Evening Plenary Session

Keynote Speaker: Erik Myin, Professor of Philosophy and Head of the Centre for Philosophical Psychology at the University of Antwerp.


There are different ways in which theorists have promoted the idea that cognition is embodied. Many of these still agree with core tenets of the so-called cognitive revolution. They still adhere to the assumption that there exists a natural phenomenon properly called cognition, to be explained by “cognitive processes”, which in principle can be distinct from what organisms do in their environments and involve some kind of descriptive abstraction from the particular worldly offerings interacted with—even if action-oriented rather than mirroring the world. Radical embodied approaches, on the other hand, focus on action of organisms in environments as their subject matter. These actions are to be explained not by behind-the-scenes “cognitive” processes, but by providing a natural history of how they gradually emerged out of a history of organism-environment interactions. Intelligence is flexible, adaptive embodied action, even when it does not, or hardly, involve overt movement, as in visual imagery or mental arithmetic. Organisms change the ways they interact with their environments, but not by acquiring abstracting descriptions of it, or by forming rules which steer their behaviors. Once action and its historically driven dynamics are seen as the core of intelligence, or what has been termed “cognition”, distinctions between so called “intellectual” and “artistic” activities can be seen as artificial products of the age-old disembodied traditions of thinking about thinking.

Workshop: Interacting with the Music Paint Machine

Workshop: Interacting with the Music Paint Machine

In this workshop, participants are invited to interact with the Music Paint Machine, a music educational technology that allows musicians to make a digital painting by playing music while making various movements.

The system has a solid theoretical and pedagogical background (explained during the presentation in the panel “Embodiment in Arts Education”) and aims at stimulating and supporting the development of an optimal relationship between musician and musical instrument in function of musical creativity.

Throughout the workshop, different modes of use will be demonstrated and tried out to illustrate and experience first hand how the system addresses different levels of embodiment.

Please, bring your instrument!

Panel: Autopoietic, Enactive, and Extended Musical Practices

Michael Golden, Music Emergent: Autopoiesis and Connected Worlds

A survey of ethnomusicological studies of traditional cultures from around the world shows that, although the specific functions attributed to music are diverse, a common thread is that they involve connecting us to our environments: social, physical, and/or metaphysical. If we consider this phenomenon in the context of the work of Maturana and Varela (autopoiesis, the Santiago theory of cognition) and their successors, human musicking can be understood as continuing the development of processes essential to all living things in their interactions with their environments, in other words, as an emergent property of life itself.

Beginning with the ideas of autopoiesis, cognition and structural coupling, the Santiago theory explains that, with a sufficiently complex nervous system, organisms such as ourselves “bring forth” an interior world, and integrate or connect it with the external world that we bring forth through our senses. The nervous system, linked to sense receptors, the motor system, and the brain (i.e., other neurons), functions to integrate the “brought forth” worlds of all the living cells in the bodies of second-order autopoietic unities. Musicking, because it engages sense (auditory perception), motor activity (sound production, entrainment) and our interior states (thought and emotion), appears to be an effective behavior in support of this integrative process; recent findings in neuroscience indicating the scope of connected brain activities in musically engaged subjects also support this idea. Furthermore, the often-noted effects of social cohesion and integration through musicking suggest the possibility, if we allow that social units might be understood as third-order autopoietic unities, that musicking has an important role at that level as well.

Thus, we may be able to explain the awareness expressed in traditional cultures that music is essentially connective, as mentioned above, on the basis of contemporary understanding of the biology of cognition.

Simon Høffding, “We-ing” in Joint Music Performance: Phenomenological lessons with “The Danish String Quartet”

This paper concerns the phenomenology of expert musicianship and targets the various modes of communication found here. The data for the research is derived from a developing methodology with the working title of “A Phenomenological Interview” (Høffding & Martiny 2015) which integrates qualitative interviews and phenomenological analyses.

Through phenomenological interviews with one of the world’s leading classical quartets, “The Danish String Quartet” (DSQ), three forms of communication are identified: 1) Motor resonance, 2) Explicit coordination, and 3) Interkinesthetic Affectivity. The first refers to the subconscious system of canonical neurons (Pacherie 2014) and the second to explicit and reflective processes of planning and prediction as described by music psychologist Peter Keller (Keller 2008). The third, however, has not been thoroughly described in prior literature and concerns when musicians experience a strong, unified “we-intentionality” characterized by a high degree of trust and labelled as a “hive-mind” or as subject to unusual “zone-forces” (DSQ). This third form of communication has strong pre-reflective, affective and bodily components, and in the mind of the DSQ musicians instantiates the most beautiful and pleasant kind of performance.
The paper concludes by suggesting that interkinesthetic affectivity is an emergent form of consciousness that is best understood in enactive and interactionist terms.

Joel Krueger, Dimensions of the musically extended mind

Increasingly influential views in 4E cognitive science portray minds as embodied, embedded, enacted, and even extended beyond the head. Proponents argue that we routinely “offload” cognitive functions onto artifacts and symbols of our material environments — we use pen and paper to augment mathematical reasoning, smartphones as memory aids — flexibly transforming our cognitive profile in real-time in order to realize new modes of thought and experience. In light of the interrelation between mind and material culture, 4E proponents insist that understanding how minds work entails looking beyond the head.

In this talk, I apply principles of 4E cognition to music cognition and defend a picture of the musically extended mind. I argue that music affords different forms of cognitive and emotional offloading: it can function as a persistent environmental resource supporting the development of experiences and cognitive practices that might otherwise remain inaccessible. In developing this claim, I focus especially on the materiality of music. This is meant to emphasize two things: first, from birth music shows up for us, experientially, as something we use, something we do things with; second, this is because music is always mediated by artefacts and environments — musical worlds — that afford different uses. I support this picture of the musically extended mind by drawing upon multiple streams of empirical work from neuroscience, developmental psychology, and music therapy. I also consider several examples of musical worlds, including mu

Maria Witek, ‘Feeling at one’: Distribution of minds, bodies and beats in dance music

Vibe is a well-known phenomenon in research on dance music, clubbing and rave culture. It is an affective atmosphere that is collectively shaped by the rhythmic interlocking of its different elements, such as the DJ, the music, the dancers, the space, the lights and the temperature. Ethnographic and phenomenological accounts of dance music consciousness are filled with subjective reports of feelings of oneness, unity, ego dissolution, ecstasy and oceanic experience. However, until now, such dissolving of subjectivity during clubbing and raving has been treated largely as metaphor. This paper advances the notion of affective distribution by suggesting how the cognitive processes of clubbing and raving literally extend across the beat and the body. I consider vibe from the phenomenological perspective of socio-affective Extended Mind and focus on its musical correlates. I illustrate how the temporal structure of syncopation opens up spaces or gaps in the rhythmic surface that invite the body to ‘fill in’ through synchronised body-movement, thus providing the body with opportunities to physically occupy the musical beat. The paper thus asserts that the breakdown of boundaries between body, brain, music and environment is not just metaphorical but also material and physiological, and in doing so argues for a non-anthropocentric view of music and affect.

Panel: Cross Cultural Art and Embodiment

Yu Zhi, Hand Scroll and the Seeing: An Embodied analysis of Chinese traditional Painting – telepresentation

Hand Scroll (手卷、长卷、卷轴、横卷、横轴) is a genre and the classical mood of existence of Chinese traditional painting. It can be only appreciated while a person deploys it to several viewers, rather than to be suspended or hanged in a public space such as a museum or gallery. In comparison with Western oil painting, Hand scroll has many embodied characteristics:“Embodied presence”, “Roll of hand and extension of body”, “mobile viewing and point of view” and “private space and communication of body”. We can find these embodied elements in some celebrated hand scrolls, for instance Thousands Miles of Rivers and Mounts (《千里江山图》) by Wang Ximeng (王希孟), Along the River During the Qingming Festival (《清明上河图》) by Zhang Zeduan (张择端) and Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains (《富春山居图》) by Huang Gongwang (黄公望).

“Duan Siying, From “Harmony” to “Tension”: the reconstruction of “body” in Chinese New Ink Art

With the heated debates on whether Chinese painting should keep it’s brush and ink tradition at the end of 20 centuries, a series of New Ink Art works declared their existence in a series of exhibition named “An Experiment in Tension: An Exhibition of Expressive Ink Painting” (1994) and “Tension and Expression: An Exhibition of Ink-Wash Painting” (1995). In contrast to the pursuit of a harmonic world in traditional Chinese painting which involve the freely “walking, seeing, playing, and living” (Guo Xi) of both artist and viewer, the New Ink Art works push this four-dimensional world to an extreme moment of power, speed and tension by borrowing the western painting techniques of pouring, breaking, collage or modern technology of light and electricity.

Instead of keep focusing on the political background and identity arguments of the issue of Chinese New Ink Art, this paper tries to investigate the profound shift in mode of time-space perception as well as the idea of “body-cosmos” relationship during the radical modernisation period in China which fully embodied in the transformation of Chinese Ink Art.

After carefully revisit some conventional painting principle under the Confucian and the Taoist contexts compared with Merleau-Ponty’s aesthetics, several New Ink Art works including Xu bing, Qiu anxiong, Yang yongliang would be examined as a reflection of the lost of “Yi Jing/poetic world” and an expression of anxious bodily experience in a globalised urban world.

“Yuedi Liu, Somaesthetics, body and Chinese Art Tradition – telepresentation

As we all know, The body action plays an important role in Chinese traditional art, especially in Chinese Ink Art. In the perspective of Chinese Aesthetics, painting is not just a kind of production from artist’s creation. and Chinese regarded it as a art of living. Today, there a main stream in Chinese aesthetics: Aesthetics of Everyday Life, and the new aesthetics present another mode of Embodiment. In west, “somaesthetics” as a new branch of aesthetics is focus on the relationship between body and aesthetics. Actually, in China, somaesthetics is belong to a Chinese Aesthetics of Everyday Life, and it interpret how body acts in Chines art. The importance of the creative process was highlighted as early as Chinese classical culture. In calligraphy and painting, in the process from “bamboo in the hand” to “bamboo under a brushstroke”, the artist must be left in an unrestrained state of great ease. When writing a small character, the artist moves his wrist, while to write a big character, he moves the elbow, “lifting his elbow, with qi of the whole body going from shoulder through arm and wrist to the fingers. When qi finally reaches the tip of the brush, the power of the whole body penetrates through the surface of the paper to the back.” Meanwhile, the “bamboo in the mind” has been reproduced in the “bamboo in the hand”, with the strokes of the brush swaying to the free flow of the mind. This is not only an externalization, but also a psychosomatic merge. Furthermore, calligraphy is a pan-art process, which not only focuses on the finished works, but also the process of writing. Of course, the highest value of miao shu (wonderful writing) lies in the rhythm of life being presented.

Chae Yoo and Michael Fuller responding.

Workshop: Thinking with the Dancing Brain: Embodying Neuroscience

Workshop: Thinking with the Dancing Brain: Embodying Neuroscience, Rima Faber and Sandra Minton

Neurological exploration of the brain is a current internal research frontier. Rima Faber and Sandra Minton co-authored a recently published book, Thinking with the Dancing Brain: Embodying Neuroscience. Each chapter in the book addresses thought processes in dance by: describing the processes, explaining the brain networks involved, providing connections to academic classroom pedagogy, applying the information to movement and dance, and guiding the reader through movement explorations and improvisations pertinent to each process. The proposed workshop would follow this format from prime selected portions of the book. 

This experiential workshop highlights discoveries about and the embodiment of thought process used in dance in relation to brain function. It links the dancing brain to practice, pedagogy, 21st Century Skills, and provide movement explorations in applications to learning dance. The practical nature of this presentation provides explorations teachers can use to develop thinking skills in their students.

The presentation benefits the field of dance and education by showing that the brain functions discovered through neuroscience research are closely aligned with dance education practices. The connection between dance and neuroscience provides a fresh look at common dance curricula. It places dance education on a level playing field with the other arts and academic areas that are normally included in schools across America. Dance exercises the brain, meets the National Core Arts Standards for Dance, and teaches 21st Century Skills. All of these connections provide advocacy tools for dance educators and for the inclusion of dance in schools. 

Little research has been pursued based on the neurology of the artistic processes of dance (creating, performing, responding, and connecting), but a great amount has been learned about how the brain is wired and functions in relation to many thought processes. The workshop and book present a practical approach that focusses on the embodiment of neuroscience discoveries applied to the thought processes used in dance. Learning dance necessitates using mental abilities in observation, analysis, pattern recognition, memory, and transference/transformation of ideas and knowledge while choreographing relies on imagination, pattern formation and problem solving as well as generating emotional content. The neurology for these thought processes are embodied in movement.

Panel: Towards the Interbody: Embodiment and Interface

Patricia Pisters, Perfecting the Self in Digital Media Culture: Neurofeedback and Embodied Self-Knowledge

Neurofeedback is used in closed-loop settings, where subjects learn to control the activation of specific brain regions when presented with a measure of that regions activation (Cavazza et. al. 2015) Neurofeedback is used increasingly in the development of Brain-Computer-Interfaces and sometimes make use of virtual agents to provide realistic visual feedback in order to enhance mental behavioral and emotional control. This paper will investigate how the experimental settings of neurofeedback systems, where a mind reflects back on itself in order to learn, correct, perfect or control, can be extrapolated to a larger and complex media context. Several fields governed by similar looping patterns. A first cultural feedback loop system that can be recognized as such is related to CCTV systems and other surveillance mechanisms (including drones, facial recognition software and other ‘nonconscious cognitive agents’); these systems and devices actually have turned the world into a closed feedback loop circuit, which includes the embodied brain of the human subject. Besides this collective political level, there is another level of looping that operates on our individual consciousness: the camera switch mode of our cell phones have encouraged the cult of the selfie, making us all reflect back on ourselves in a narcissistic tradition of self-reflection and perfect self-presentation. Thirdly, filmmakers have turned their camera’s increasingly inward, filming by and large from ‘inside out’, showing us the world of their protagonists in all their fantasmatic and regularly even psychopathological dimensions. It is this third level of brain reflexivity in contemporary digital cinema that I will focus on in this presentation. In this context I will refer to two particular cinematographic cases of ‘neurofeedback looping’ and ‘avatars’ (Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, 2010; and Simon Pummel’s Brand New U, 2015) that are telling of the kind of problems of embodied (self)knowledge we are facing today.

Vicente Raja and Paco Calvo, Augmented Reality: An Ecological Blend

Augmented Reality (AR) makes reference to the real-time perception of an environmental setting that has been enhanced by means of computer-generated virtual components. The design of current AR devices is based on the real-time superimposition and alignment of a symbolic virtual layer with the real environment. This way of augmenting reality rests upon the representational-cum-computational principles of cognitivism: cognition and perception are to be accounted for in information-processing terms.
Unfortunately, designing AR devices along representational/computational lines results, we contend, in cognitive overload. AR users are faced with the problem of having to connect two pools of data as they deal with disparate sources of information, the symbolic and the environmental—in some devices, problems of attention and headaches have already been reported. It seems that current AR devices serve to augment, not reality, but rather cognitive demands. This is more pressing once we consider that some users’ cognitive skills may not be fully developed or are somewhat diminished (e.g, infants and Alzheimer’s patients).

Our thesis is that we may be able to bypass these problems by endorsing, when designing AR devices, the principles of ecological psychology, and not those of cognitivism. The main tenet of ecological psychology is that information does not need to be processed cognitively, since it is rich enough and already specifies opportunities for behavioral interaction in the form of perceived affordances. Information only needs to be detected. In this way, ecological augmented reality (E-AR) devices could contribute to enriching environmental information by providing novel specifications and by generating new affordances or by highlighting those already present. Crucially, the type of information to be exploited by E-AR is in the blend of the virtual layer with the environment itself. This is how augmented reality becomes E-AR. We review some sensory substitution devices for the sake of illustration.

Adnan Marquez Borbon, Perceptual learning and the emergence of performer-instrument interactions with digital music systems

The relationship between human and computers within the area of HCI has shifted from being represented by cognitive, information-processing approaches to more recent situated and embodied perspectives. This matter has analogously developed within interactive digital musical system research.

However, the nature of this interaction, while commonly drawing upon J.J. Gibson’s theory of affordance for analysis, often fails to characterize the emergent relationship between performer and musical system. This has led to regard affordances as mere design features, as well as taking for granted the skillful contributions of the performer. Interactions in this manner are represented as static.

In this paper, I present the findings of a long-term phenomenological research study describing the evolving nature of performer-instrument interactions. I resort to E.J. Gibson’s perceptual learning approach to frame the experiences of performers, both individually and socially, as they learned to play a new digital musical instrument, the Pulley Synth. I argue that the nature of such interactions is grounded on learning and that the changing perception of the system contributes to the process of enskilment. In this view, more than being an acquisition of conceptual knowledge of the instrument’s operation, learning suggests a holistic behavioral change towards the system in which musical and sonic possibilities of the entire performer-instrument-environment ecology are explored and enacted.

I conclude that perceptual learning is significant within the context of HCI and musical technology, given that current design and performance practices with interactive digital music systems remain influenced by established musical practices (for example, Classical music). If one of the aims of this domain is the development of new musical interactions and practices, the ability to overcome the influence of musical traditions and to perceive new sonic possibilities must be considered in both the design and instrumental learning processes.

Shannon Cuykendall and Thecla Schiphorst, Untying the Knot of Dance Movement Expertise: An Enactive Approach

Many cognitive scientists are turning to dance experts to explore the relationship between bodily knowledge and perception. Dancers have a unique skill set that integrates physical and expressive abilities, making them intriguing participants in studies that examine how the action observation network, action prediction, learning, memory, and aesthetic preferences are related to one’s physical experiences. While findings from these studies suggest that dance experts perceive movement differently than novices; the definitions of what constitutes a “dance expert” are far ranging, making it challenging to compare results across studies.

We discuss the variety of dance experts that are recruited for scientific studies in movement perception and draw upon research in dance education to form a richer definition of dance expertise. One possible way to parameterize expertise in dance is by role (e.g. performer, teacher) and style (e.g. ballet, hip-hop). However, the challenge in differentiating expertise by style or role is that many many dancers have trained in multiple styles of dance and commonly have overlapping roles–thus creating a knot of expertise.

To untie this knot, we propose an enactive approach. Rather than label dancers as experts or novices based on an arbitrary requirement of the number of years a dancer has trained in a particular style or role, we suggest that broader categories of expertise will emerge from the data that go beyond both style and role. We predict four main types of expertise: Virtuosic, Expressive, Kinematic and Expressive expertise. Through combining methodologies such as psychometric measurement, eye tracking, brain imaging, phenomenological and analytical accounts of movement we can develop a more complete understanding of how expertise relates to the ways in which dance experts observe, learn, and articulate movement. This research can both inform the study of movement perception and help define gaps in dance education.

Panel: Experimental Collective Experience

Xin Wei Sha, Textural articulation and rhythm as non-anthropocentric approaches to individuation

Attending to rhythm can help get a grip on collective experience without resorting to a-priori homunculi selves or anthropocentric objects. Rhythm is not sense data — it is not perceived but apperceived. Rhythm arises from body encountering a variation in matter – movement. Taking the converse, we can generalize beyond fleshy human bodies and physical matter to more extended entities. Then rhythm becomes an instrument for non-anthropocentrically examining enaction, gesture, materiality, retrospection and anticipation.

But how can we understand dynamic, change, rhythm without resorting to abstracting procedures without resorting to “time” and “clocks” as a priori abstractions? Does rhythm, even if irregular, require some notion of repetition and rigorous methods for detecting repetition in situ? What concepts of rhythm can afford insights into complex bio-social phenomena at multiple scales, insights that are rigorous and yet do not reduce the phenomena too much? These raise in turn profound and methodologically significant questions about repetition, difference and identity.

To qualify: (1) Temporality means the sense of dynamic or variation of state. (2) Sense is not attached to a pre-given subject. (3) Articulation means not representation but material-semiotically shaping, a mode of ontogenesis (vs. morphogenesis). (4) time-based media means all kinds of distributions of light, sound, matter that vary in concert with contingent activity as well as design.

I will present installation-performance experiments from 10 years of work that simultaneously constitute non-reductive experiments in temporality and non-anthropocentric, ethico-aesthetic spaces of play. These range from movement studies and time-conditioning installations to studies of vegetal experience in philosophy and dance.

Elizaveta Solomonova, Embodied dreaming and improvisation in public and private places: contribution of neurophenomenology and art practice to subjectivity research

he ubiquity of technology is serving the increasing demands not only for information and connectivity, but also for externalization and abstraction of certain subjective facilities, such as personal memory and interpersonal activities. The use of media technology is overwhelmingly representational and modular. Recent approaches to study of brain dynamics and lived experience, however, show that the brain is a plastic and dynamic organ, always changing in response to the organism’s life, therefore challenging the determinate, representational and modular view of the mind.
The importance of focusing on nuanced methodologies for collecting and shaping subjective experience is slowly being recognized as a cornerstone not only for fundamental sciences and philosophy, but also for applied disciplines, such as architecture, urban planning, sociology and technologies of performance. Recent neurophenomenological research on lived experience draws on insights from phenomenology of embodiment, brain dynamics and nuanced first-person reports of experience to elucidate the sense-making process of subjectivity. Studies of varieties of experiences, including contemplative experience and dream practices, suggest that individual experience is organically coupled with physical and social spaces and is mediated by playful intersubjective, performative actions.

In this presentation I will discuss some of the strategies of employing neurophenomenological and media methodologies to inform investigation of not only private but also shared collective experiences. The embodied, enactive and intersubjective dimensions of lived experience can manifest themselves through a lens of a performative, process-based framework. I will present examples from collaborative projects, informed by phenomenology, neuroscience, and augmented media installations. Spontaneous mental activity, in form of private experience, or an utterance, or gesture in shared space, can be seen as improvisational play, thus illuminating creative interpersonal dimensions and the associative nature of subjectivity. Such research facilitates de-centering of subjectivity and emphasizes the shared, intersubjective and temporal qualities of experience.

Adrian Freed and John MacCallum, Sounds from the Electrified Human Body: Reconfigurations of Embodied and Encultured Knowledge from the development of Electrosomatophones

Until the twentieth century, fundamental discoveries of electricity were experienced and articulated by integrating the living and dead flesh of human and other animal bodies into electrical circuits. Examples of this include Watson’s flying boy capacitors, Galvani’s frog motors, Franklin’s batteries, Volta’s pile, Pages’ inductors, Meucci’s telephone and Gray’s musical telegraph. Public demonstrations of electrified bodies were largely abandoned in the early 1900’s as electrical engineering professionalized, power levels increased, electrocutions terrified, and doctors prohibited.

The production of electrosomatophones, musical instruments that incorporate electricity in human bodies for sound production, was not slowed by the establishment of this taboo against direct human contact with the “electrical fire”, but the taboo did induce a significant change in practice: a shift away from direct current flows through bodies to electrical field modulations of the body–as typified by the Theremin of 1920 and musical instrument “apps” that use the touch screens of today’s mobile telephones. Visceral experience of electricity is attenuated by this move to very low currents and electric field interactions. The resulting mystification profoundly reconfigured and conditioned embodied and encultured knowledge of electricity.

These changes will be critically examined by surveying the practice and discourse of the last 300 years of electrosomatophone development including the Denis d’or of Václav Prokop Diviš in 1748, Gray’s devices of the late 1800’s, Theremin in the early 1900’s, Eremeeff, Trautwein, Lertes, Heller in the 1930’s, Le Caine in the 1950’s, Michel Waisvisz and Don Buchla in the 1960’s, Salvatori Martirano and the Circuit Benders in the 1970’s, and Smule Inc. in this decade.

Samuel Veissière, Phenomenality, Narrativity, Tulpamancy; Experience Without Subjects?

I this paper, I examine what the phenomenology of sentient imaginary companions conjured through “thoughtform” meditative practice can teach us about the collective mediation of personhood and experience – “culture” for shorts. I go on to ask whether it is ontologically and ethically honest to hang on to the notion of “the Self”. Can we really speak of experience without subjects?

In fleshing out these questions, I outline a basic cultural neurophenomenology of sociality—the tendency for humans to form cooperative groups and experience shared ways of representing, enacting, and embodying experience. I introduce the notion of interphenomenality to describe the sensory, “what it feels like” aspects of lived experience for humans who come to develop similar ways of feeling and narrativizing their selves. I argue that most of what counts as personhood for humans is shaped, induced, and automatized in ontogeny through selective processes of joint attention that are best described as hypnotic, and discuss my ethnographic and neurophenomenological study of the emerging culture of tulpamancy as a case in point to theorize these mechanisms. Tulpas (a term borrowed from Tibetan Buddhism) are sentient imaginary companions conjured through “thoughtform” meditative practice. Tulpamancy, I offer, presents a fascinating case-study to shed light on fundamentally human cultural-phenomenal mechanisms through which transient, hypnotic, asymmetrically collective, but somatically grounded experiences of personhood invariably arise—and can be altered! In the end, I return to basic onto-epistemic and ethical questions about what counts as a person, and how personhood is knowable. Are we ready to abandon our commitment to the givenness of first-personal experience as a minimal requirement for sentience and consciousness?