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Doron Friedman: "The Body, Mind, and Brain in Virtual Environments (VEs)"

Friday, April 2, 2004, 1:00 PM EST

Bartos Theatre, MIT Media Lab (E15)

As part of our research into the sense of presence, we are refining our methodology for the evaluation of virtual environment (VE) experiences. We expose users to highly immersive (CAVE-like), social VEs, measure their physiological responses (in the form of heart rate, galvanic skin response, and respiration), assess their subjective experience using in-depth interviews, and record their behavior in the VE. So far we have been able to predict anomalies in their galvanic skin response at key points in the VE experience. In the near future, we will also investigate brain activity (using EEG and fMRI) in response to the same VEs. By analyzing these parallel channels of subjective and objective data we aim to gain new insights into the relationships between body, brain, and mind in response to VEs. We expect this methodology to have various applications, since VEs offer a high degree of control, and allow scenarios that are impossible in the real world.

Doron Friedman is a research fellow in the Vision and Virtual Reality (VIVE) group in University College London. He submitted his PhD to Tel Aviv University in 2003. Friedman's research interests include applications of artificial intelligence in art and entertainment, and in particular intelligent virtual environments. Friedman's industry background includes co-founding of Earthnoise, Inc., a video distribution company, and inventing Falcon2000 and FalconC, AI tools for automatic software understanding and translation.

Winslow Burleson

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