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Oct 11, 2005

Games for Health Conference

The Washington Post reports about the second annual Games for Health Conference, at University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore:

But some physicians, psychiatrists and public health experts see a more positive side: They're betting electronic games can be adapted as tools to ease medical treatments, improve patient outcomes and boost fitness and knowledge for users young and old. Government agencies including the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Office of Naval Research and other branches of the Department of Defense are placing bets of their own, funding the development of health-related video games. Some of those projects and others were on display recently at the second annual Games for Health conference at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Between lectures, participants crowded into two windowless rooms for a first-hand look. In one, they could test themselves on the Kilowatt, an isometric exercise device in which players use body strength to interact with scenes on a video screen - for instance, muscling a car around a race track. In another room, attendees donned a virtual-reality helmet for a simulated plunge into FreeDive, a fantasy underwater world meant to distract pediatric patients from pain or anxiety.

More to explore

The Serious Games Initiative

 

 

Oct 03, 2005

Innovations in Stroke Care award goes to VR!

A team of four University of Ulster researchers have won Innovations in Stroke Care Award for using virtual reality in helping people with strokes regain use of their limbs. The four who received the Innovations in Stroke Care award are: Jacqueline Crosbie, Professor Suzanne McDonough and Dr Sheila Lennon from the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Institute at Jordanstown along with Dr Michael McNeill from the School of Computing and Information Engineering, at Coleraine.

Congratulations from Positive Technology!

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More to explore

Sep 30, 2005

Immersion and Virtual Reality @ Interfaces Montréal

TUESDAY, 4th October 2005 Interface [s] Montréal 5:30pm

Immersion and Virtual Reality] Beyond reality and interactive reality experience

From aerospace to surgery, and in all things game related, the simulators and immersion environments developed to serve humankind are indispensable tools that significantly improve human knowledge and enhance our reality experience.


Speakers: Yves Gonthier - Canadian Space Agency; Jean-Claude Artonne - Immervision; Jocelyn Faubert - Université de Montréal, École d'optométrie; Carl-Éric Aubin - École Polytechnique de Montréal, Dép. génie mécanique & CHU Sainte-Justine; Luc Courchesne - Université de Montréal et Ideaction.

[Yves Gonthier]: A Real-Time Simulator for 3D Mental Image Reconstruction On-Board the International Space Station

[Jean-Claude Artonne] Immervision: Panoramic technologies in everyday applications

[Jocelyn Faubert] : Understanding human behavior with immersive virtual environments

[Carl-Éric Aubin] Surgical Simulator for the Virtual Prototyping of the Surgical Instrumentation of the Scoliotic Spine

[Luc Courchesne] Panoscope 360°

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Sep 23, 2005

Scientific American Mind

The new edition of Scientific American Mind

 

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Smarter on Drugs
By Michael S. Gazzaniga

We recoil at the idea of people taking drugs to enhance their intelligence. But why?

The Movie in Your Head
By Christof Koch

Is consciousness a seamless experience or a string of fleeting images, like frames of a movie? The emerging answer will determine whether the "real world" is merely an illusion

Big Answers from Little People
By David Dobbs

In infants, Elizabeth Spelke finds fundamental insights into how men and women think

Custody Disputed
By Robert E. Emery, Randy K. Otto and William O'Donohue

The guidelines judges and psychologists use to decide child custody cases have little basis in science. The system must be rebuilt on better data

Judging Amy and Andy
By Katja Gaschler

Contrary to warnings, we can size up people pretty well based on first impressions

Hearing Colors, Tasting Shapes
By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran and Edward M. Hubbard

People with synesthesia--whose senses blend together--are providing valuable clues to understanding the organization and functions of the human brain

The Psychology of Tyranny

By S. Alexander Haslam and Stephen D. Reicher

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely--or does it?

Mending the Spinal Cord
By Ulrich Kraft

Researchers are finding ways to help nerves regenerate, and hope for therapies is growin


Just a Bit Different
By Ingelore Moeller

With special training early in life, children born with Down syndrome have a higher chance of becoming independent

Sep 22, 2005

Neuroprotection in Neurological Diseases Conference

Neuroprotection in Neurological Diseases - A Promising Therapeutic Strategy or Chimera?


24-26 November 2005
Giardini Naxos (Taormina), Sicily

 

Achieving proven Neuroprotection remains an unattained goal; however strategies exist which may delay disease progression in chronic conditions and which show promise of damage limitation in the acute setting. The conference will discuss best treatment practice, present new research and debate issues surrounding Neuronal Plasticity and Neuroprotection.

The draft programme is available at www.sinspn.org



Sep 19, 2005

Between the physical and the virtual

via Pasta & Vinegar


The International Journal of Design Computing has a special Issue on the Space Between the Physical and the Virtual:

This special issue contains research which navigates the territory between the real and virtual world through metaphor, cognitive model, data stream and a designer’s synergy. (…) In this volume of IJDC we attempted to solicit and select papers that explore that overlapping boundary between the physical and the virtual. In particular, we looked for research that contemplated the role of the subject user versus the machine automaton. The first paper from Maher, Gero, Smith, and Gu’s utilizes agents that sense their environment and react accordingly. What is of particular interest is in how those artificial agents responded to users who inhabit their world. The Heylighen and Segers’ DYNAMO articleBermudez cyberPRINT, a dancer interacts with the virtual manifestation of his physiological data. The performance aims to closely couple the human physical condition and the virtual condition such that, eventually, the boundaries between them are blurred. The article from Fischer and Fischer appropriates a morphogenetic biologic model to digital form finding. The human, in this case acts as a director shaping and nudging largely independent virtual actors. It is in the lack of complete control that we find such systems intriguing...

The added value of eHealth

The International EHTEL conference titled Improving Care for Chronic Conditions - the added value of eHealth will take place in Rome, 10-11 October 2005, jointly organised by EHTEL, the National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Biomedical Technology in co-operation with ESQH and NIZW.

Keynotes of internationally recognised experts and contributions selected by an international Program Committee will be complemented by stakeholder views and open round table panels.


Sep 15, 2005

Mind & Life XIII

The Mind & Life Institute presents: MIND & LIFE XIII Co-hosted by Georgetown University Medical Center and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The Dalai Lama will participate fully in all sessions.


Investigating the Mind 2005

The Science and Clinical Applications of Meditation DAR Constitution Hall, Washington DC November 8 - 10, 2005 Jointly sponsored by The Mind & Life Institute and CME-accredited by Georgetown University Hospital. The conference builds on the growing interest in meditation within modern medicine and biomedical science that has arisen over the past thirty years and further explores the emerging clinical opportunities.

Conference Sessions

1. Meditation-Based Clinical Interventions: Science, Practice, and Implementation
2. Possible Biological Substrates of Meditation
3. Clinical Research I: Meditation and Mental Health
4. Clinical Research II: Meditation and Physical Health
5. Integration & Final Reflections

Speakers

Ajahn Amaro, B.Sc. — Abhayagiri Monastery
Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D. — University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. — U. of Mass. Medical School, Emeritus
Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D. — Princeton University
Helen S. Mayberg, M.D. — Emory University
Robert M. Sapolsky, Ph.D. — Stanford University
Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D. — University of Toronto
David S. Sheps, M.D. — University of Florida
John F. Sheridan, Ph.D. — Ohio State University
Wolf Singer, M.D., Ph.D. — Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung
Ralph Snyderman, M.D. — Duke University Medical Center

Panelists

Jan Chozen Bays, M.D. — Great Vow Zen Monastery
Joan Halifax, Ph.D. — Upaya Zen Center
Father Thomas Keating, OCSO — St. Benedict's Monastery
Margaret E. Kemeny, Ph.D. — University of California-SF
Jack Kornfield, Ph.D. — Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Matthieu Ricard, Ph.D. — Shechen Monastery
Sharon Salzberg, R.N. — Insight Meditation Society
Bennett M. Shapiro, M.D. — Merck Research Laboratories, Emeritus
Esther M. Sternberg, M.D. — National Institute of Mental Health
John D. Teasdale, Ph.D. — MRC Cog. & Brain Sci. Unit, Emeritus
B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D. — Santa Barbara Institute

Mind and Life Dialogues

Mind and Life Institute XIII is the latest in a series of dialogues between scientists, the Dalai Lama, and other Buddhist contemplatives on areas of mutual interest at the intersection of western empirical science and the contemplative traditions and their associated methodologies, psychologies, and philosophies. Prior to 2003, all of these meetings have been held in private; however books describing them have been published and are widely available. Investigating the Mind 2005: The Science and Clinical Applications of Meditation is the second Mind and Life Dialogue that will be open to a large audience, consisting primarily of people working in the fields of medicine, clinical psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience, as well as students in these fields.

Sep 08, 2005

5th International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interfaces

The fifth edition of the International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interfaces will take place October 22-24 2005 in Beijing, China.
From the conference website:
Traditional human machine interaction is normally based on passive instruments such as keyboard, mouse, etc. It’s impossible for them to understand and express emotions. Without the ability of emotion processing, computers cannot be expected to be a human-like machine, and also cannot be expected to communicate with humans in a natural and harmonious way. Emotion is one of the most important features of humans. We therefore expect that computers should have the ability to process emotion and to interact with human users in a natural way. Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction is a key technology to enable computers to observe, understand and synthesize emotions, and to behave vividly. We decided to promote this Conference in order to provide an opportunity for scientists, engineers, and graduate students to present and discuss new problems, solutions, and technologies in the area.

Sep 07, 2005

International Conference on Smart homes and health Telematics

The 2006 edition of ICOST - International Conference on Smart homes and health Telematics - will take place June/July 2006 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. ICOST aims at creating an active research community dedicated to explore how smart homes in particular and health telematics in general can foster independent living and an enhanced life style for elderly and disabled people.

Conference Programme:

  • Conference dates: June / July 2006
  • Submission of Abstracts (2-4 pages): February 15th 2006
  • Notification to authors: March 15th 2006
  • Camera Ready Papers: April 15th 2006

Sep 01, 2005

New issue of Psychnology available online

From August 2005 the new issue of PsychNology Journal is available on-line (table of Contents below)


Volume 3, Number 2, 114-222

Special Issue on Space, place and technology: Human Presence in Mediated Experiences (#2)

 

Editorial Preface
Luciano Gamberini, Giuseppe Riva, & Anna Spagnolli

A Review of How Space Affords Socio-Cognitive Processes during Collaboration
Nicolas Nova

Presence, Place and the Virtual Spectacle
Shaleph O'Neill

Learning Together "There"-Hybrid "Place" as a Conceptual Vantage Point for Understanding Virtual Learning Communities in Higher Education Context
Johanna Pöysä, Joost Lowyck and Päivi Häkkinen

Presence and Mediated Spaces: A Review
Lucia A. Renò

Other Contents

Some Reflections on Learning and E-learning
Cristina Zucchermaglio and Francesca Alby

Aug 05, 2005

2006 South African Conference on Positive Psychology

2006 South African Conference on Positive Psychology will be taking place in April of next year. The aim of the conference is to provide an update on theory, measurement and application in the domain of positive psychology in general, and in particular as pertains individual, social and work wellness in a multi-cultural context.

Key Information about the conference can be found here

Jul 27, 2005

Workshop on Personalisation for e-Health

Via Psychnology

Workshop on Personalisation for e-Health to be held in conjunction with UM 2005 Edinburgh, UK, July 2005

The past years have witnessed unprecedented levels of investment in the e-Health sector, both in terms of research effort, and in terms of funding, as well as a great public interest. e-Health can be broadly defined as the application of IT (especially Internet technologies) to improve the access, efficiency, effectiveness and quality of any processes (clinical and business alike) related to health care. In the e-Health vision, intelligent systems would, for example, enable:

- citizens to take more control of their well-being, by accessing personalised and qualified health information, both medical and pedagogical, and accessing appropriate medical care from their homes;
- health professionals to manage their activity more efficiently, by receiving relevant and timely updates; and

- teams of health professionals to work together more effectively, coordinating their activities, sharing their knowledge about the patients they are collectively taking care of, and ensuring the best coordinated care is provided.

More info

CHI 2005 - Student Design Competition Results

Via CHI 2005 web site

Computer Human Interaction 2005 Student Design Competition challenged students to design a tool, application or service for elder companionship. The winning team was mPath (Shweta Aneja, Kevin Makice, Apurva Pangam, Matt Weldon, Indiana University, USA). mPath works with administrators of assisted-living facilities to oversee an ad-hoc volunteer network. Interacting with residents, these volunteers assess social relationships and emotional reactions, quantifying for the computer their qualitative observations. In turn, the system examines data over time to isolate anomalies, highlight trends and anticipate future responses. Administrators act upon that information. The overall effect is to increase the social well being of seniors in an unobtrusive manner.

 

Jul 24, 2005

Siggraph 2005

The 32th Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques Siggraph 2005 will be held in Los Angeles, 21 July - 4 August. This year advanced program can be downloaded here.

Unfortunately this year I am not going to attend the conference, but if I would, I could not miss Emerging Technologies. The event, hosted by the Siggraph Conference, presents work from many sub-disciplines of interactive techniques, with a special emphasis on projects that explore science, high-resolution digital-cinema technologies, and interactive art-science narrative.

An ET application I would love to see is Haptic Video, presented by Satoshi Saga and colleagues from Tachi Laboratory, The University of Tokyo. Haptic Video allows to transmit physical operations with the same precision, they say, as language. "In the recording phase", explain Saga, "position and applied force are recorded as the expert works. This information is transformed into position and impedance information, and archived in a database that can be dynamically interpolated. In the presentation phase, the impedance information is presented to the trainee along the trajectory direction, and virtual fixtures, which are like walls with elasticity, are presented orthogonal to the trajectory direction at the same time. As a result, the trainee tries to cancel the force that the expert exerted, and duplicate the desired force proactively"

According to the researchers, Haptic Video demonstrates how humans can use technology to improve their skills in a wide variety of professional and aesthetic fields, from medicine to calligraphy to etiquette.

I also believe that Haptic Video meets all the requirements of a Positive Technology. I foresee applications of this new technology in the field of healthcare, i.e. in distance rehabilitation and telemedicine.

So good luck to Haptic Video

Jul 22, 2005

Mixed and Augmented Reality Conference

The 4th IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR 05) will be held from October 5-8, 2005, in Vienna, Austria. Sponsored by IEEE Computer Society and the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, the conference covers latest developments in the fields of augmented and virtual reality. Over the last decade, these technologies have evolved from experimental technologies to mainstream research activities that are starting to show impact on industry and society. By their very nature, Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality are highly interdisciplinary fields involving signal processing, computer vision, computer graphics, user interfaces, human factors, wearable computing, mobile computing, computer networks, distributed computing, information access, information visualization, and hardware design for new displays and sensors.

Jul 19, 2005

The Fifth International Conference on Gerontechnology

The fifth international conference on Gerontechnology took place in Nagoya May 24-27 2005. The slogan of the conference was "Technology for smart aging - For a long and happy life with health and self-esteem". The conference program included sessions like Universal Design, Mobility, Home care and Living, Health care and Robotics for Human Support. Topics like Work and Leisure were also treated.

Use of new information technology (IT) solutions was taken up in most of the presentations. The goal could be to provide elderly people with information about preventive care, help them get useful information when moving around outdoors or handling activities of daily living. It was shown that IT and Assistive Technology (AT) could be used to counteract the triggering factors that normally result in hospitalisation and long time care.

The Design for All and Inclusive design approaches were constantly referred to because it was shown that the elderly people had to be able to use new technology and services themselves. Use of Design for All or Inclusive design strategies and methods ensure that mainstream products, services and environments are accessible to the largest number of people.

Organiser of the conference was the International Society for Gerontechnology ISG.

More to explore: 

Links to the conference abstracts:sts.bwk.tue.nl/gerontech/Full_text/Volume_3/nr_4/Contents...


May 31, 2005

Hearing colors: the Eye-borg

HMC Entertainment Systems have invented a new device called the Eye-Borg that allows people with visual impairments and even total blindness to experience the world in colour. This system has the added effect of turning them into cyborgs, or, more accurately Eye-Borgs.

The Eye-Borg project started when Adam Montandon gave a lecture on practical cyborg techniques and applications. He was approached by Neil Harbisson, a young student artist.

Neil had a rare condition of achromatopsia (a rare hereditary vision disorder which affects 1 person in 33,000). One of the effects of achromatopsia is monochromatism, the inability to perceive colour. To him the world was black and white.

Fast Moving Energies
Neil’s only comprehension of colours were as “being an energy that I can’t see because it moves too quickly. I’ve imagined colours as fast moving energies”. Neil became curious as to the possibilities of a cyborg-like extension of his sensory system. A new input based prosthesis!

Adam built a system that would effectively hijack Neil’s other senses by allowing him to see colour through his ears. It works with a head mounted camera that reads colours directly in front of a person, and converts them in real-time, via a computer, into sound waves.

Surprisingly, within 15 minutes of Neil using the system he was able to instantly recognise similarities and differences between hues – something he had never previously been able to do.

Neil is now able to paint with a full spectrum of colors incredibly accurately, as he wears his Eye-Borg prosthesis 24 hours a day. HMC aim to develop the Eye-Borg further so that all colour-blind or partially sighted people can experience a new clarity of digital vision.

May 11, 2005

Presence 2005 Conference

The 8th Annual International Workshop on Presence will be held at University College London, September 21-23.

The deadline for receipt of papers, short-papers, posters, panels, exhibition items is 6th June.
Up to 20 papers will be published in a special issue of Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments (MIT Press).
See
http://www.temple.edu/ispr/conference/
for full details.

Apr 12, 2005

8th Annual International Workshop on Presence

Call for Papers

PRESENCE 2005 8th Annual International Workshop on Presence

London, England September 21-23, 2005

Submission deadline: June 6, 2005

Full details on the web at http://ispr.info

OVERVIEW

Academics and practitioners with an interest in the concept of (tele)presence are invited to submit their work for presentation at PRESENCE 2005 at University College London in London, England, September 21-23, 2005.

The eighth in a series of highly successful international workshops, PRESENCE 2005 will provide an open discussion forum to share ideas regarding concepts and theories, measurement techniques, technology, and applications related to presence, the psychological state or subjective perception in which a person fails to accurately and completely acknowledge the role of technology in an experience, including the sense of 'being there' experienced by users of advanced media such as virtual reality.

The concept of presence in virtual environments has been around for at least 15 years, and the earlier idea of telepresence at least since Minsky's seminal paper in 1980. Recently there has been a burst of funded research activity in this area for the first time with the European FET Presence Research initiative. What do we really know about presence and its determinants? How can presence be successfully delivered with today's technology?
This conference invites papers that are based on empirical results from studies of presence and related issues and/or which contribute to the technology for the delivery of presence. Papers that make substantial advances in theoretical understanding of presence are also welcome. The interest is not solely in virtual environments but in mixed reality environments. Submissions will be reviewed more rigorously than in previous conferences. High quality papers are therefore sought which make substantial contributions to the field.

Approximately 20 papers will be selected for two successive special issues for the journal Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments.

PRESENCE 2005 takes place in London and is hosted by University College London. The conference is organized by ISPR, the International Society for Presence Research and is supported by the European Commission's FET Presence Research Initiative through the Presencia and IST OMNIPRES projects and by University College London.

TOPICS

Submissions of papers, demonstrations, and panels that represent completed or ongoing work are encouraged in areas including but not limited to:

* Explications of the presence concept

* Presence evaluation/measurement methodologies

* Causes and consequences (effects) of presence

* Presence in shared virtual environments and online communities

* Social/affective interfaces, virtual agents, parasocial interactions

* Presence-associated technologies:
- Immersive, interactive, multimodal displays
- Advanced broadcast and cinematic displays (stereoscopic TV, HDTV, IMAX)
- Virtual environments/simulators
- 3-D sound
- Haptic/tactile displays

* Presence applications:
- Education and training
- Medicine and therapy
- Entertainment
- Communication and collaboration
- Teleoperation
- Presence and design
- Presence in art

* Presence and philosophical issues (e.g., the nature of 'reality')

* The ethics of presence

* Presence in the future: Media experiences in the 21st century and beyond

CONFERENCE FORMAT

Like the earlier workshops, PRESENCE 2005 will have an interactive format in which all participants (attendees, presenters, invited speakers) attend each of the sessions as well as several social events, allowing participants to exchange ideas and build knowledge together as the conference progresses.

The conference will feature keynote presentations by three prominent presence scholars:

Paul Verschure (Institute of Neuroinformatics, University/ETH Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland)

Woody Barfield (Human Interface Technology Lab, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA)

Carolina Cruz-Neira (Virtual Reality Applications Center, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA)

VENUE

The Workshop will be hosted by University College London
(UCL) in the Bloomsbury area in the heart of the great city of London.

For more information about London visit the official website for London (http://www.visitlondon.com/); for more information about UCL, visit the UCL web site (http://www.ucl.ac.uk).

SUBMISSIONS

We invite researchers and practitioners to submit work in the following categories:

Full papers: Comprehensive descriptions of original research or design work within the scope of the workshop. Full papers are limited to 12 pages in the PRESENCE 2005 template format (see submission page at http://ispr.info) and will be considered for oral presentation (unless the submitter requests consideration only for poster presentation).

Short papers: Brief presentation of tentative or preliminary results of research or design work within the scope of the workshop. Short papers are limited to 4 pages in the PRESENCE 2005 template format and will be considered for both oral presentation and poster presentation.

Posters: Visual display presentation. Submissions are limited to 4 A4 pages which contain miniature versions of the larger pages that would be displayed at the conference.

Demonstrations/exhibitions: Step-by-step audiovisual demonstrations and/or hands-on experiences of (commercial or academic) work within the scope of the workshop. Proposals for demonstrations/exhibitions are limited to 2 pages in the PRESENCE 2005 template format.

Panels: Sets of presentations on a single theme or topic within the scope of the workshop. Submitters are encouraged to be creative regarding both the topic and format of panel proposals, which are limited to 4 pages in the PRESENCE 2005 template format.

All submitted papers will be blind peer-reviewed by at least two selected reviewers. Work accepted for presentation will be included in the official conference proceedings and may be posted on the ISPR, presence-connect, and presence- research.org web sites prior to the conference. Authors of as many as 20 of the presented papers will be invited to revise their paper for publication in one of two special conference issues (August and October 2006) of the MIT Press journal Presence:
Teleoperators and Virtual Environments.

Please submit your work online at the submission page of the conference web site at http://ispr.info by the conference deadline of June 6, 2005.