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Jun 25, 2008

Master of Science in Communication - Technologies for Human Communication, Lugano

From the website

In the last decades Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has radically changed the landscape of human communication. The widespread adoption of ICT-based communication and interaction tools in all types of organisations has brought to the foreground the necessity of new professional profiles. The MSc in Technology for Human Communication is one of the few masters worldwide that aims to satisfy this need, by forming specialists able to

  • analyse, design, create, and maintain digital contents for multi-channel business communication (web site, blogs, web applications, mobile communication, digital television)
  • evaluate and assess the effectiveness of digital products or communication, for example evaluate the quality and the usability
  • promote digital products: search engine marketing, interactive advertising, social marketing
  • contribute to personnel training in the area of ICT.
  • design innovative ICT tools to support communication, interaction and collaboration
  • plan the technological innovation of communication processes

A specialist of Technologies for Human Communication will find a job in a wide variety of enterprises and public organisations. In particular, small and medium enterprises strongly appreciate the flexibility and versatility guaranteed by a multi-disciplinary curriculum, that effectively combines communicative and technological competence.

Courses will start in September 2008

Dr. Nicoletta Fornara
Università della Svizzera italiana
Facoltà di scienze della comunicazione
Via G. Buffi 13
CH-6900 Lugano
Tel. +41 58 666 45 13
Fax +41 58 666 46 47

Jun 16, 2008

Are the effects of Unreal violent video games pronounced when playing with a virtual reality system?

Are the effects of Unreal violent video games pronounced when playing with a virtual reality system?

Aggress Behav. 2008 May 27;

Authors: Arriaga P, Esteves F, Carneiro P, Monteiro MB

This study was conducted to analyze the short-term effects of violent electronic games, played with or without a virtual reality (VR) device, on the instigation of aggressive behavior. Physiological arousal (heart rate (HR)), priming of aggressive thoughts, and state hostility were also measured to test their possible mediation on the relationship between playing the violent game (VG) and aggression. The participants-148 undergraduate students-were randomly assigned to four treatment conditions: two groups played a violent computer game (Unreal Tournament), and the other two a non-violent game (Motocross Madness), half with a VR device and the remaining participants on the computer screen. In order to assess the game effects the following instruments were used: a BIOPAC System MP100 to measure HR, an Emotional Stroop task to analyze the priming of aggressive and fear thoughts, a self-report State Hostility Scale to measure hostility, and a competitive reaction-time task to assess aggressive behavior. The main results indicated that the violent computer game had effects on state hostility and aggression. Although no significant mediation effect could be detected, regression analyses showed an indirect effect of state hostility between playing a VG and aggression. Aggr. Behav. 34:1-18, 2008.

Jun 08, 2008

Tactile acuity in experienced Tai Chi practitioners

Tactile acuity in experienced Tai Chi practitioners: evidence for use dependent plasticity as an effect of sensory-attentional training.

Exp Brain Res. 2008 May 30;

Authors: Kerr CE, Shaw JR, Wasserman RH, Chen VW, Kanojia A, Bayer T, Kelley JM

The scientific discovery of novel training paradigms has yielded better understanding of basic mechanisms underlying cortical plasticity, learning and development. This study is a first step in evaluating Tai Chi (TC), the Chinese slow-motion meditative exercise, as a training paradigm that, while not engaging in direct tactile stimulus training, elicits enhanced tactile acuity in long-term practitioners. The rationale for this study comes from the fact that, unlike previously studied direct-touch tactile training paradigms, TC practitioners focus specific mental attention on the body's extremities including the fingertips and hands as they perform their slow routine. To determine whether TC is associated with enhanced tactile acuity, experienced adult TC practitioners were recruited and compared to age-gender matched controls. A blinded assessor used a validated method (Van Boven et al. in Neurology 54(12): 2230-2236, 2000) to compare TC practitioners' and controls' ability to discriminate between two different orientations (parallel and horizontal) across different grating widths at the fingertip. Study results showed that TC practitioners' tactile spatial acuity was superior to that of the matched controls (P < 0.04). There was a trend showing TC may have an enhanced effect on older practitioners (P < 0.066), suggesting that TC may slow age related decline in this measure. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate a long-term attentional practice's effects on a perceptual measure. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine whether TC initiates or is merely correlated with perceptual changes and whether it elicits long-term plasticity in primary sensory cortical maps. Further studies should also assess whether related somatosensory attentional practices (such as Yoga, mindfulness meditation and Qigong) achieve similar effects