When I am asked about what would it be like to experience an immersive environment, I automatically wonder what my brain interprets as an immersive experience. I first start by identifying what it is to be in an immersive environment. When you are experiencing an immersive environment, I believe you are aware of your surroundings and are in rapture of your environment and not concerned about meta-cognition (thinking about thinking). In an immersive environment you are consciously transported through different actions, settings and time. I think the medium you travel through is less important than the responses you make to your environment and the information acquired from traveling through the medium. These characteristics imply that you are willingly engaged with your surroundings. In this experience you could not, nor would you want to, ignore the unfolding of information. The symptoms of being immersed, according to Wikipedia, are “intense focus, a distorted sense of time, and effortless action.” It is very interesting that the activities that someone can become immersed in, such as chess or listening to a story, all result in the same experience of being engrossed in the activity as said by one of my classmates in their post. This leads me to believe that when one is immersed they display a signature brain wave. From an identification and description of brain waves found at Wikipedia, my hypothesis is that when one is immersed in an activity, they display increased gamma brainwave frequency. In this state the subject experiences a heightened focus, hypersensitive processing, and simultaneous processing of information throughout the brain. It is quite the opposite to attention deficit disorder. If I were to stick to this hypothesis all previous comments about short attention spans make me think that increasing the amount of gamma waves takes patience and a bit of effort, and that if we are constantly shifting our attention, we never really achieve immersion. It is hypothesized that during gamma wave frequency memory recall is fastest as well as reaction time and the brain consumes power at a lower rate. Wikipedia also says that Tibetan monks display a higher frequency of gamma brain than non-monks. To bring this back to Lila’s initial post, I think that if we were to label success at archiving data, ie. Creating an immersive environment, then it would look like gamma brain wave frequencies. So instead of addressing her post with ideas of how we will attain immersivity in the future, I thought I would pose a hypothesis of what immersivity looks like, which I proposed looks a lot like gamma brain waves.
Wikipedia, Gamma brain waves