Presence: Form, Content and Consciousness

  • John A. WaterworthEmail author
  • Eva Lindh Waterworth
  • Giuseppe Riva
  • Fabrizia Mantovani


In this chapter we present a rather wide-ranging perspective on presence as a central, characterizing feature of conscious mental life. After clarifying what we mean by presence in the first section, Sect. 3.2 discusses the implications of this for measurement. In Sect. 3.3, we consider the importance of media form for the sense of presence, before moving on in Sect. 3.4 to the relationship between presence and the sense of self considered in evolutionary terms. Section 3.5 deals specifically with attention, viewing presence as a reflection of attentional focus. Our aim is to convey the big picture about presence: what it is, what it’s for, how it evolved, what it is determined by and the effects it can have.


Evolution Consciousness Embodiment Self Psychology Psychotherapy Synesthesia Measurement Action Brain Imagination Imagery Form Content Attention 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Waterworth
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eva Lindh Waterworth
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Riva
    • 2
    • 3
  • Fabrizia Mantovani
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of InformaticsUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab. – ATN-P Lab.Istituto Auxologico ItalianoMilanItaly
  3. 3.Communication and Ergonomics of NEw Technologies Lab. – ICE NET Lab.Università Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly
  4. 4.Centre for Studies in Communication SciencesUniversity of Milan-BicoccaMilanItaly

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