’s gaze and one uncontrollable. We presented infants with both characters in turn and examined whether controlling the character affected the choice of that character among 5- and 8-month-olds. Results demonstrated that the 8-month-olds preferred the uncontrollable character, suggesting infants explicitly discriminate the controllable from the uncontrollable character.

Marc Applebaum (Saybrook University) and Susi Ferrarello (University of San Francisco)
[Title] The Constitution of Selfhood as Ethical: A Phenomenological Perspective
[Abstract] Edmund Husserl’s phenomenological philosophy offers a complex and useful account of the arising of consciousness and subjectivity, and insists upon the embeddedness of self-hood in embodied self-other relations. For Husserl, the self is not an object that can be considered in strict isolation; rather, what we call “self” can be regarded as the evidence of a dynamic and multilayered process in which an “I” emerges that, in grasping itself as an “I" in lived-contexts that are intrinsically intersubjective, is always already in dialogue with others, and finds itself through its embodied relations with alter egos. Not surprisingly, phenomenology's psychological implications have been a central focus of the tradition since its founding We will discuss the interplay of passive and active intentionality and self-other relations in the ongoing constitution of the ego, and its ethical dimension.