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Surprising Science

These Wearables Are All About Neuroscience

Conceptual artist Jonathon Keats proposes neuroscience-based fashion.
Superego sunglasses (ELENA DORFMAN)

Artist, writer, and experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats, fresh from his recent Reciprocal Biomimicry project, is back, and this time it’s wearable. Or wearables. Based on recent advances in neuroscience, Keats presented “The New Look of Neuroscience” at Modernism Gallery in San Francisco earlier this year. It’s clothing designed to alter one’s self-perception.

Wearing clothes that make you feel good isn’t new, of course, but Keats’ press release claims to be “applying cutting-edge neuroscience to millennia of costume history.” Superego Suits, he says, alter one’s biochemistry and brain/body communication. As such, they provide functionality far beyond today’s internet-connected wearables that do little to enhance our personas. With existing tech, Keats notes, “psychologically you still remain your same old self. Glassholes will be Glassholes.”

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Keats’ four new wearable prototypes were on display at the show, along with fashion photography by Elena Dorfman, who captured Wilhelmina International model Anna Sophia Moltke wearing the cutting-edge accessories.

(ELENA DORFMAN)

Here’s a video of the photo shoot.


Superego Sunglasses

(ELENA DORFMAN)

These sunglasses leverage interception, a “relatively unheard-of sensory system” that involves awareness of one’s autonomic processes. Superego shades have irises that open and close in sync with the wearer’s breathing, raising his or her consciousness of his or her respiration. And probably freaking out anyone the wearer is talking to.

The mechanics (ELENA DORFMAN)

Superego Bracelets

(ELENA DORFMAN)

The bracelets can encourage the wearer to assume a “power pose,” boosting self-assurance through the release of testosterone.

The mechanics (ELENA DORFMAN)

Superego Rings

(ELENA DORFMAN)

How about expanding one’s sense of reach — not to mention one’s literal personal space — with rings the have telescopic extenders? (You might want to wear Superego sunglasses for eye protection if you’re having a conversation with someone wearing these.)

The mechanics (ELENA DORFMAN)

Superego Shoes

(ELENA DORFMAN)

Superego shoes offer heels whose height can be adjusted to ensure the wearer is always taller than anyone with whom he or she is speaking.

The mechanics (ELENA DORFMAN)


Keats says his designs are also reversible, allowing wearers to become even less of who they are should they already consider themselves to be a bit much. He plans for future Superego Suit designs to have the ability to measure and modulate hormone levels to amplify or reduce confidence as a situation requires.


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