(T)racing Eyes and Hearts: An Installation to Explore the Physiology of Empathy

Eyes darting, or maintaining a steady gaze straight ahead. Heartbeat racing, or maintaining a slow, even rhythm. If we encounter these phenomena in another, how do we respond – not just affectively, but physiologically? Eye movements and heartbeats are among the most intuitively meaningful physiological characteristics that humans observe in one another. Without necessarily consciously realizing it, we often respond empathetically. This project brings together humanities scholars and physiology scholars to create an art installation that uses representation, tracking, and visualization to investigate and reflect upon the physiology of empathy.

In collaboration with Dr. Anne Pollock (School of Literature, Communication, and Culture, Georgia Tech) and Dr. Lewis Wheaton (School of Biology, Georgia Tech).

Funded by GVU Small Research Grants.