Join us in the Creative Science Shop where Dr. Mahani will present some insights from two post-COVID studies exploring media technologies and stress.

Six decades ago, the Canadian icon Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “The media is the message”. At the time, television was the newest form of communication technology and McLuhan was arguing that the effect of this new medium on our life would not be solely social and political (because of the content), but also physical and physiological (because it touched our nerves).

Simply, McLuhan argued that every form of technology is invented to extend our body and our nervous system. But in order for this extension to happen, we have to replace that body part that we are extending. He argued that this process, of amputation and extension, would stress us as surgery would.

Last year this time, we were suddenly cut off from our communities, and especially from our seniors. Did various Media technologies help us or stress us? Did this process of amputation (social distancing) and extension (Zooming) affect us in the aftermath of COVID-19?

Najmeh Khalili-Mahani is a neuroscientist and biomedical engineer at Concordia University’s PERFORM Centre. She is one of the co-founders of the engAGE Living Lab MediaSpa and her research focuses on screens and stress and specifically, she is interested in developing playful and interactive technologies that assist individuals with chronic health conditions and limited mobility.

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