Although they cannot recognize objects through sight, if they were to touch that object, they would recognize it immediately.
Visual Agnosia: A Simulation is a web experiment that aims to symbolically simulate the sensorial effects of visual agnosia, i.e. the inability to visually recognize objects despite perfect sight and provoke a reflection about one’s own sense of perception. The web experiment uses computer vision as a mirror representation of the processing of sight in the human brain. The specific computer vision model used (GazeRecorder) detects the direction of the gaze of a user through the webcam. Thusly, not only the user becomes aware of their sense of sight, but a dialogue is created between the user watching their computer screen, and the computer “watching” back. The simulation consists of various unrecognizable coloured shapes, appearing only when the user is looking at them, in order to mimic the optical perception of a person with visual agnosia. However, accounts from people with this condition say that their other senses are unaffected, meaning that although they cannot recognize objects through sight, if they were to touch that object, they would recognize it immediately. Therefore, only when the user of the web experiment uses their sense of touch, by touching the keyboard, that the true image on the screen is revealed: the web experience becomes a mirror which not only strengthens the user-computer relationship but also reinforces the idea of vision and perception being an internal and personal process.
- Dana Ryashy