human-computer interaction

Technical report on the Enactive Torch

Here is a technical report on a pilot study using the Enactive Torch sensory substitution interface, which involved several different kinds of analyses.

The Enactive Torch: Interactive embodied learning with a sensory substitution interface

Ximena González Grandón, Leonardo Zapata-Fonseca, Hector Gómez-Escobar, Guillermo Ortíz-Garin, Javier Flores, Ariel Sáenz-Burrola, and Tom Froese

Traditionally, the pedagogical design for teaching and learning practices has been characterized as a process during which an active expert supports passive learner for the accomplishment of a specific goal or task. Nowadays, however, the accessibility of information technologies and the understanding of the learner’s active role have caused that interactive, embodied and contextual learning perspectives have begun to gain room. Here, we contribute with a technical report of a pilot study based on the Enactive Torch, a tool for the scientific study of perception, which aimed to investigate the crucial role of embodied process in the generation of perceptual experience for sensory substitution. In using this technological scaffolding, a group of students, from various academic disciplines, have coordinated and conducted three projects using different methods, each of them analyzing quantitative and qualitative data recorded from the participants’ first- and third-person perspective. By means of this practical engagement, the students gained awareness of the transformative potential of technology and developed insights into the challenges of performing interdisciplinary research with their peers, in regard to embodied perception and cognition. The study, therefore, serves as a proof-of-concept for the Enactive Torch, as a technological scaffolding, that can facilitate the kind of interactive learning that students need to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of human embodied cognition and its relationship with technology.

Fourteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction

Sydney, Australia

9 – 12 February, 2020


TEI 2020 is the 14th annual conference dedicated to presenting the latest results in tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction. It will be held 9-12 February 2020 in Sydney, Australia.

The ACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI) addresses issues of human-computer interaction, novel tools and technologies, interactive art, and user experience. The work presented at TEI has a strong focus on how computing can bridge atoms and bits into cohesive interactive systems. The intimate size of this single-track conference provides a unique forum for exchanging ideas and presenting innovative work through talks, interactive exhibits, demos, hands-on studios, posters, art installations, and performances.

Future Bodies, Future Technologies

Our theme for 2020 is Future Bodies, Future Technologies. The theme invites us to speculate on a vision of how technologies could interact and interweave with our future bodies. We consider technologies in the broadest sense: from ancient Greek definitions of skill, craft, and techniques to capabilities provided by practical application of computational, electronic and physical materials. The notion of bodies is an expanded one, encompassing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions, and how we are socially situated in a complex and contested set of realities and world views. Future Bodies, Future Technologies looks at the intermingling and reconfiguration of old and new, traditional and unorthodox, human and non-human towards new forms and possibilities. When designing the future of tangible, embedded and embodied interaction, we are also designing our bodies of the future.

See you in Sydney, Australia

We are finalising the conference venues close to the heart of the city.

For further information, visit the Conference’s website:



Corresponding author: Anil Seth (

We are delighted to invite applications for the second round of the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme in ‘From Sensation and Perception to Awareness’, hosted across multiple Schools at the University of Sussex. Up to **eight** fully funded positions will be awarded (for UK/EU applicants), starting Sep 2019. The aim of the programme is to bring together doctoral researchers from different disciplines to advance our understanding of the interactions between sensing, perception, and awareness in humans, animals, and machines. Applicants can select from a range of projects or propose their own. Pre-specified projects are divided into three main themes: (i) Human-computer interaction and digital arts, (ii) human cognitive neuroscience and computational neuroscience, and (iii) sensory neuroscience.

For more details and for how to apply please see and For more on the Programme please visit, and follow us on Twitter @SensationSussex. Email enquiries to Application deadline is **31st January 2019**. The programme is co-directed by Anil Seth (Engineering and Informatics) and Jamie Ward (Psychology).

Hector Gomez graduates with honors

Congratulations to Hector who graduated with honors from UNAM’s Bachelor’s degree in Psychology yesterday for his work with the Enactive Torch on movement complexity.

The title and abstract of his thesis are as follows:

Análisis de series de tiempo de actividad sensorimotora durante la interacción humano-máquina

Héctor Gómez Escobar


New paper analyzing transition to presence-at-hand

Cognitive and movement measures reflect the transition to presence-at-hand

Dobromir Dotov, Lin Nie, Kevin Wojcik, Anastasia Jinks, Xiaoyu Yu, and Anthony Chemero

The phenomenological philosopher Martin Heidegger’s proposed transition from readiness-to-hand to presence-at-hand and the hypothesis of extended cognition were addressed empirically in an experiment on tool use. It involved a video game of steering erratically moving objects to a target while performing a secondary cognitive task. A strong perturbation of the hand-pointer linkage in the video game induced the transition from ready-to-hand to present-at-hand. In Experiment 1, this perturbation resulted in decreased motor performance and improved recall of task-irrelevant features. Experiment 2 replicated these results and addressed additional questions. Measures of movement variability based on the multifractal formalism confirmed the hypothesized decrease in functional integration of the tool during the perturbation. Dynamical interactions allow user and tool to act as a system. The tool is properly described as ready-to-hand during normal operation but as present-at-hand during perturbation. Physiological measures showed that the ready-to-hand to present-at-hand transition does not necessarily lead to a stress response.