Tag Archives: Tasha Stanton

Establishment and Development

BiM-TransparentTwo of my collaborators from Sydney Uni have joined me for the trip to Adelaide today – Prof. Philip Poronnik (Biomedical Sciences) and 2nd year medical student, Rosie Menzies. Philip and Rosie have never been to Body In Mind (BIM), at the Sansom Institute UniSA, where my other collaborating scientists are based, so they have flown over to check out their lab. Until now, much of our communication has been over emails and Skype. So it was a great occasion to get together in person to further discuss our project after seeing BIM’s equipment. Dr. Tasha Stanton (postdoctoral research fellow, Pain Science) from BIM had already seen what USYD can offer when she came for a visit a few months ago, so it was now USYD team’s turn to check out BIM’s assets.

First, they were in for a real treat. They were invited to try the ever so mind boggling ‘Disappearing Hand Trick’ which uses the Mirage multisensory illusions box, developed by Associate Professor Roger Newport from University of Nottingham. As the professor aptly puts it, the purpose of the Mirage is to investigate “how the brain perceives and controls our body. Normal goal-directed action and the perception of our body requires that the brain can put together information about vision, touch and proprioception (body position sense) in a fast, accurate and efficient manner. Such multisensory integration can be disrupted by brain damage or by experimentally manipulating the senses in healthy individuals.”

The ‘Disappearing Hand Trick’ manipulates the visuospatial perception of the user.

 

Philip is being tricked by the Mirage box - his right hand will disappear and he won’t be able to find it! Dr Valeria Bellan is gently guiding Phil here.
Philip is being tricked by the Mirage box – his right hand will disappear and he won’t be able to find it! Dr Valeria Bellan is gently guiding Phil here.

 

Tasha applying the mirage box on Rosie, who will help me program my VR project this year. Even our super smart Rosie couldn’t find her own hand!
Tasha applying the mirage box on Rosie, who will help me program my VR project this year. Even our super smart Rosie couldn’t find her own hand!

 

Rosie’s view of her hands through the Mirage screen.
Rosie’s view of her hands through the Mirage screen.

 

After hanging out at BIM’s playground in the morning, Prof. Lorimer Moseley (Clinical Neurosciences and Chair in Physiotherapy) took us to have a lovely lunch and to continue brainstorming about our VR project. Super excitement, inspiration, exchange of new ideas and skills were on the menu. I was also very pleased to be able to provide a connection between the BIM and USYD scientists. And Phil made sure we were very well fed with the finest Adelaide cuisine.

With my collaborating scientists (left to right) – Prof. Philip Poronnik, Rosie, Prof. Lorimer Moseley and last but not the least, Dr. Tasha Stanton. Thanks to ANAT, who is funding my VR project research and collaboration, we were able to finally get together face to face.
With my collaborating scientists (left to right) – Prof. Philip Poronnik, Rosie, Prof. Lorimer Moseley and last but not the least, Dr. Tasha Stanton. Thanks to ANAT, who is funding my VR project research and collaboration, we were able to finally get together face to face.

 

One of the most exciting discussions we had was about how the Mirage box could be incorporated into my upcoming exhibition at the UNSW gallery next year. Phil also expressed an interest in building one for Sydney Uni as an educational tool for his students as well. Tasha is going to consult Prof. Newport about designing a modified version with easier construction and transportation in mind, since the exhibition will be travelling around regional NSW after the UNSW show. What an exciting development it is! The wonders of the Mirage box will soon be able to be experienced not only by both academic institutions, but also by the general public in an artistic context.

Then we came back to BIM lab after lunch for more fun.

bring out the good old vibrators! Tasha and Dr. Valeria Bellan are tricking Phil’s brain to think that his forearm is shrinking.
bring out the good old vibrators! Tasha and Dr. Valeria Bellan are tricking Phil’s brain to think that his forearm is shrinking.

 

It turns out, Rosie has a much distorted image of her own backside! Tricky Mirage goggles at BIM. Oh, hello there Phil!
It turns out, Rosie has a much distorted image of her own backside! Tricky Mirage goggles at BIM. Oh, hello there Phil!

 

Progressing further with our VR project, Rosie and Stuart Esdaile (IdeaLab, USYD), our programmers for the project, have asked to purchase these realistic 3D hand models to be incorporated into the VR. After much research, we’ve decided to go with these two. Please click on the links below if you’d like to have a look.

http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/3d-male-human-hand/842799

http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/3d-rigged-female-hand-realistic/782801

I look forward to seeing what they come up with after playing around with these hands.

McGill

Introduction

Eugenie Lee and chronic pain research with Body in Mind (Sansom Institute, Unversity of SA) and Charles Perkins Centre (University of Sydney)

Here is a brief introduction of myself and my project for Synapse residency 2015 by Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT).

I am an interdisciplinary artist with a strong focus on chronic pain, founded on my own personal pain experience. For the last few years I’ve been working on sculptures, installations, performance and paintings to communicate the complexities of chronic pain issues.

In 2014, I received a research residency grant from Accessible Arts to work with a neuroscientist who specialises in chronic pain, Professor Lorimer Moseley, and his team Body in Mind (BIM) at the University of SA and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) in Sydney. The 8 month long residency gave me an opportunity to learn, witness and participate in various scientific experiments and studies, and also to meet a number of world-renowned scientists in the field.

During my Synapse residency this year I will be researching and developing toward an artwork with my collaborating scientists that will simulate the experiences of chronic pain patients – specifically of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) – within a Virtual Reality Environment (VRE). The idea for this VRE concept came as a direct result of Accessible Arts research residency. To accompany the VRE I will also be looking into creating an installation to enhance the VR experience – possibly by incorporating other fun devices to manipulate visual perception in the brain of a participant.

Chronic pain is a complex disease and studies into it have shown that by altering our sensory perceptions the brain can be made to interpret pain differently. This is the core theme of what we are trying to experiment during my residency.

The key members of the project team are:

Dr. Tasha Stanton, a postdoctoral research fellow from Body in Mind (BIM), Sansom Institute, UniSA and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA),

Prof. Philip Poronnik, a professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Sydney (USYD),

Dr. Valeria Bellan (BIM),

Dr. Carolyn Berryman (BIM),

Stuart Esdaile, a programmer, IdeaLab (USYD)

Rosie Menzies, a medical student, programmer (USYD)

Matindi Twyford-Moore, science student (USYD)