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Robotics Science

Scientists Achieve Mental Body-Swapping 297

Posted by kdawson
from the put-yourself-in-my-place dept.
SpaceAdmiral notes the news that scientists have succeeded in convincing experiment subjects that a mannequin's body is their own, and even feeling at home in the body of someone of the opposite sex. The effect could prove useful in virtual reality applications and in robot technology. Here's the paper on PLoS ONE.
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Scientists Achieve Mental Body-Swapping

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  • Malkovich (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reginaldo (1412879) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:47PM (#26005615)
    Malkovich? MALKOVICH! [imdb.com]

    Do the test patients inexplicably end up at the New Jersey turnpike once the experiment has concluded?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:49PM (#26005649)

    As reported [slashdot.org], there have been a lot of bad moderations recently. It seems this is due to CmdrTaco and chums turning meta-moderation into a weird Digg clone.

    Please CmdrTaco, just bring the old meta-moderation system back. It worked, very well, by allowing people to vote on whether a moderation was fair. The new system simply asks the user to Agree/Disagree with a post (don't fool yourselves into thinking it will be used in any other way), ergo it cannot perform the job of meta-moderation.

    Brought to you by the: Discussions About Slashdot Itself are not Off-Topic, Troll, Flamebait or Redundant Dept.

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:51PM (#26005671)

    There's an important distinction here - this is not mind copying, it's just perspective swapping. Mind copying would be if you were able to copy the bits of one mind in one bit of hardware (example: brain) to another bit of hardware (example: computer disk), then be able to have the mind run somewhere else. What we have here is perceptive swapping, where you just overlay a new perspective in place of a brain's inputs/outputs, giving the limited sensory perception of acting in another place to that brain's mind.

    It's cool that we're making new ways for people to get new perspectives, but this ain't mind swapping by a long shot.

    Ryan Fenton

  • by tgd (2822) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:55PM (#26005703)

    Its actually important research where cognitive science is involved -- the precise mechanism that translates from a set of impulses entering the brain to the sense of self and awareness of both position and body isn't well understood.

    We know, sure, that the world we live in is a mental projection that our brains assemble from a lot of, frankly, very coarse and non-specific input. We mentally fill in a lot of details. Figuring out how much you have to simulate to cause perception to switch is important, as it gives clues as to what the actual triggers are that lead to a sense of self.

  • by Thansal (999464) on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:09PM (#26005887)

    She repeatedly mentions she has no interest in a male body (generally when talking to Batou), we also get a couple flashbacks to various points in her past where she is still in a female cyber body.

    Don't worry, your fapping is perfectly safe from your homophobic fears :)

  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:19PM (#26006019)

    Don't worry, your fapping is perfectly safe from your homophobic fears :)

    I'm guessing you were joking, since I certainly have been joking about this, but I do feel the need to point something out seriously. Not being comfortable with someone you were attracted to turning out to be male isn't homophobia in the least. Homophobia is having negative reactions towards other people who are gay. Not being comfortable with gayness for yourself, though, is perfectly acceptable. Why choose such a negative-laced word?

  • by Twinbee (767046) on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:32PM (#26006189) Homepage
    Quote from the article:

    The researchers created the illusion of body-swapping by touching the stomach of both the mannequin and the volunteer with sticks

    What would have been far more interesting is if they achieved the same sensation without poking the participant as well. But even then, that could be be achieved with hypnosis anyway (?)
  • by butterflysrage (1066514) on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:45PM (#26006357)

    the term you are thinking of is 'internalized homophobia', and it too is incorrect in this case. Internalized homophobia would be if you felt bad about your attraction BECAUSE it was same-sex, male to female attraction, regardless of the bits involved, is heterosexual by its very nature and would therefor not fall under homophobia, internalized or otherwise.

    being uncomfortable/hostile/bad reaction of your choice about someone being a different gender or sex then you expected would be transphobia.

    the more you know (insert shooting_star.gif here)

    but I would dispute the "perfectly acceptable" part of your point too... many people commit suicide every year because they are unable to accept their sexuality, many more are assaulted, raped or murdered by others who lash out because of their internalized homophobia. Call me a leftist nutter, but anything that gets thousands of people killed yearly is not something I would tag as "perfectly acceptable".

  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:56PM (#26006507)

    but I would dispute the "perfectly acceptable" part of your point too... many people commit suicide every year because they are unable to accept their sexuality, many more are assaulted, raped or murdered by others who lash out because of their internalized homophobia. Call me a leftist nutter, but anything that gets thousands of people killed yearly is not something I would tag as "perfectly acceptable".

    I won't call you a leftist nutter, but I will call you wrong. There are many things in our world which are "perfectly acceptable", but get people killed because people misuse them or react badly to them. I'm sure more than one person has committed suicide because of their unrequited love for someone, but that doesn't make being in love unacceptable, nor does it make non-reciprocity of love unacceptable. It just means that it's unfortunate that someone couldn't cope with something adequately, and made a bad choice about how to resolve the issue.

  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:57PM (#26006517) Homepage Journal
    Seconded, the old metamod system and user pages were fast, simple, and very effective. I used to meta-mod every day, now the metamods and user pages have become so bloated and unwieldy I've lost all motivation to participate despite having excellent karma. I'm considering letting my subscription expire and becoming a full-time lurker.

    Please, head honchos of Slashdot, revert to the old style metamods and user pages or at least allow us the option to control what cruft is grafted to our user page. Slashdot would lose a lot of cred if it degenerated into digg.
  • by Walpurgiss (723989) on Friday December 05, 2008 @04:25PM (#26006823)
    Agree. The first time I was asked to meta-mod here, one of my own posts was the first in the list. That made no sense. I skipped it but I think rating moderations, rather than agree/disagree makes more sense.
  • Re:Dear Developers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Friday December 05, 2008 @04:51PM (#26007153) Homepage Journal

    I strongly get the feeling that the Slashdot and/or Slashcode developers are succumbing to feature creep, and adding things to the system just for the sake of adding them, even when the system works fine. This seems to have started after the CSS redesign.

    Slashdot isn't perfect. However, it's a damn sight better than a lot of other discussion sites out there, especially the moderation system.

    Please don't fuck with it when it's not broken. There are things in it that are obviously broken, such as the fact that Funny mods don't grant karma. However, fundamentally changing a system that previously worked fine is, well, stupid.

    Someone in the development chain seems to have the notion that metamoderation was too hard. It wasn't. The reason for this is that the people doing metamod are already committed to making Slashdot better. They will deal with the compexities involved because due the system's limits on who can access mod / metamod, they're already used to them.

    Making it "easier" by removing features simply doesn't make sense.

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