Sensory Engagement


As we explored Sensory Engagement as an idea we realized that this not only incorporated our primary five senses but also tapped into our emotional state of mind. This two-pronged approach allowed us to understand the entire picture of how a person engages with the world. Using senses as a gateway to experiences, and then understanding how emotions create preconceived notions, and how they affect an experience in real-time was key for us to understand.


Supporting Documents: Connection to Emotion


How brains beware: neural mechanisms of emotional attention

By: Patrik Vuilleumier

Emotional processes not only serve to record the value of sensory events, but also to elicit adaptive responses and modify perception. Recent research using functional brain imaging in human subjects has begun to reveal neural substrates by which sensory processing and attention can be modulated by the affective significance of stimuli. The amygdala plays a crucial role in providing both direct and indirect top-down signals on sensory pathways, which can influence the representation of emotional events, especially when related to threat. These modulatory effects implement specialized mechanisms of ‘emotional attention’ that might supplement but also compete with other sources of top-down control on perception. This work should help to elucidate the neural processes and temporal dynamics governing the integration of cognitive and affective influences in attention and behaviour.”

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Emotion and Our Senses: Hearing, Smell, Vision

By:  Rebecca Rago

In this series of blog posts, Rebecca Rago goes into detail on the general role of our senses and our emotions, specifically the role of our visual system in emotion.  Posts focus on Emotion and Our Senses, Hearing and Emotion, and Smell and Emotion.

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You Aren't at the mercy of your emotions

By:  Rebecca Rago

“Can you look at someone's face and know what they're feeling? Does everyone experience happiness, sadness and anxiety the same way? What are emotions anyway? For the past 25 years, psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett has mapped facial expressions, scanned brains and analyzed hundreds of physiology studies to understand what emotions really are. She shares the results of her exhaustive research -- and explains how we may have more control over our emotions than we think.”

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The history of human emotions

By:  Tiffany Watt Smith

“The words we use to describe our emotions affect how we feel, says historian Tiffany Watt Smith, and they've often changed (sometimes very dramatically) in response to new cultural expectations and ideas. Take nostalgia, for instance: first defined in 1688 as an illness and considered deadly, today it's seen as a much less serious affliction. In this fascinating talk about the history of emotions, learn more about how the language we use to describe how we feel continues to evolve -- and pick up some new words used in different cultures to capture those fleeting feelings in words.”

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What is Emotional Design?

By:  The Interaction Design Foundation

“Emotional design is a big buzz word within the UX community. Designs which tap into the user’s emotions are considered to do more than just respond to their stated needs and provide a greater level of user experience. One way of understanding emotions is Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions – this may help you deliver better experiences to your users when designing products.

Products that people love are products that people use over and over again. Products that they like, on the other hand, quickly slip from the user’s mind and are replaced in time with products that are liked better or even loved. The corner stone of emotional design is the idea that if you can elicit strong emotions in your users – you can use those emotions to either create loyalty or to drive a customer to take action.”

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If You Want to Build A Brand, Create an Emotional Experience First

By:  Jeff Barrett

“Think of your five best friends in this world. If you don't have five add in Myspace Tom, he's always happy to help. Are these relationships transactional or emotional? Do you remember the person or a favorite memory of that person?

Emotion plays a critical role in how we make friendships. And memory is the callback of those emotions. So why can't we be friends with a brand and vice versa?

Recent events in air travel have put in to even greater perspective the importance for brands to create positive experiences. Everyone has a camera and a loudspeaker called the Internet to share their opinion. Brands that understand this and the importance of connection are paving the way in how they build relationships--rather than transactions--with their customers.”

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Supporting Documents: Connection to Senses


The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems: The Revolutionary Ideas of Gibson's 1966 Book, 50 Years Later - Part 1

By: Pablo Covarrubias, Angel Andres Jimenez, Felipe Cabrera & Alan Costall

“This editorial introduces the first part of a 2-part special issue of Ecological Psychology dedicated to James J. Gibson's 1966 book, The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems, which presents many revolutionary ideas that are important not only for the study of perception but also for the science of psychology in general including the rejection of the mechanistic and dualistic stimulus-response formula (cf. Dewey, 1896), the rejection of sensation-based theories of perception, and the insistence that the unit of investigation and explanation is the mutual relation between people and other animals and their environments.”

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Active Sensing Workshop Soho Square

By:  Valerie Mace

"In this workshop, an introduction to active sensing, you are invited to document sensory impressions across an environment defined as the dynamics of the physical space and people within it. The tools used in the workshop are designed to help you quickly familiarise yourself with the environment and become more conscious of your sensory impressions."

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Design for all 5 senses

By:  Jinsop Lee

Good design looks great, yes -- but why shouldn't it also feel great, smell great and sound great? Designer Jinsop Lee (a TED Talent Search winner) shares his theory of 5-sense design, with a handy graph and a few examples. His hope: to inspire you to notice great multisensory experiences.”

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