MIT MEDIA LAB
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Emotions // Electrical Signals

Credit: Max Pixel. License: CC0

Part 0: Introduction

Part 1: Lost in the Noise

“Lost in the Noise”: low amplitude heartbeat signal hidden beneath high amplitude Boeing stock trend; heartbeat is gradually revealed by reducing amplitude of Boeing stock trend signal. Credit:
Juliana Cherston. License: CC-BY 4.0

Part 2: Impulse Responses and Capacitive Charging

Figure 2. Capacitive Charging: Our “Impulse Response.” Credit: Juliana Cherston. License: CC-BY 4.0

Part 3: Tuning Your Model

Capacitive Charge/Discharge Circuit. Credit: Juliana Cherston. License: CC-BY 4.0
  1. Sampling Rate (Fs): how often do stimuli even trigger an emotional capacitor charge cycle in the first place? I observe that people operate with wildly different reality sampling rates based on how quickly they expect change in life to occur.
  2. Resistor Value (R): how quickly does an emotional capacitor charge or discharge? A high resistor value causes it to charge more slowly, and so a narrow impulse may not manage to charge it up much at all. That is, a high R capacitor manages to filter out high frequency noise.
  3. Capacitor Value ©: In my simulation, I treat the circuit’s capacitance as fixed, but I believe that it might also model how much resilience we have to emotional stimuli. If we have large capacitors in which to store emotional charge, then short duration impulses only charge us to a small percent of our total capacity.
Tuning R: (Left) Low R value triggers substantial emotional charging. (Right) High R value triggers a much smoother response. Credit: Juliana Cherston. License: CC-BY 4.0

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