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Loomis, J. M. (1992). Distal attribution and presence. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 1(1), 113–119.  
Last edited by: sirfragalot 11 Sep 2018 17:19:04 Europe/Copenhagen
      Externalization or distal attribution: "that most of our perceptual experience, though originating with stimulation of our sense organs, is referred to external space beyond the limits of our sensory organs."
      There is a phenomenal world that can be divided into 'self' and 'nonself' – the physical self is closely tied to the phenomenal self but not necessarily (e.g. phantom limbs).

Distal attribution is the process of identifying sensory experience with a phenomenally external  space or the nonself. This identification (and thus distal attribution) results when afference (sensory input) is "lawfully related" to efference (motorsensory actions) – e.g. I do something and the sensory feedback I get accords with that action.

Loomis hypothesizes that "attribution to self occurs when afference and efference are completely unrelated or independent."

      "for vision and audition [...] the resulting perceptions are always mediate, never direct, for the central nervous system constructs what is perceived."
      In arguing that distal attribution re telepresence is most clearly felt when the operators have become skilled with the equipment, Loomis suggests that with regard to a lawful relationship between efference and afference, the operator must be able to model this relationship. This 'linkage' becomes transparent with experience and this leads to the externalization of the distal environment.
      "presence and distal attribution beyond the limits of some extending device (probe, teleoperator, virtual display) are not fundamentally different phenomena. Rather, they differ only that true presence occurs when the sensory data support only the interpretation of being somewhere other than where the sense organs are located; whereas, distal attribution to a remote location occurs when the sensory data represent both the remote location and that device or linkage that connects the observer with that remote location."
      Acknowledging that the operator of a teleoperation system experiences sensory information from remote/simulated environment and physical environment and that this often conflicts, Loomis makes use of Polyani's notions of subsidiary awareness and focal awareness. Where sensory stimulation from the remote environment is insufficient for true presence, the operator experiences a subsidiary awareness of the physical environment and/or teleoperation system he/she is actually in/using despite a focal awareness of the remote environment.

True telepresence is not possible as it is not possible to present the operator with precisely the same sensory stimulation they would receive were they to be actually in the remote environment.

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