The Parallel Mind
Throughout the last century, Western scholars from various fields have contributed to the search of finding a general theory of consciousness that can accurately specify how the human brain processes information, and how it reflects and becomes aware of it. In 2013, Michael Graziano, an American scientist focused on awareness aspects of consciousness, proposed the Attention Schema Theory of Consciousness (AST) to solve why the mind becomes aware of anything in the first place. This work takes a stance that life on the screen, has allowed us to extend our identities through embodiment of a second self in cyberspace, and hypothesises that a digital self that uses AST can potentially become aware of itself. By using textual analysis, thought experiments and conceptual models, Rana’s project formulates parallel mind–as a self-aware entity that uses the content of the digital self and AST to generate self-awareness. The objective of Rana’s work is to provide a solution for the verification of AST, which can lead us one-step closer to understanding our own nature and our place in the universe.
Rana Zandi is a graphic designer, interaction designer, blogger, vlogger and transhumanist, researching cyberconsciousness. She assists OCAD University Health Design director, Kate Sellen, with mortality/palliative care research, and OCADU’s Sustainability Forum with outreach. Rana is designing conceptual interfaces to explore consciousness simulation, AI chatbots and “thanatosensitive” HCI for the deceased and bereaved.