Interdisciplinary and collaborative research project (neuroscience and design) that unravels mind's resting state. 

Default is an ongoing interdisciplinary research project funded by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. It concentrates on novel findings in neuroscience, particularly the discovery of the Default Mode Network (DMN), a complex neural network that activates when the brain is not performing a task. Every time the mind wanders and an inner conversation takes place, a series of brain regions work together to achieve some very important mental processes. These regions conform the DMN, and its study has become critical for understanding how consciousness operates.

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I have been part of a diverse team participating in different stages of the project listed below:

Default Stories: an interactive web experience

Design and production (undergrad thesis)

With the intention to introduce this novel scientific finding to a non-expert audience, we designed and implemented Default Stories: a work in progress of an interactive and immersive experience on the web. Using features of web interactive documentaries (i-docs), it presents the main characteristics and relevance of the DMN in a language that can be understood by almost anyone. This website was published and available online for a month, where navigation data was collected and analyzed with focus in the interaction between users and the interface.

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Read Dissertation (spanish only)

Understanding People’s Interaction with Neural Sci-Art

Collaborating Author

Published paper in IEEE VIS 2017 Proceedings October 2017 – Phoenix, Arizona.

Default Stories presentation and findings on how the audience perceives and understands the presented subject.

Default: an interactive and immersive installation

Research Assistant and producer

Museum of Contemporary Art (Santiago, Chile) 7th September – 12th November 2017

"Mind wandering is an event that seems so natural but so surprising and enigmatic when you pay attention to it. The poetics underlying this phenomenon is addressed in DEFAULT by Manuela Garretón -designer- and Tomás Ossandón -cognitive neuroscientist- and a diverse collaboration team. The result is an interactive installation that explores the dynamics of consciousness and memory by visualizing fMRI data. In this way, Sala Anilla in the Museum of Contemporary Art (Santiago, Chile) transforms into a brain which instead of showing its response to external stimuli, it focuses on that deceptive pleasure responsible for the greater mind lucidity."

– Alessandra Buroto, Anilla MAC Curator

DEFAULT. Design and Neuroscience: Interactive Work on Brain Activity at Rest

Collaborating Author

Published Article Revista Diseña (issue nº 12)




Interactive light installation

Light can transcend any language and communicate in such way and means, that humans can use it to say many different things. Set a certain mood, drive the attention to something, facilitate a meticulous task, etc. Using this as a metaphor, my light object consists on a telephone that turns voice into light. Instead of decoding a set alphabet when someone speaks, the light flashes and fades show rhythm and intensity. You can guess what is the other person saying by seeing the light. I chose the telephone to dress the installation, because it is an object most people can distinguish as something you are supposed to speak to and then wait for a answer. To establish a dialogue, two phone booths are needed. They are meters apart from each other to help the user to focus only in the flashing light rather than the words. By removing the possibility of hearing the other person, people would be able to appreciate other characteristics of a speech and gather conclusions.

Using Arduino, I coded the crossed-communication between cabins. The received sound on one booth, transforms in light on the other.

The microphone was specially designed and 3D printed to fit the electric components.

Urban Data Visualization

Urban Data Visualization

Chile's urban wellbeing indicators web report.

Design of a web report for urban wellbeing data. Developed by the External Services Division and the School of Design Data Visualization Lab at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.The objective of the SIEDU (System of Indicators and Standards of Quality of Life and Urban Development) is to identify the territorial inequality in the quality of urban life within and between Chilean cities; by measuring those urban attributes related to the quality of urban life.

To be published.

Self Data Tracking


Default is an ongoing interdisciplinary research project funded by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. 

Recreo Espacial (embodied learning)

Recreo Espacial

Embodied learning project for education and motivation into astrophysics through experiential activities and movement. 

Recreo Espacial is based on the principles of embodied learning and applies it to sciences. In first version of the project, we approached and experimented with topics related to physics and astronomy. Through embodied learning, each participant will become a "researcher", using their body and feelings as support, will be able to raise and answer scientific questions, contributing with their experiences in a collective and didactic work.


Las Ruinas del Oro (art direction)

Las Ruinas del Oro

Art Direction for medium-length musical video (Artist: Camila Moreno)

The art proposal for this music video, consisted on the development of an artifact inspired by the debris of the place it was filmed, in order to create a bond between the band and the setting. The musicians stood on top of the ruins of a gold mine. The artifact was a totem that had two waterjets. When attached to a device (a speaker in this case), that vibrates at 24 hz and recorded with a camera at the same rate (24 fps), the water flow synchronizes with the camera and creates a visual effect. On the camera, the water flow stands still when the frequency is 24 Hz. At 23 Hz it seems that the water goes backwards and on 25 Hz it feels like a slow motion flow.

Official Selection In-Edit International Music Film and Documentary Festival, Santiago (Chile)

Afterparty Lyskultur


Default is an ongoing interdisciplinary research project funded by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. 

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