Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Autonomy and Collaboration for the Cyborg Self Integrated with Brain-to-Brain Interfaces Are Dependent upon the Development Process of Underlying Multidimensional Systems Which Reorganize the Cyborg Self Boundaries
by Vale, Cynthia, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2018, 176; 13423874
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation is about impacts to the capacities for autonomy and collaboration for the cyborg self integrated with brain-machine (BMI) and brain-to-brain interfaces (BTBI). These capacities are dependent on the reorganization of the cyborg self boundaries which are contingent on the development cycle of the underlying BTBI multidimensional systems as evidenced in recent neuroscience research and development (Carmena et al., 2003; Fitzsimmons, Lebedev, Peikon & Nicolelis, 2009; Hochberg et al., 2012; Pais-Vieira, Lebedev, Kunicki, Wang, & Nicolelis, 2013; Pais-Vieira, Chiuffa, Lebedev, Yadav, & Nicolelis, 2015; Ramakrishnan et al., 2015; Wessberg et al., 2000) and speculated by the science fiction of the Nexus trilogy (Naam, 2015a, 2015b, 2015c).

The central accomplishments of this study include furthering the concept of the cyborg by positing a cyborg self with representational, cognitive, and functional dimensions, and identifying the cyborg self as a special case of the “cognitive assemblage” (Hayles, 2017, p 11). My analysis entails understanding an interdisciplinary model of the self that addresses the dynamic nature of the biological self, the self as a process, as a complex system emerging from material, physiological, cognitive, psychological, and social processes that is autobiographical and unified, having ownership and agency of mind and body (Damasio, 2010; Hayles, 2017; Marks-Tarlow, 1999; Ramachandran, 2004) dovetailing (Clark, 2003, 2008) with nonconscious cognitive assemblages (Hayles, 2017). I demonstrate that the dimensions of the cyborg self are reorganized by the development process of BMI and BTBI further affecting the locus or loci of self. The recursive reorganization of the cyborg self boundaries and dimensions leads to greatly fluctuating capacities for autonomy and collaboration.

I discuss the competing cultural forces such as transhumanism, and government and corporate interests promoting and hindering the advancement of NBIC and BTBI research and development, as well as the role of science fiction as a futuring tool, and the possibility, probability, and preferability of a cyborg self in 2040.

The research design is essentially a case study of contemporary and speculative BTBI in which I analyzed the multidimensional systems that comprise BTBI, their functionalities, and their development evolution. I analyzed how the cyborg self, autonomy, and collaboration showed up for the subjects integrated with BTBI. As NBIC and BTBI progresses, autonomy and collaboration face many challenges as they become pendulums swinging between ever increasing and decreasing capacities that are contingent upon the latest development cycle.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wells, Jennifer
Commitee: Hayles, Katherine, Lombardo, Thomas
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Transformative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 80/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Neurosciences, Philosophy of Science
Keywords: Autonomy, Brain-to-brain interface, Cognitive assemblage, Collaboration, Cyborg, Transhuman
Publication Number: 13423874
ISBN: 9780438762213
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