Keywords: brain, gender and technologies
Neurogadgets belong to the brain-computer-interface technology and are offered since the beginning of the 2000s not only for private use (gaming) but also for commercial use by commercial enterprises (neuromarketing) as well as for scientific or medical applications (e.g. for the therapy of autism, bipolar disorder or epilepsy - away from a medical laboratory) (see emotive).
The gadgets function as a material medium that measures the brain waves and neuronal activities of the users in real time, compares them statistically and categorizes and displays them as (emotional) states of consciousness. On the one hand, this should serve to better understand the neuronal nature and functionality of the brain and to increase the creativity and productivity of the users. On the other hand, the devices can be used to control the movements of objects (e.g. digital game figures, drones, automobiles) (ibid.).
In the context of neurogadgets it is interesting to observe to what extent changes in body practices, materialities and knowledge stocks occur along the category of gender in the course of the progressive establishment of the new technology. With my research I am therefore interested in understanding how gendered knowledge in 'new' fields of technology - such as neurogadgets - is (re)produced via symbolic orders, or how knowledge-based spaces of feasibility are transported into gendered, material-bodily structures of the everyday world (Schütz/ Luckmann 1979) and contribute to the establishment of 'new' technologies. From a societal and social theoretical perspective, my focus is primarily on nature-culture-technology relations and the infrastructural interplay of knowledge and bodies, objects and practices.
In order to investigate this interaction, I combine the research program of sociology of knowledge approach to discourse (Keller 2011) with aspects of Boundary Objects (Star/ Griesemer 1989). This enables me to focus on socio-material mediation processes in addition to knowledge-based changes, solidifications and effects of discursive constructions. By means of different empirical approaches (homepages of neurogadget groups, user platforms and expert interviews) I try to explore the questions.