Research into the neuroarts, as they’ve dubbed this movement, has also sparked debate about how many senses we have. ‘Some suggest that the number could be as great as fifty-three,’ continues Magsamen, ‘and include complex dynamic networks such as thermoception, or how we sense heat; equilibrioception, our perception of balance; and proprioception, our awareness of how our body moves through space.’
Ross adds: ‘Beyond these basic biomarkers already captured through wearable tech, engineers are perfecting wearable skin sensors capable of analysing our hormones, proteins and chemical states in real time, offering us early warning conditions like prolonged stress, while others are at work developing smart threads or clothing that moves with you throughout the day and become a data stream via circuitry invisible to the naked eye.’
Such knowledge will allow us to develop sensory literacy programmes for tomorrow’s multiplex workplace where the many ‘states’ of how we work, as we outline in our Work States Futures report and webinar, ‘will teach us how to be empathic, sympathetic, curious and alive to possibility…’, says Ross.
This is vital in a landscape where our humanity is increasingly being challenged by convincing chatbots and uber-intelligent, open-source AI.
The US edition of Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross is now available from Penguin Random House, while UK readers can buy it from Waterstones, all good independent bookshops or direct from Amazon.