As you may beginning to realise I have completed three photographic shoots, one at the Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre in Brighton (CISC), and which this blog is related to, another at the Quadram Institute in Norwich and another at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Pre my visit to the CISC, where they were conducting a trial for ME/CFS sufferers on post-exertional malaise and how this affect the brain post exercise. The trial consist of a participants heart rate being measured, a short period of time on an exercise bike, followed by one hour in an MRI scanner answering various questions with hand-held buttons. This process is then repeated with healthy participants as a control.
I met with the Dr. Yogarajah and he explained to me just how the brain under normal circumstances should behave and explained ‘Interoception’ to me and what it means for M.E sufferers. We all have bodily senses, taste, touch, smell etc., and in the brain there are certain similar senses, that react to support the body functioning at all times. So if the body becomes stressed for some reason, certain brain senses or ‘interoception’ becomes more active, this then sets of a stream of other commands through the nervous system in order to control the stress.
In M.E sufferers when they become sick, the bodies ‘Sick Response’ is not temporary for the short period they are ill but remains heightened, causing brain fog and delayed cognition. Hence M.E being a Neurological condition.
‘Interoception’ is considered to be the 8th sense, a link between bodily sensation and emotional reactions. In recent decades the idea of how the body processes emotions and bodily sensations has created the idea of the experienced phenomenologically lived body as the basis of consciousness. Limited computational and cognitive theories suggests that the study of interoception remains ‘enactive’.
I have explored visually ‘interoception’ by photographing brain scans of an M.E Sufferer and their brain
responses when suffering post-exertional malaise following an a short period of exercise. I have then created this imagery using digital and analogue photography to represent both the documented
bodily and abstract emotional sensations experienced.
I decided rather last minute to enter and international art expo in Rome for which the three images above were accepted. It is an exhibition that involves other artists from around Europe, interestingly, art, scultpure, film will also be exhibited here. This is fantastic as it is a real recognition of photography amongst the other arts and I am looking forward to attend July 19-21 2019. This will be my first acceptance of my work for exhibition, outside of my own personal exhibitions and very excited to be attending.
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SCHULZ A. VOGELE.C. 2015. Interoception and stress. Frontiers of Psychology. 20 July. [online]. Available at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00993/full [accessed 20th Mar.2019.]
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