On Feeling (the) Present: An evolutionary account of the sense of presence in physical and electronically-mediated environments

Giuseppe Riva, J. A. Waterworth, Fabrizia Mantovani, E. L. Waterworth

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

38 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

The sense of presence is the ability to experience the fact that one is physically present in the place in which the body is currently located. In other words, it refers to the part of the contents of consciousness that relate to the current time and place in which the body is located. One may have a relatively strong or weak feeling of presence at any given moment, since one may be more or less aware of one s location within the current surroundings - this experiential aspect of one s physical presence may be more or less psychologically salient. In what follows, we are not concerned with physical presence per se but only the extent to which we have the experience of being present in our surroundings. We present an account of the sense of presence understood as the result of an evolved neuropsychological process, created through the evolution of the central nervous system, and which solves a key problem for an organism s survival: how to differentiate between theinternal and the external. We suggest that in its simplest formthis originated as the feeling of something happening to an organismfromoutside rather than within. In this sense, presence distinguishes self from other. In its highly evolved form in humans, the degree of presence we feel tells us the extent to which we are focusing conscious attention on the outside world as opposed to attending to the internal world of thoughts and imaginings.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)167-178
Numero di pagine12
RivistaJournal of Consciousness Studies
Volume17
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2010

Keywords

  • agency
  • consciousness
  • presence

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