LAUREN
MICHELLE
RAKUSIN /EMAIL


CLASS PROJECTS
+ CREATIONS


1. NEURAL
NETWORK MODEL


2. PERCEPTUAL
DEMONSTRATION


3. PERCEPTUAL
EXPERIMENT



NOTES/ART/MISC

4. BRAINSPACE

6. PHOTOGRAPHY
[external link]


SOCIAL
NETWORKING


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CLASS PROJECTS

1. NEURAL NETWORK MODEL

AFFECTIVE RESPONSE OF MUSICAL STIMULI PREDICTOR


CLASS DATA:
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
NEURAL NETWORK MODELS OF SOCIAL + COGNITIVE PROCESSES
PSYCHOLOGY 450 WITH DR. STEPHEN READ


// PROJECT DESCRIPTION
Given a musical stimulus, this neural network model, created with Emergent Neural Network Simulator, can predict the elicited affective response of a listener.

I trained the network to measure the psychoacoustic factors of tempo , volume , sharpness , and novelty of a stimulus, and use the data to quantify a listener's experience of arousal and valence .

Because the relationship between music and emotion is not linear, this model takes a spatiotemporal approach by utilizing attributes of long and short-term memory in the form of connection weights.

BASIC CONSTRUCTION:
// FOUR INPUT LAYERS: 10x1 GEOMETRY
1. TEMPO /beats per measure
2. VOLUME /piano to forte
3. SHARPNESS /staccato to legato
4. NOVELTY /degree of novelty to familiarity

The input layers are composed of ten nodes each, creating a sliding scale that can measure continuous quantities .

// ONE HIDDEN LAYER: 25x1 GEOMETRY
Each input layer is connected to the hidden layer.
The hidden layer is bi-directionally connected to each output layer.

// TWO OUTPUT LAYERS: SCALAR VALUES
1. AROUSAL /physiological response
2. VALENCE /positive or negative emotional value





2. PERCEPTUAL DEMONSTRATION

PARTYMOTION !!

APPARENT MOTION: The illusory impression of smooth motion resulting from the rapid alternation of objects that appear in different locations in rapid succession. -- Wolfe, 2012


CLASS DATA:
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
SENSATION + PERCEPTION
PSYCHOLOGY 304 WITH DR. CLAYTON STEPHENSON


// EXPERIMENTAL QUESTION
At what rate [frames per second] does our perception of rapidly alternating photographs change from a succession of still images to perceived motion?

// PROJECT PURPOSE
This stop motion project plays with our perception of motion while attempting to answer the question at hand; it also serves as a first, albeit gritty, attempt at creating with Final Cut Pro.






3. PERCEPTUAL EXPERIMENT

EXAMINING THE EFFECTS OF MUSIC ON SPEECH PERCEPTION


CLASS DATA:
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
SENSATION + PERCEPTION
PSYCHOLOGY 304 WITH DR. CLAYTON STEPHENSON


// EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
Voicemails of neutral content featuring male voices were uploaded to GarageBand and mixed with previously recorded songs to create three distinct categories:
1. HAPPY /voicemails mixed with fast tempo music in major keys
2. SAD /voicemails mixed with slow tempo music in minor keys
3. NEUTRAL /voicemails without music, functioned as control group
After filling out a short psychological profile, subjects were instructed to listen to one set of tracks, and rate the emotional impact of each message on a five-point Likert scale; they were also asked to rate the perceived significance of the message to the intended recipient. Responses were recorded and compared to those of the control group.


RESULTS:
1. HAPPY >> t(8) = -4.000, p = .004 /significant
2. SAD >> t(8) = 1.000, p = 0.347 /insignificant
// SPSS ANALYSIS
The HAPPY condition yielded significant results, while the SAD condition did not. Thus fast tempo music in major keys had a stronger effect on speech perception than slow tempo music in minor keys. Independent t-tests were run in SPSS, and the above significance levels were found.


CREATE:
The following track has no real relevance to the above described experiment; it is merely something I created while working on this project and experimenting with GarageBand.







NOTES / ART / MISC

4. BRAINSPACE

GET INSIDE MY HEAD

the following is an excerpt from my personal statement written for ITP:

My entire perspective on life was changed by my first course in Cognitive Science: Sensation and Perception . It was in this class that I learned color does not exist in the physical world, but is instead a mental phenomenon created by reflected light, sensory transduction, and our own unique theory of mind. Furthermore, because it is a mental construct, color is not experienced in the same way by everyone. According to Bayesian Decision Theory , this applies to all of the human visual system.


bayesNotes


In other words, it is not the eye that sees. The brain sees . The eye merely transmits. What we perceive is not simply the reality that appears before us, but a complex equation influenced by our memories, feelings, language, unique biology, and past experiences. Artists who work closely with color and name the subtleties of different shades can create a more vibrant world for themselves. By changing their language, they can actually change what they see and perceive, thus changing the way in which they experience the world around them.

Additionally, members of the Himba tribe in Namibia detect an entirely different color spectrum than we do. The Himba have only four named colors: zuzu, vapa, buru, and dambu. They describe the sky as black and water as white , while we describe both as blue . During experiments in which the Himba people were shown swatches of green along with one colored blue, the Himba were unable to detect the dissimilar blue square because they lack a linguistic descriptor to categorize blue as a separate color from green , instead referring to both as buru.

This difference in linguistic categorization creates a difference in perception; a Westerner and a member of the Himba tribe sensing the same exact physical reality will have an entirely different experience of the visual stimulus.
It is their perception of reality,
not the reality itself,
that creates the experience.
Anamorphic art illustrates the theoretical applicability of this concept perfectly: depending on your point of view, you can either perceive incredible artwork or a mess of nonsensical lines and colors. Quite literally, you can stand in one spot and admire a masterpiece, but the entire facade disappears if you take just one small step in any direction.

Just as small shifts in our point of view can allow us to see anamorphic art as a beautiful masterpiece or a nonsensical mess, small shifts in our perception of an experience can allow us to see the profound beauty in life, or miss it altogether in the throes of life's hardships.

If there is no one true reality, if all that exists is perception, then surely we can both figuratively and literally choose how we wish to see the world and experience life. Just as artists can enhance the colors of the world around them through language, we can create a happier existence by carefully selecting optimistic words to describe our experiences. The mind is immeasurably powerful, and capable of more than we think.

Our experience of reality has a lot to do with perception and little to do with reality; nothing is real, thus anything is possible.


lauren 
			rakusin at work

^ art by jz