Tuesday, December 9, 2008

This is Your Brain on Virtuality

Iconoclast is a fascinating book on the neuroscience of innovative thinking. Although it doesn't address virtual worlds directly, I've run out of post-it flags marking relevant passages that shed light on our digital experience.

One of the main themes of the book (supported by a slew of research) is that the best way to break out of mental ruts is to confront your brain with stimuli it has not seen before. It seems to me that the experience of being an avatar within a virtual world is one of the most radical shifts in self-perception one can experience. The explosion of creativity many people experience through virtual worlds has a neurological basis. Pretty cool.


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A beautiful thought experiment personified through the imagined perspective of a self-aware avatar. My creator's site can is at http://fourworlds.tumblr.com