Frisson: Leveraging Metasomatic Interactions for Generating Aesthetic Chills

Jain, A., Schoeller, F., Zhang, E., & Maes, P. (2022, November). Frisson: Leveraging Metasomatic Interactions for Generating Aesthetic Chills. In Proceedings of the 2022 International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (pp. 148-158).


Opportunities to evoke emotional experiences and modulate cognitive processes hold great importance in studying relations between emotion, cognition and behaviour as well as building technologies for maintaining positive mental health. We present the concept of Metasomatic Interactions as a new way of generating and controlling previously untapped embodied emotions using illusory sensations tuned to the prior bodily experiences. We present Frisson, a metasomatic interface built to elicit the sensations underlying the embodied emotion of aesthetic chills (i.e., goosebumps, psychogenic shivers). We present a user study (N = 14) in which the device evokes the psychogenic experience of aesthetic chills by simulating traversing thermal sensations across the spine when the illusory sensations overlap with the prior impression of aesthetic chills. The results encourage further testing of metasomatic interfaces for inducing emotions from the body. Using theories of embodied cognition, experimental results and this device, we present a discussion on characteristics of metasomatic interfaces, which we hope will inspire new categories of emotional prostheses in HCI.

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