In this Book

buy this book Buy This Book in Print
summary
From Fitbits to GPS trackers, wearables promise to help us understand and improve ourselves in quantified ways. We count our steps, track our location, and even monitor our brain waves as we strive to achieve better fitness, clearer direction, or a more focused mind. But why do we rely on wearables to learn about ourselves? In Instrumental Intimacy, Melissa M. Littlefield questions our desire for mechanistic guidance by examining brain-based EEG wearables that promise to improve sleep, relationships, self-knowledge, and learning. Littlefield focuses specifically on EEGs’ transition out of the laboratory and into the hands of consumers. While other brain-imaging technologies (such as MRI, PET, and MEG) are used only in specialized laboratories, human electroencephalography (a.k.a. EEG) is embedded in portable, user-friendly devices. These direct-to-consumer wearables visualize brain activity as accessible data, and many offer the promise of self-optimization. Littlefield’s illuminating book brings the histories of EEG to bear on the contemporary development of EEG wearables via case studies of EEG-based sleep aids, bio-mapping instruments, fashionable surveillance tools, and athletic training devices. The author argues that, over the past century, applied uses of EEG helped to create new states of mind to be monitored and manipulated, as well as discourses about the existence of brain waves and their viability as a tool for brain optimization. By contextualizing and analyzing EEG wearables, Instrumental Intimacy provides a crucial intervention in an emergent consumer market and in the scholarly fields of STS, critical neuroscience, and the history of technology.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Epirgraph
  2. pp. i-viii
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. List of Figures
  2. pp. xi-xii
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 13-16
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Introduction. A “Machine to Guide Them”: Theorizing Instrumental Intimacy through Mobile EEG
  2. pp. 1-22
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 1. Public Displays of Arousal: EEG Wearables and the Aesthetics of Transparency
  2. pp. 23-47
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 2. In the Zone: Better Training through Alpha and Beta Waves
  2. pp. 48-70
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 3. “Such a Natural Thing”: EEG Sleep Science in the Laboratory and Bedroom
  2. pp. 71-95
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 4. Neurogeography and the City: EEG’s “Collaborative Cartographies”
  2. pp. 96-121
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Conclusion. From Soufflé to Signs of Death: Instrumental Intimacy about Us, without Us
  2. pp. 122-128
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 129-138
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. References
  2. pp. 139-152
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Index
  2. pp. 153-158
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents

Additional Information

ISBN
9781421424668
Related ISBN
9781421424651
MARC Record
OCLC
1023028215
Pages
176
Launched on MUSE
2018-02-18
Language
English
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.