Embedded in everyday practices, food can be a rich resource for interaction design. This article focuses on eating experiences to uncover how bodily, sensory, and socio-cultural aspects of eating can be better leveraged for the design of user experience. We report a systematic literature review of 109 papers, and interviews with 18 professional chefs, providing new understandings of prior HFI research, as well as how professional chefs creatively design eating experiences. The findings inform a conceptual framework of designing for user experience leveraging eating experiences. These findings also inform implications for HFI design suggesting the value of multisensory flavor experiences, external and internal sensory stimulation and deprivation, aspects of eating for communicating meaning, and designing with contrasting pleasurable and uncomfortable experiences. The article concludes with six charts as novel generative design tools for HFI experiences focused on sensory, emotional, communicative, performative, and temporal experiences.
COVID‐19 significantly affects patients' mental health, triggering a wide range of psychological disorders, including anxiety. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of mandala colouring on the anxiety of hospitalized COVID‐19 patients. In this randomized controlled clinical trial, 70 hospitalized patients with COVID‐19 were randomly divided between the intervention and control groups. Standard care was provided for both groups. The intervention group spent 30 min/day for six consecutive days performing mandala colouring. Patient anxiety was measured prior and subsequent to the intervention in both groups using the Spielberger State‐Trait Anxiety Inventory. Data were analysed using SPSS software version 25. The mean anxiety score was not significantly different between the two groups before the intervention (P = 0.08). Subsequent to the intervention, the mean anxiety score in the intervention and control groups was 44.05 ± 4.67 and 67.85 ± 6.25, respectively, indicating a statistically significant (P = 0.0001) decrease in the anxiety measured among the intervention group as compared with that of the control group. The results of this study show that 30 min of mandala colouring daily is an effective strategy for reducing anxiety in hospitalized COVID‐19 patients. Mandala colouring can complement routine treatment and provides a non‐pharmaceutical option for decreasing patient anxiety.
Walking meditation is a form of mindfulness training, where the act of walking provides a rhythmic meter for attentional focus. Numerous digital technologies have been created to support sitting meditation and walking practices, however, less explored is the influence of these technologies on the first person in-the-moment experience of walking meditation. In this paper, we present a study of group walking meditation,with and without an interactive soundscape that is modulated by one practitioner’s brain wave data. In orderto understand and design the interactive experience, we developed qualitative methods for data collection of the first person experience of walking meditation. Six workshops were conducted with both novice and more advanced practitioners, involving a guided walking meditation with body scan, structured writing and drawing exercises for elicitation and reflection, and a group interview. Our contribution is twofold: a descriptive model of the experience of walking meditation as represented by the analytic themes of shifting state, attention,self-regulation strategy, and immersion and reflection, together with body maps and experience timelines that visually represent patterns in the data; and a workbook comprising the set of phenomenologically inspired data collection methods, which helps participants articulate their first person experience and enhances their ability to reflect on the practice of walking meditation. The results provide insight into how practitioners divide and shift their attention between the rhythm of walking, breathing and the soundscape; and how some are able to harmonise the multiple dimensions towards a flow experience. Our study contributes to and provide resources for the experience design of interactive technologies to support mindfulness practices of walking meditation, as well as other practices where the mind/body experience is central.
Test anxiety is prevalent among adolescents. Some potentially successful mindfulness‐based coloring interventions have been identified in previous research, however, conclusions have been based on self‐report measures only. In the current study, 150 17‐ to 18‐years‐olds taking final school exam completed measures of state anxiety (STAI) and Mindfulness (SMS) prior to and directly after completing 12 min of either (1) free drawing, (2) mandala coloring, (3) mandala coloring paired with pre‐recorded mindfulness instructions. Heart rate (HR) was recorded prior to and directly after the 12‐min coloring intervention. Lay abstract: Many adolescents feel anxiety about final school examinations, this can have a negative effect of their performance. Mindfulness‐based colouring had been found to help reduce this anxiety for some adolescents. The current study looked at whether mindfulness instruction, alongside the colouring activity, could improve its effectiveness at reducing anxiety in 17‐ and 18‐year‐olds preparing for their final school exams.
Much research on meditation has shown its significant benefits for wellbeing. In turn, there has been growing HCI interest for the design of novel interactive technologies intended to facilitate meditation in real-time. In many of these systems, physiological signals have been mapped onto creative audiovisual feedback, however, there has been limited attention to the experiential qualities of meditation and the specific role that the body may play in them. In this paper, we report on workshops with 24 experts exploring the bodily sensations that emerge during meditation. Through material speculation, participants shared their lived experience of meditation and identified key stages during which they may benefit from additional aid, often multimodal. Findings emphasize the importance of recreating mindful physical sensations during moments of mind-wandering; in particular for supporting the regulation of attention through a range of embodied metaphors and haptic feedback, tailored to key transitions in the meditation process.
Interactive public interfaces are opportunities for designers to affect how people relate to one another. We believe that traditional ritual can inspire a novel approach to the design of digital experience in public space. Ritual has been shown to support social cohesion and we argue that it can be used as a design strategy to encourage the cultivation of qualities like compassion in public space. We created our own interactive artwork, Wish Happiness that was inspired by methods of compassion cultivation from Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. Through a concept-driven design research approach, we outline the set of design strategies we employed to translate key principles of Buddhist ritual and practice into the secular setting of a festival.We observed that compassion-like qualities, a positive state of mind and a sense of social harmony, were produced through interaction with the system, providing encouragement for future research into ritual interaction for compassion cultivation.
In recent decades, emotion regulation (ER) has been one of the most widely studied constructs within the psychological field. Nevertheless, laboratory experiments and retrospective assessments have been the 2 most common strands of ER research; thus, leaving open several crucial questions about ER antecedents and consequences in daily life. Beyond traditional methods, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) has the potential to capture ER dynamics during the flow of daily experiences, in real-life settings and through repeated measurements. Here, we discuss what we currently know about ER antecedents and consequences. We will compare findings from previous literature to findings from EMA studies, pointing out both similarities and differences, as well as questions that can be answered better with the EMA approach. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
Mindfulness practices are well-known for their benefits to mental and physical well-being. Given the prevalence of smartphones, mindfulness applications have attracted growing global interest. However, the majority of existing applications use guided meditation that is not adaptable to each user's unique needs or pace. This article proposes a novel framework called Attention Regulation Framework (ARF), which studies how more flexible and adaptable mindfulness applications could be designed, beyond guided meditation and toward self-regulated meditation. ARF proposes mindfulness interaction design guidelines and interfaces whereby practitioners naturally and constantly bring their attention back to the present moment and develop non-judgmental awareness. This is achieved by the performance of subtle movements, which are supported by non-intrusive detection-feedback mechanisms. We used two design cases to demonstrate ARF in static and kinetic meditation conditions. We conducted four user evaluation studies in unique situations where ARF is particularly effective, vis-à-vis mindfulness practice in busy environments and mindfulness interfaces that adapt to the pace of the user. The studies show that the design cases, compared with guided meditation applications, are more effective in improving attention, mindfulness, mood, well-being, and physical balance. Our work contributes to the development of self-regulated mindfulness technologies.
This randomized controlled study examined effects of mandala (structured and unstructured) and instruction (directed expression and free expression) on state anxiety, mood, and state mindfulness. Participants included 69 undergraduates randomly assigned to one of four conditions following anxious mood induction. The design followed 2 (mandala) X 2 (instruction) X 3 (time) mixed factorial design. A reflective writing task was analyzed for linguistic expression. Results indicated that all conditions are equivalently effective strategies for improving mood, state anxiety, and state body mindfulness. Linguistic patterns identified that unstructured mandala creation led to more affect and insight word use than structured mandala coloring. This study suggests that coloring and creating mandalas yield different implications for addressing particular therapeutic goals.
Skin conductance is an interesting measure of arousal level, largely unfamiliar to most end-users. We designed a mobile application mirroring end-users’ skin conductance in evocative visualizations, purposefully made ambiguous to invite rich interpretations. Twenty-three participants used the system for a month. Through the lens of a practice-based analysis of weekly interviews and the logged data, several quite different—sometimes even mutually exclusive—interpretations or proto-practices arose: as stress management; sports performance; emotion tracking; general life logging; personality representation; or behavior change practices. This suggests the value of a purposefully open initial design to allow for the emergence of broader proto-practices to be followed by a second step of tailored design for each identified goal to facilitate the transition from proto-practice to practice. We contribute to the HCI discourse on ambiguity in design, arguing for balancing openness and ambiguity with scaffolding to better support the emergence of practices around biodata.
Mindfulness is a term seen with increasing frequency in HCI literature, and yet the term itself is used almost as variously as the number of papers in which it appears. This diversity makes comparing or evaluating HCI approaches around mindfulness or understanding the design space itself a challenging task. We conducted a structured ACM literature search based on the term mindfulness. Our selection process yielded 38 relevant papers, which we analyzed for their definition, motivation, practice, evaluation and technology use around mindfulness. We identify similarities, divergences and areas of interest for each aspect, resulting in a framework composed of four perspectives and seven lines of research. We highlight challenges and opportunities for future HCI research and design.
Depression is an affective disorder with distinctive autobiographical memory impairments, including negative bias, overgeneralization and reduced positivity. Several clinical therapies address these impairments, and there is an opportunity to develop new supports for treatment by considering depression-associated memory impairments within design. We report on interviews with ten experts in treating depression, with expertise in both neuropsychology and cognitive behavioral therapies. The interviews explore approaches for addressing each of these memory impairments. We found consistent use of positive memories for treating all memory impairments, the challenge of direct retrieval, and the need to support the experience of positive memories. We aim to sensitize HCI researchers to the limitations of memory technologies, broaden their awareness of memory impairments beyond episodic memory recall, and inspire them to engage with this less explored design space. Our findings open up new design opportunities for memory technologies for depression, including positive memory banks for active encoding and selective retrieval, novel cues for supporting generative retrieval, and novel interfaces to strengthen the reliving of positive memories.
In the last decade, the number of articles on HCI and health has increased dramatically. We extracted 139 papers on depression, anxiety and bipolar health issues from 10 years of SIGCHI conference proceedings. 72 of these were published in the last two years. A systematic analysis of this growing body of literature revealed that most innovation happens in automated diagnosis, and self-tracking, although there are innovative ideas in tangible interfaces. We noted an overemphasis on data production without consideration of how it leads to fruitful interventions. Moreover, we see a need to promote ethical practices for involvement of people living with affective disorders. Finally, although only 16 studies evaluate technologies in a clinical context, several forms of support and intervention illustrate how rich insights are gained from evaluations with real patients. Our findings highlight potential for growth in the design space of affective health technologies
The increasing quality and availability of low-cost EEG systems offer new possibilities for non-medical purposes. Existing openly available algorithms to assess the user's mental state in real-time have been mainly performed with medical-grade equipment. In this paper, an approach to assess the user's Focus or Relax states in real-time using a consumer-grade, wearable EEG headband is evaluated. One naive measure and four entropy-based measures, computed using relative frequency band powers in the EEG signal, were introduced. Classifiers for relax and focus state detection, based on the estimation of probability distributions, were developed and evaluated in a user study. Results showed that the Tsallis entropy-based measure performed best for the Focus score, whereas the Renyi measure performed best for the Relax score. Sensitivities of 82.0% and 80.4% with specificities of 82.8% and 80.8% were achieved for the Focus and Relax scores, respectively. The results demonstrated the possibilities of using a wearable EEG system for real-time mental state recognition.
Practices such as mindfulness, introspection, and self-reflection are known to have positive short and long-term effects on health and well-being. However, in today's modern, fast-paced, technological world tempted by distractions these practices are often hard to access and relate to a broader audience. Consequently, technologies have emerged that mediate personal experiences, which is reflected in the high number of available applications designed to elicit positive changes. These technologies elicit positive changes by bringing users' attention to the self—from technologies that show representation of quantified personal data, to technologies that provide experiences that guide the user closer in understanding the self. However, while many designs available today are either built to support or are informed by these aforementioned practices, the question remains: how can we most effectively employ different design elements and interaction strategies to support positive change? Moreover, what types of input and output modalities contribute to eliciting positive states? To address these questions, we present here a state of the art scoping review of immersive interactive technologies that serve in a role of a mediator for positive change in users. We performed a literature search using ACM Digital Library, Web of Science, IEEE Xplore, and Design and Applied Arts Index (beginning of literature—January 1, 2018). We retrieved English-language articles for review, and we searched for published and unpublished studies. Risk of bias was assessed with Downs and Black 26-item QAT scale. We included 34 articles as relevant to the literature, and the analysis of the articles resulted in 38 instances of 33 immersive, interactive experiences relating to positive human functioning. Our contribution is three-fold: First we provide a scoping review of immersive interactive technologies for positive change; Second, we propose both a framework for future designs of positive interactive technologies and design consideration informed by the comparative analysis of the designs; Third, we provide design considerations for immersive, interactive technologies to elicit positive states and support positive change.
Despite recent popularity of mindfulness smartphone applications and an interest in incorporating mindfulness into new technologies, existing applications tend to focus mainly on its meditation dimension. In this paper, we review existing literature on digital and traditional mindfulness to map its design space and synthesize the findings with our prior research on designing for aesthetic needs. We identify “recollection” and “evaluation” as two important dimensions of mindfulness that have not yet been incorporated into popular digital tools. Through a two-phase design activity over 16 months, we developed ColorAway, an innovative tool that promotes mindfulness through interaction with modified travel photos. Recruited participants evaluated ColorAway and offered unique insights into how mindfulness can be better designed. We also discuss how the process of designing for mindfulness can possibly inform the design of personal technology. This research is part of a larger study that builds on scholarly research and theories with the goal of designing interactive technologies for solo travelers.
Mindfulness meditation has significant benefits for health and well-being but requires training. A wealth of mindfulness meditation apps have been developed in the last years. However, there has been limited academic work evaluating these technologies. This paper reports an auto-ethnographic and expert evaluation study of 16 most popular iPhone mindfulness apps. Findings indicate that these apps focus mostly on guided meditation with limited support for monitoring intrinsic meditation processes and measuring the effectiveness of the training. We propose a more nuanced discourse around such apps concluding with implications for design including new tools for supporting intrinsic meditation processes and bodily kinetic aspects fostering mindfulness, together with the call for developing guidelines for evaluating the effectiveness of such applications.
Our focus of attention naturally fluctuates between different sources of information even when we desire to focus on a single object. Focused attention (FA) meditation is associated with greater control over this process, yet the neuronal mechanisms underlying this ability are not entirely understood. Here, we hypothesize that the capacity of attention to transiently focus and swiftly change relates to the critical dynamics emerging when neuronal systems balance at a point of instability between order and disorder. In FA meditation, however, the ability to stay focused is trained, which may be associated with a more homogeneous brain state. To test this hypothesis, we applied analytical tools from criticality theory to EEG in meditation practitioners and meditation-naïve participants from two independent labs. We show that in practitioners—but not in controls—FA meditation strongly suppressed long-range temporal correlations (LRTC) of neuronal oscillations relative to eyes-closed rest with remarkable consistency across frequency bands and scalp locations. The ability to reduce LRTC during meditation increased after one year of additional training and was associated with the subjective experience of fully engaging one's attentional resources, also known as absorption. Sustained practice also affected normal waking brain dynamics as reflected in increased LRTC during an eyes-closed rest state, indicating that brain dynamics are altered beyond the meditative state. Taken together, our findings suggest that the framework of critical brain dynamics is promising for understanding neuronal mechanisms of meditative states and, specifically, we have identified a clear electrophysiological correlate of the FA meditation state.
Adult coloring books have flooded the market with titles alluding to therapeutic value, yet it is unclear whether they fulfil that promise. Here, we tested whether adult coloring was related to improvements in psychological outcomes. Female university students (n = 104) were randomly assigned to a coloring intervention or a logic-puzzle control group. Participants completed an inventory of psychological measures (depressive symptoms, stress, anxiety, flourishing, resilience, mindfulness) and then participated in a 1-week intervention of either daily coloring or logic-puzzles. Following the intervention, participants again completed the inventory of psychological measures. Coloring participants showed significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety after the intervention, but control participants did not. We conclude that daily coloring can improve some negative psychological outcomes and that it may provide an effective, inexpensive, and highly accessible self-help tool for nonclinical samples.
Regular breathing exercises can be a beneficial part of leading a healthy life. Digital games may have the potential to help people practice breathing exercises in an engaging way, however designing breathing exercise games is not well understood. To contribute to such an understanding, we created Life Tree as the culmination of three prototypal breathing games. Life Tree is a virtual reality (VR) game in which a player controls the growth of a tree by practicing pursed-lip breathing. We selected VR head-mounted display technology because it allows players to focus and limit external distractions, which is beneficial for breathing exercises. 32 participants played Life Tree and analysis of the collected data identified four key themes: 1) Designing Breathing Feedback; 2) Increasing Self-Awareness of Breathing and Body; 3) Facilitating Focused Immersion; and, 4) Engagement with Breathing Hardware. We used these themes to articulate a set of breathing exercise game design strategies that future game designers may consider to develop engaging breathing exercise games.
Digital technology has been completely integrated into our daily lives, yet the potential of technology to improve its users' life satisfaction is still largely untapped. Mindfulness, the act of paying a deliberate and non-judgmental attention to the present moment, has been shown to have a positive impact on a person's health and subjective well-being--commonly called "happiness". Based on an iterative process with meditation teachers and practitioners, we designed a new tool to support mindfulness practices. This tool takes the shape of an augmented sandbox, designed to inspire the user's self-motivation and curiosity. By shaping the sand, the user creates a living miniature world that is projected back onto the sand. The natural elements of the garden are connected to real-time physiological measurements, such as breathing, helping the user to stay focused on the body. Moreover, using a Virtual Reality headset, they can travel inside their garden for a dedicated meditation session. Preliminary results seem to indicate that the system is well suited for mindfulness and induces a calm and mindful state on the user. The meditation teachers envisioned the use of Inner Garden in their practice.
In our fast-paced society, stress and anxiety have become increasingly common. Meditation for relaxation has received much attention. Meditation apps exploit various senses, e.g., touch, audio and vision, but the relationship between human senses and interactive meditation is not well understood. This paper empirically evaluates the effects of single and combined human senses on interactive meditation. We found that the effectiveness of human senses can be defined by their respective roles in maintaining the balance between relaxation and focus. This work is the first to attempt to understand these relationships. The findings have broad implications for the field of multi-modal interaction and interactive meditation applications.
We are often overwhelmed by everyday stressors. Mindfulness meditation can help slow things down and bring one’s attention into the present moment. Given the prevalence of smartphones, mindfulness-based mobile applications (MBMAs) have received much attention. Current MBMAs mainly use the guided meditation method which may not be always effective, e.g., users may not be able to follow the pace of instructions and they need a private environment. This paper presents a framework for interactive MBMAs which allows users to self-regulate their attention according to their abilities and conditions. The framework is described by an AttentionRegulation Process and has two components: (1) Relaxation Response and (2) Attention Restoration Theory. The framework is validated by our experiment. It also informs future development for interactive meditation and has broad implications for designing mindfulness and well-being.
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of portable low-cost electroencephalographic (EEG) systems available to researchers. However, to date the validation of the use of low-cost EEG systems has focused on continuous recording of EEG data and/or the replication of large system EEG setups reliant on event-markers to afford examination of event-related brain potentials (ERP). Here, we demonstrate that it is possible to conduct ERP research without being reliant on event markers using a portable MUSE EEG system and a single computer. Specifically, we report the results of two experiments using data collected with the MUSE EEG system—one using the well-known visual oddball paradigm and the other using a standard reward-learning task. Our results demonstrate that we could observe and quantify the N200 and P300 ERP components in the visual oddball task and the reward positivity (the mirror opposite component to the feedback-related negativity) in the reward-learning task. Specifically, single sample t-tests of component existence (all p's < 0.05), computation of Bayesian credible intervals, and 95% confidence intervals all statistically verified the existence of the N200, P300, and reward positivity in all analyses. We provide with this research paper an open source website with all the instructions, methods, and software to replicate our findings and to provide researchers with an easy way to use the MUSE EEG system for ERP research. Importantly, our work highlights that with a single computer and a portable EEG system such as the MUSE one can conduct ERP research with ease thus greatly extending the possible use of the ERP methodology to a variety of novel contexts.
This paper reviews interactive technological approaches to improve mindfulness and fills a gap in the literature by using technology to target aspects of mindfulness that are missing in scientific research. Interactive approaches to train mindfulness are presented and discussed in relation to Bergomi’s conceptual mindfulness model and Vago and Silbersweig’s neurobiological approach for cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes. Based on existing interactive technologies, key design guidelines are developed to investigate the delivery of mindfulness by interactive media, including the design recommendations of personalization, gamification, and social features for the S-ART component intention and motivation; biofeedback training and narrative for emotion regulation; moral dilemmas, perspective taking, and cooperative design for prosociality; and explorative self-reflection, visualization and immersive feedback, and the integration of internal stimuli for self-transcendence. The paper recommends to apply a more extensive definition of mindfulness, which includes ethical and spiritual development. As a design premise for mindfulness technology, it is advised to strive for embodied experiences that adapt to the user’s internal state.
Meditation is a mind-body practice with considerable wellbeing benefits that can take different forms. Novices usually start with focused attention meditation that supports regulation of attention towards an inward focus or internal bodily sensations and away from external stimuli or distractors. Most meditation technologies employ metaphorical mappings of meditative states to visual or soundscape representations to support awareness of mind wandering and attention regulation, although the rationale for such mappings is seldom articulated. Moreover, such external modalities also take the focus attention away from the body. We advance the concept of interoceptive interaction and employed the embodied metaphor theory to explore the design of mappings to the interoceptive sense of thermoception. We illustrate this concept with WarmMind, an on-body interface integrating heat actuators for mapping meditation states. We report on an exploratory study with 10 participants comparing our novel thermal metaphors for mapping meditation states with comparable ones, albeit in aural modality, as provided by Muse meditation app. Findings indicate a tension between the highly discoverable soundscape's metaphors which however hinder attention regulation, and the ambiguous thermal metaphors experienced as coming from the body and supported attention regulation. We discuss the qualities of embodied metaphors underpinning this tension and propose an initial framework to inform the design of metaphorical mappings for meditation technologies. CCS CONCEPTS • Human-centered computing ~Interaction design ~Empirical studies in interaction design Additional
Design is an activity with creativeness that can be deemed as a life-philosophy for exploring from flow of individuals to group interflow. This Study aims to combine Western psychology and Oriental dynamic meditation activities on basis of Flow Theory by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Carl Gustav Jung’s in depth psychological analysis and concept of Mandala, to develop an extended cooperative mandala coloring (CMC) and to attempt on proposing the design principle of CMC. Through researching the collective unconscious for specific groups at specific ages, the Bildung education for newbie designers. The subjects of this study are 14 students from Taiwanese junior high and senior high schools who jointly participated the APDEC 2017 held in Japan in August 2017 with the researcher. The three approaches of action research are taken on basis of study objectives. First, “Pre-action Research”, which involves redesign of the individual mandala coloring activity by Jung to Cooperative Mandala Coloring; then, “In-action Research”, which involves interpretation of Jung phenomena by Mandala works by the adolescents; lastly, “Post-action Research” for introspection on overall effects for facilitation of flow and interflow. Through CMC activities, this study discovers that adolescents can not only satisfy their own expressed needs but also situate themselves in spiritual safe space in order to facilitate themselves to obtain self-organization at the transient moment of conversion to complexity when at the status of being empathized, while opening up to reveal the self for broadening the experiences in interflow with others.
Mandala coloring has been receiving increasing attention in the literature and throughout popular culture. Previous research also indicated that high level of mindfulness may increase flow experience. The literature also suggests that teamwork may moderate the relationship between challenge and flow state, help subjects to overcome challenges and improve their flow state. Therefore based on the previous studies, our study wants to explore: (1) whether mandala coloring can improve mindfulness and flow; (2) what is the relationship between mindfulness and flow during the process of mandala coloring; and (3) whether teamwork can improve the state of flow in mandala coloring activity? Participants were 76 university students, divided into two groups: High-skill (n = 38) and low-skill (n = 38). The two groups performed three mandala coloring experiments in sequence: Structured mandala, Free mandala, and Cooperative mandala. Measurements of state mindfulness and state flow were taken for one pre-assessment of the whole experiment and three pre-assessments of each the three mandala activities. Results indicated that short-term mandala coloring exercises can’t improve mindfulness but can significantly improve the flow state. There is a significant positive relationship between mindfulness and some dimensions of flow (e.g., Concentration on task, Unambiguous feedback, Sense of control, Challenge-skill balance, and Autotelic experience). But a negative correlation was found between mindfulness and loss of self-consciousness dimension. Free mandala is challenging for participants in the low-skilled group, but teamwork in cooperative mandala can help them to overcome this challenge. The contribution of this research is to provide a reference for further understanding of the mechanisms that how mandala coloring can help improve subjects’ mental state and enhance positive psychology.
Increasing HCI work on affective interfaces aimed to capture and communicate users' emotions in order to support self-understanding. While most such interfaces employ traditional screen-based displays, more novel approaches have started to investigate smart materials and actuators-based prototypes. In this paper, we describe our exploration of smart materials and actuators leveraging their temporal qualities as well as common metaphors for real-time representation of changes in arousal through visual and haptic modalities. This exploration provided rationale for the design and implementation of six novel wrist-worn prototypes evaluated with 12 users who wore them over 2 days. Our findings describe how people use them in daily life, and how their material-driven qualities such as responsiveness, duration, rhythm, inertia, aliveness and range shape people's emotion identification, attribution, and regulation. Our findings led to four design implications including support for affective chronometry for both raise and decay time of emotional response, design for slowness, and for expressiveness.
With the rise of mindfulness in contemporary western society as a positive way to cope with stress and improve health and wellbeing, researchers are investigating the application of interactive soundscapes to enrich and support the experience of mindfulness meditation. Instead of using commonly applied corrective feedback models, containing sounds with negative connotations, our interaction concept adopted a strategy of gently guiding and supporting the user's in-the-moment experience of practising meditation through a nature soundscape responsive to their brainwave activity recorded with a Muse EEG headset. In this paper we describe the detailed design of our prototype. We explain how we refined the interaction concept, and discuss some of the key design decisions and modifications that took place during an iterative design process, informed by user evaluations with novice meditators.
Numerous scientific studies are conducted on the neurophysiological effects of meditation practices and on the neural correlates of meditative states. However, very few studies have been conducted on the experience associated with contemplative practice: what it is like to meditate — from moment to moment, at different stages of different forms of practice — remains almost invisible in contemporary contemplative science. Recently, ‘micro-phenomenological’ interview methods have been developed to help us become aware of lived experience and describe it with rigor and precision. This article presents the results of a pilot project aiming at applying these methods to the description of meditative experience, and highlights the interest of such descriptions for understanding, practicing and teaching meditation.
Emotions are vital to our lives but could be difficult to recognize and understand. Traditional visualizations of emotions tend to be time-series graph on screen displays limiting user engagement in their real-time sense-making. This paper explores the feasibility of smart materials for developing novel dynamic displays on skin for real time visualization of affective data. We report prototyping two such displays and their evaluation with 6 participants, and discuss their qualities such as ambiguity, slowly unfolding change, and lack of light emission together with their temporal constraints and private-public tension for affective meaning disclosure.
There is a growing emphasis on designing with people with diverse health experiences rather than designing for them. Yet, collaborative design becomes difficult when working with individuals with health conditions (e.g., stroke, cancer, abuse, depression) that affect their ability or willingness to engage alongside researchers and verbally express themselves. The present paper analyzes how the clinical practice of art therapy engages these individuals in co-creative, visual expression of ideas, thoughts, and experiences. Drawing on interviews with 22 art therapists and over two years of field work in a clinical setting, we detail how art therapists view making as expression for people with complex communication needs. Under this view, we argue that art therapy practice can inspire collaborative design engagements by understanding materials as language, creating space for expression, and sustaining expressions in a broader context. We discuss practical and ethical implications for design work involving individuals with complex communication needs.
Digital self-tracking technologies offer many potential benefits over self-tracking with paper notebooks. However, they are often too rigid to support people's practical and emotional needs in everyday settings. To inform the design of more flexible self-tracking tools, we examine bullet journaling: an analogue and customisable approach for logging and reflecting on everyday life. Analysing a corpus of paper bullet journal photos and related conversations on Instagram, we found that individuals extended and adapted bullet journaling systems to their changing practical and emotional needs through: (1) creating and combining personally meaningful visualisations of different types of trackers, such as habit, mood, and symptom trackers; (2) engaging in mindful reflective thinking through design practices and self-reflective strategies; and (3) posting photos of paper journals online to become part of a self-tracking culture of sharing and learning. We outline two interrelated design directions for flexible and mindful self-tracking: digitally extending analogue self-tracking and supporting digital self-tracking as a mindful design practice.
The third wave of HCI research has interest in understanding how technologies can mediate personal experiences and improve life quality. In particular, immersive environments combined with the practices of mindfulness meditation have a strong potential to increase the user's attention to the self. Often, people feel disconnected from their bodies and experiences, and guided attention to self can alleviate this disconnect as in focused-attention meditation. In focused-attention meditation, breathing often constitutes the primary object on which to focus attention. In this context, sustained breath awareness plays a crucial role in the emergence of the meditation experience. Hence, we designed a virtual environment for head-mounted display that supports sustained attention on breathing by employing users' breathing in interaction. The virtual environment depicts an abstract ocean in which one is immersed, accompanied with a generative soundtrack. Both sounds and visuals are directly mapped to the user breathing patterns, thus bringing the awareness researched. We conducted micro-phenomenology interviews to unfold the process in which breath awareness can be induced and sustained in this environment. The findings revealed the mechanisms by which audio and visual cues in VR can elicit and foster breath-awareness, and unfolded the nuances of this process through subjective experiences of the study participants. Finally, the results emphasize the important role that a sense of agency and control have in shaping the overall quality of the experience. This can in turn inform the design specifications of future mindfulness-based designs focused on breath awareness.
Across cultures and throughout history, transcendent states achieved through meditative practices have been reported. The practices to attain transcendent states vary from transcendental meditation to yoga to contemplative prayer, to other various forms of sitting meditation. While these transcendent states are ascribed many different terms, those who experience them describe a similar unitive, ineffable state of consciousness. Despite the common description, few studies have systematically examined transcendent states during meditation.
The objectives of this systematic review were to: 1) characterize studies evaluating transcendent states associated with meditation in any tradition; 2) qualitatively describe physiological and phenomenological outcomes collected during transcendent states and; 3) evaluate the quality of these studies using the Quality Assessment Tool.
Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, AltHealthWatch, AMED, and the Institute of Noetic Science Meditation Library were searched for relevant papers in any language. Included studies required adult participants and the collection of outcomes before, during, or after a reported transcendent state associated with meditation.
Twenty-five studies with a total of 672 combined participants were included in the final review. Participants were mostly male (61%; average age 39 ± 11 years) with 12.7 ± 6.6 (median 12.6; range 2-40) average years of meditation practice. A variety of meditation traditions were represented: (Buddhist; Christian; Mixed (practitioners from multiple traditions); Vedic: Transcendental Meditation and Yoga). The mean quality score was 67 ± 13 (100 highest score possible). Subjective phenomenology and the objective outcomes of electroencephalography (EEG), electrocardiography, electromyography, electrooculogram, event-related potentials, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, respiration, and skin conductance and response were measured. Transcendent states were most consistently associated with slowed breathing, respiratory suspension, reduced muscle activity and EEG alpha blocking with external stimuli, and increased EEG alpha power, EEG coherence, and functional neural connectivity. The transcendent state is described as being in a state of relaxed wakefulness in a phenomenologically different space-time. Heterogeneity between studies precluded any formal meta-analysis and thus, conclusions about outcomes are qualitative and preliminary.
Future research is warranted into transcendent states during meditation using more refined phenomenological tools and consistent methods and outcome evaluation.
Calm technologies help us avoid distraction by embedding notifications in our surroundings with peripheral updates. However, users also lose out on the passive awareness that comes from more overt notifications. In our paper, we present an initial study setup on shape changing circuits as notifications. We compare near and far peripheral locations to determine the optimal location for these notifications by assigning a primary task of arithmetic questions, and a secondary task of responding to bend notifications. Our demonstration will show the set-up of our study to encourage discussion on possible applications of shape changing notifications in peripheral locations.
While mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) employ two distinct practices, focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM), the integrated delivery of these practices in MBIs precludes understanding of their practice-specific effects or mechanisms of action. The purpose of this study is to isolate hypothesized active ingredients and practice-specific mechanistic target engagement by creating structurally equivalent interventions that differ only by the active ingredient (meditation practice) offered and to test whether the hypothesized components differentially engage the mechanistic targets that they are purported to engage.
Participants were intended to be representative of American meditators and had mild to severe affective disturbances. Measures of structural equivalence included participant-level (sample characteristics), treatment-level (program structure and duration, program materials, class size, attendance, homework compliance, etc.), and instructor-level variables (training, ratings and adherence/fidelity). Measures of differential validity included analysis of program materials and verification of differential mechanistic target engagement (cognitive and affective skills and beliefs about meditation acquired by participants after the 8-week training).
The results indicate successful creation of structurally equivalent FA and OM programs that were matched on participant-level, treatment-level, and instructor-level variables. The interventions also differed as expected with respect to program materials as well as mechanistic targets engaged (skills and beliefs acquired).
These validated 8-week FA and OM training programs can be applied in future research to assess practice-specific effects of meditation.
The digital health and wellbeing movement has led to development of digital mindfulness applications that aim to help people to become mindful. In this paper we suggest a broad scheme for classifying and ordering apps intended to support mindfulness. This scheme consists of four levels of what we here term digital mindfulness. One crucial aspect of the fourth level is that artifacts at this level allow for what we term as presence-with and presence-in as opposed to presence-through, which occurs at the first three levels. We articulate our four levels along with specific design qualities through concrete examples of existing mindfulness apps and through research through design (RtD) work conducted with design fiction examples. We then use a working design case prototype to further illustrate the possibilities of presence-with and presence-in. We hope our four levels of digital mindfulness framework will be found useful by other researchers in discussing and planning the design of their own mindfulness apps and digital artifacts.
Communicating the right affect, a feeling, experience or emotion, is critical in creating engaging visual communication. We carried out three studies examining how different color properties (lightness, chroma and hue) and different palette properties (combinations and distribution of colors) contribute to different affective interpretations in information visualization where the numbers of colors is typically smaller than the rich palettes used in design. Our results show how color and palette properties can be manipulated to achieve affective expressiveness even in the small sets of colors used for data encoding in information visualization.
Inter-individual synchronization of motor activity, such as gestures, posture and speech rhythm during face-to-face interaction is a well-established phenomenon. Recent investigations have revealed that similar synchronization during interaction also occurs in brain activity and autonomous physiology. However, it is not known to what extent this synchronization emerges during computer-mediated interaction and whether its absence contributes to the widely acknowledged problems of online communication. We suggest that measuring the synchronization of biosignals is meaningful for assessing emotional capacity of computer-mediated communication systems, and intentionally increasing synchronization could improve understanding between people. As a proof-of-concept an interactive real-time system to quantify and visualize the synchronization of facial expressions, ECG, EEG and EDA of two players was piloted and results are presented in this paper.
Contrary to the occupational therapy tradition, there is little current research on harmonizing expressive doing with contemporary occupational therapy practice. This phenomenological multiple case study explored an integrated application of mindfulness, creative activity, and sensory modulation for adult mental health services users by making and using personalized self-soothing kits. The results showed significant improvements in arousal regulation, positive changes in emotion regulation and mixed results for mood regulation. Progress in participation in present roles and an increased focus on future productivity goals were also among the outcomes reported. The theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.