— Written by Summer Eunhyung Ann —
When we think about science and technology, we often think about something intricate and sophisticated to comprehend, such as genetic engineering or aerospace astrophysical technology.
However, science and technology are a pivotal part of our mundane life. From us turning off the lights and going to bed at night to curing cancers or genetic disorders, they are all science and technology. We achieved a convenience that might appear to be trivial, and also something that used to deem as a miracle from numerous works and questions of scientists and engineers.
My ceaseless passion for science came from my ignorance of underlying principles; how my body functions, how we get diseases, how we cure them, how we optimize human efficiency, and how we increase the accuracy of data collection. And that is how my endless love for biology and computer science started. My project started from a similar question about the rudimentary concept: attention schema theory, which is elusive and intangible. (See my introductory note here.)
Since the brain is an information-processing device, it has a limitation in processing multiple sources of information. In this project, we investigated attention (visual, primarily) and awareness.
The significance of understanding human consciousness can be also expanded to treatment research and AI research (its consciousness). Linked internal models, cognitive machinery, and the self having a mental possession of the outside objects would be a critical component of awareness. Is it hard to understand? Don’t worry. There are games for it.
Throughout my time here in Serbia at the 2023 Summer Research Fellowship, I attempted to create three different web apps/games that could assist people to easily understand the concept of how our brain processes the outside world and absorbs only critical information selectively: Reaction Time Game, Webfacegazer, and finally Eyebeam Measurement Game. We wanted to investigate understanding the visual attention and power of eyes, and the apps were built successfully.
- Reaction Time Game started with the question if we can measure visual attention time. Also, can we see the difference between with and without attention?
- Webfacegazer utilizes the open-source HCI webcam eye-tracker to measure our eye movement on other people’s face.
- Eyebeam Measurement Game will physically measure the power of the eyes looking at the direction of your task.
The three games are going to be open-source so that we can have more unbiased participants who are interested in science but thought it was not easy to understand.
In conclusion, I should add physicist Stephen Hawking’s last words, “There are no limits to the human spirit. I believe what makes us unique is transcending our limits. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist.”
I am excited about BYB’s journey and contribution to the science world and our endless curiosty!