The Insight Project is an experimental and exploratory project expected to take shape over several years but is being announced early to encourage an open and transparent approach to its development.
There are competing theories over how emotions are represented in the brain, how they relate to signals from the body and even over the basic questions of whether there are truly distinct types of emotion.
The project must begin somewhere, and we suggest that the experience casting the largest shadow is fear. It is present in anxiety, phobias, PTSD and psychosis amongst others.
It’s easy to provide someone with a representation of any one of myriad markers of their current physiological state. But for them to be motivated to use this information, it should be represented in a way that is credible, salient and compelling.
Using scientific measurements as the basis for widely applicable purposes confronts us with a paradox. The essence of measurement is precision and reliability which can entail expensive, bulky and temperamental equipment set-ups.
Advances in neuroscience-based understanding of mental distress and ill-health point strongly to the need for more precise understanding of how body, brain and environment interact.