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Feb 22, 2010

Create10: the conference for innovative interaction design

Create10: the conference for innovative interaction design

30th June - 2nd July 2010

Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh UK


Feb 19, 2010

Evoke: Positive Game presented at TED 2010

In this video from the TED conference 2010, game designer Jane McGonigal explains the prosocial potential for video and online games.

An interesting example of the increasing role played by Positive Psychology in interactive design and development.

Feb 13, 2010

Testing the continuum of delusional beliefs: An experimental study using virtual reality

Testing the continuum of delusional beliefs: An experimental study using virtual reality.

J Abnorm Psychol. 2010 Feb;119(1):83-92

Authors: Freeman D, Pugh K, Vorontsova N, Antley A, Slater M

A key problem in studying a hypothesized spectrum of severity of delusional ideation is determining that ideas are unfounded. The first objective was to use virtual reality to validate groups of individuals with low, moderate, and high levels of unfounded persecutory ideation. The second objective was to investigate, drawing upon a cognitive model of persecutory delusions, whether clinical and nonclinical paranoia are associated with similar causal factors. Three groups (low paranoia, high nonclinical paranoia, persecutory delusions) of 30 participants were recruited. Levels of paranoia were tested using virtual reality. The groups were compared on assessments of anxiety, worry, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anomalous perceptual experiences, reasoning, and history of traumatic events. Virtual reality was found to cause no side effects. Persecutory ideation in virtual reality significantly differed across the groups. For the clear majority of the theoretical factors there were dose-response relationships with levels of paranoia. This is consistent with the idea of a spectrum of paranoia in the general population. Persecutory ideation is clearly present outside of clinical groups and there is consistency across the paranoia spectrum in associations with important theoretical variables. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

The Limits of Agency in Walking Humans

The Limits of Agency in Walking Humans.

Neuropsychologia. 2010 Feb 6;

Authors: Kannape OA, Schwabe L, Tadi T, Blanke O

An important principle of human ethics is that individuals are not responsible for actions performed when unconscious. Recent research found that the generation of an action and the building of a conscious experience of that action (agency) are distinct processes and crucial mechanisms for self-consciousness. Yet, previous agency studies have focussed on actions of a finger or hand. Here, we investigate how agents consciously monitor actions of the entire body in space during locomotion. This was motivated by previous work revealing that (1) a fundamental aspect of self-consciousness concerns a single and coherent representation of the entire spatially situated body and (2) clinical instances of human behaviour without consciousness occur in rare neurological conditions such as sleepwalking or epileptic nocturnal wandering. Merging techniques from virtual reality, full-body tracking, and cognitive science of conscious action monitoring, we report experimental data about consciousness during locomotion in healthy participants. We find that agents consciously monitor the location of their entire body and its locomotion only with low precision and report that while precision remains low it can be systematically modulated in several experimental conditions. This shows that conscious action monitoring in locomoting agents can be studied in a fine-grained manner. We argue that the study of the mechanisms of agency for a person's full body may help to refine our scientific criteria of selfhood and discuss sleepwalking and related conditions as alterations in neural systems encoding motor awareness in walking humans.

Feb 04, 2010

Yet another nice video about AR

Yet another nice video about AR

Augmented (hyper)Reality

Via Leandeer

This great video by Keiichi Matsuda shows how augmented reality "may recontextualise the functions of consumerism and architecture, and change in the way in which we operate within it". The scenario is also interesting because it suggests how AR may be (ab)used by commercial companies. On the other hand, it is difficult to imagine how AR could go mainstream without them... of course any suggestion is welcome.

Augmented (hyper)Reality: Domestic Robocop from Keiichi Matsuda on Vimeo.

MedlinePlus Now Available for Mobile Phones

From the press release:

The National Library of Medicine's Mobile Medline Plus builds on the NLM's MedlinePlus Internet service, which provides authoritative consumer health information to over 10 million visitors per month. These visitors access MedlinePlus (http://medlineplus.gov) from throughout the United States as well many other countries, and use desktop computers, laptops and even mobile devices to get there.

Mobile MedlinePlus is available in English and Spanish (http://m.medlineplus.gov/spanish) and includes a subset of content from the full Web site. It includes summaries for over 800 diseases, wellness topics, the latest health news, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, and information on prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Mobile MedlinePlus can also help you when you're trying to choose an over-the-counter cold medicine at the drug store.

And if you're traveling abroad, you can use Mobile MedlinePlus to learn about safe drinking water.

15:07 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: medline, mobile

The exploration of meditation in the neuroscience of attention and consciousness

The exploration of meditation in the neuroscience of attention and consciousness.

Cogn Process. 2009 Dec 30;

Authors: Raffone A, Srinivasan N

Many recent behavioral and neuroscientific studies have revealed the importance of investigating meditation states and traits to achieve an increased understanding of cognitive and affective neuroplasticity, attention and self-awareness, as well as for their increasingly recognized clinical relevance. The investigation of states and traits related to meditation has especially pronounced implications for the neuroscience of attention, consciousness, self-awareness, empathy and theory of mind. In this article we present the main features of meditation-based mental training and characterize the current scientific approach to meditation states and traits with special reference to attention and consciousness, in light of the articles contributed to this issue.

BiDi Screen, 3D gesture interaction in thin screen device

Via Chris Jablonski's blog

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a working prototype of a bidirectional LCD (captures and displays images) that allows a viewer to control on-screen objects without the need for any peripheral controllers or even touching the screen. In near Minority Report fashion, interaction is possible with just a wave of the hand.

The BiDi is inspired by emerging LCDs that use embedded optical sensors to detect multiple points of contact and exploits the spatial light modulation capability of LCDs to allow lensless imaging without interfering with display functionality. According to MIT researchers, this technology can lead to a wide range of applications, such as in-air gesture control of everything from CE devices like mobile phones to flat-panel TVs.


BiDi Screen, 3D gesture interaction in thin screen device from Matt Hirsch on Vimeo.

Hybrid nanoparticle-organic transistor mimics a synapse

Via MilTech

Nanotechnology researchers in France have developed a hybrid transistor called NOMFET (Nanoparticle Organic Memory Field-Effect Transistor) that shows the main behavior of a biological spiking synapse and can lead to a new generation of neuro-inspired computers, capable of responding in a manner similar to the nervous system. The organic device is made of a molecule called pentacene (an organic semiconductor) and gold nano-particles.

“Basically, we have demonstrated that electric charges flowing through a mixture of an organic semiconductor and metallic nanoparticles can behave the same way as neurotransmitters through a synaptic connection in the brain,” Dominique Vuillaume, a research director at CNRS and head of the Molecular Nanostructures & Devices group at the Institute for Electronics Microelectronics and Nanotechnology (IEMN) tells Nanowerk.

The study is published in the 22 January 2010 issue of the journal Advanced Functional Materials, and can be accessed on Scribd.

Credit: Mil-Tech.com

Evidence for grid cells in a human memory network

Evidence for grid cells in a human memory network.

Nature. 2010 Jan 20;

Authors: Doeller CF, Barry C, Burgess N

Grid cells in the entorhinal cortex of freely moving rats provide a strikingly periodic representation of self-location which is indicative of very specific computational mechanisms. However, the existence of grid cells in humans and their distribution throughout the brain are unknown. Here we show that the preferred firing directions of directionally modulated grid cells in rat entorhinal cortex are aligned with the grids, and that the spatial organization of grid-cell firing is more strongly apparent at faster than slower running speeds. Because the grids are also aligned with each other, we predicted a macroscopic signal visible to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans. We then looked for this signal as participants explored a virtual reality environment, mimicking the rats' foraging task: fMRI activation and adaptation showing a speed-modulated six-fold rotational symmetry in running direction. The signal was found in a network of entorhinal/subicular, posterior and medial parietal, lateral temporal and medial prefrontal areas. The effect was strongest in right entorhinal cortex, and the coherence of the directional signal across entorhinal cortex correlated with spatial memory performance. Our study illustrates the potential power of combining single-unit electrophysiology with fMRI in systems neuroscience. Our results provide evidence for grid-cell-like representations in humans, and implicate a specific type of neural representation in a network of regions which supports spatial cognition and also autobiographical memory.