International CIANS Conference 2006, June 17–18, Milan, Italy

NEURO-PSYCHO-PHYSIOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH AND INTERVENTIONS FROM AN INTERDISCIPLINARITY POINT OF VIEW

THE “MIRROR EFFECT” IN SOUND’S FUSION TIME: THE INTEGRATION OF TWO SPECULAR SOUND FIELDS IN ONE MENTAL-VIRTUAL HOLOPHONIC SOUND FIELD. PHENOMENOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS.

Gubert Finsterle

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In 1996 a new audio reproducing system was developed (EU Pat., US Pat., Int. Pat.), which promotes the mental integration of two specular stereophonic sound fields, emitted by two pairs of speakers sending almost identical acoustic information to the listening point, in a unified holophonic field.

This integration solves the information’s paradox expressly produced by the system structure itself. As a matter of fact, taking into account the physical and acoustic dimensions only, it would be impossible to distinguish the front sound emission from the rear one. However, the listener’s mind is able to reconstruct a three-dimensional space experience and thus to distinguish between front and rear sound fields.

We hypothesize that the capability to fusing and reconstructing sound information in a “virtual” holophonic field is related to a peculiar way to elaborate the space experience, which is also active during dreams. Dreams exist in a specific dimension of mental experience, that we define Primary Mental Space.

In order to verify whether, in the absence of recognizable sound structures and with closed eyes (Setting a), the mind  is able to produce any structure in the primary mental space, we utilized a correlated, fractalic structured sound (1/f, Pink Noise). An autopoietic mind’s property emerged, producing images and sounds (different from the stimulus) with a degree of realism close to the perception of reality, in a statistically relevant number of subjects (25% during a single listening session, 80% throughout six listening sessions).

The phenomenology of mind’s autopoietic productions suggests an increase of information exchange between neocortical areas and older ones.

EEG’s analysis allowed us to observe during listening sessions a brain’s tendency to produce synchronizations in all the bands (a,b,d,g) and in all the cortical areas. Although a direct relation between cortical synchronizations and mind’s autopoietic productions cannot be presently demonstrated, we hypothesize that the increased performances of both mind and body reported by most subjects (insight experiences during and after the session; physical activation after the listening session) could be related to an increased plasticity of neural paths induced by these general synchronizations.

The phenomenology of the autopoietic experiences should be further investigated from the perspective of the human tendency towards meaning making, independently of conscious intentionality.

 

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