2020 Mechanical Design and Brain Science

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Instructor(s)
Yoshida Takako 
Course component(s)
Lecture
Mode of instruction
ZOOM
Day/Period(Room No.)
Thr1-2()  
Group
-
Course number
MEC.L332
Credits
1
Academic year
2020
Offered quarter
2Q
Syllabus updated
2020/9/18
Lecture notes updated
-
Language used
Japanese
Access Index

Course description and aims

The objective of this course is to understand the application of basic science for strategic mechanical-systems design and optimization of the human user’s experience. Students learn about successful and unsuccessful man-machine interfaces including virtual reality, assistive products, sensory substitution devices, and brain machine interface. Students then learn the basic background of brain science and biological systems to understand the success or failure of these interfaces. The course contains experimental demonstrations to hack one’s own body and sensations to understand the human experience under consideration. Through this course, students will understand the basic cognitive science of the human user’s subjective experience, and have an idea of how to design a mechanical system so that it optimizes the end-user’s sensation, or Kansei.

Student learning outcomes

The scope is to apply basic human sensation and perception knowledge for mechanical systems design.

Keywords

Biological system, human body movement, perception, cognition, brain, man-machine interface

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The course contains lectures and discussions. Sometimes students will also have assignments.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Human sensation and perception basic To understand basic human sensation and perception systems and the varieties of illusions that human information display systems rely on.
Class 2 Psychophysics –The correspondence between physics and psychological phenomena To understand psychophysics to bridge physics and psychological phenomena and to understand it’s engineering applications.
Class 3 The limitations of the human brain to process information (capacity limitation), and attention/inattention. Human information process capacity and attention/inattention To understand the human brain information process capacity, as well as the visual display system and visual entertainment that relies on human attention and inattention.
Class 4 Human body control system and internal model, sense of agency To understand the brain and body mechanisms to control human body movement. In addition, to understand mechanical system designs to cooperate with human body organs so that they are psychologically merged into one for the human user to achieve self-body like usability and sensations.
Class 5 Human body control system and internal model, sense of agency To understand the brain and body mechanisms to control human body movement. In addition, to understand mechanical system designs to cooperate with human body organs so that they are psychologically merged into one for the human user to achieve self-body like usability and sensations.
Class 6 Design of illusion-based devices and systems To understand the different varieties of display and virtual-reality system designs which are controlled with the user’s active body movement, and their past, current, and future directions.
Class 7 Self and others recognition systems, and the theory of mind To understand the basic application of the human self- and other- recognition process through multimodal sensory systems which include vision, haptic, and proprioception. To understand social problems and current debate on the autonomy and self-sensation of artificial systems including AI and robots.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.

Textbook(s)

N/A

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Handouts.

Assessment criteria and methods

Discussion(30%), assignment(30%), and final assignment(40%).

Related courses

  • MEC.L331 : Basic Bioengineering
  • MEC.I312 : Modeling and Control Theory
  • LAH.S105 : Psychology A
  • LAH.S205 : Psychology B
  • LAS.B102 : Fundamental Life Science 1-2
  • LAH.H302 : Arts C, Esthetics C

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Basic knowledge and interest in psychology, cognitive science, media art, philosophy, and control theory is preferable.

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