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Peri Gunalp, Tara Moossaian, Mary Hegarty
Including an avatar in the array in a spatial perspective-taking test improves performance, but it is not clear why. Different aspects of an avatar, including its directional nature, its agency (perceived ability for action), and its interactivity, may all influence perspective-taking performance. Experiment 1 examined how performance was influenced by a social directional cue (an avatar) and an abstract directional cue (an arrow). Participants performed best in the avatar condition and no better in the arrow condition than in a control condition...
February 19, 2019: Memory & Cognition
Oswald David Kothgassner, Paul L Plener, Cedric Sachser, Andreas Witt, Elmar Brähler, Jörg Michael Fegert
This study investigates the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), age, and sex with respect to their avatar preference in online games. The analyses comprise a subsample of n = 1817 adolescents and adults from 14 to 60 years within a representative German population-based study. Results indicate that 14 % of this sample uses avatars in online games, with significantly more males (22.6 %) than females (7.7 %) doing so. Persons with multiple ACEs (≥ 4) have a higher OR of 2.05 (95 % CI: 1...
February 19, 2019: Zeitschrift Für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie
Sahil Narang, Andrew Best, Dinesh Manocha
We present a real-time algorithm to infer the intention of a user's avatar in a virtual environment shared with multiple human-like agents. Our algorithm applies the Bayesian Theory of Mind approach to make inferences about the avatar's hidden intentions based on the observed proxemics and gaze-based cues. Our approach accounts for the potential irrationality in human behavior, as well as the dynamic nature of an individual's intentions. The inferred intent is used to guide the response of the virtual agent and generate locomotion and gaze-based behaviors...
February 14, 2019: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Ruopeng Sun, Roberto G Aldunate, Vignesh R Paramathayalan, Rama Ratnam, Sanjiv Jain, Daniel G Morrow, Jacob J Sosnoff
Falls are a major health problem for older adults with significant physical and psychological consequences. The first step of successful fall prevention is to identify those at risk of falling. Recent technology advancement offers the possibility of objective, lowcost and self-guided fall risk assessment. The present work evaluated the preliminary validity and usability of a Kinect camera-based selfinitiated fall risk assessment system in a hospital setting. A convenience sample of 29 female participants (77...
January 31, 2019: Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Neil Thomas, Josef J Bless, Ben Alderson-Day, Imogen H Bell, Matteo Cella, Tom Craig, Philippe Delespaul, Kenneth Hugdahl, Julien Laloyaux, Frank Larøi, Tania M Lincoln, Björn Schlier, Prabitha Urwyler, David van den Berg, Renaud Jardri
The field of digital mental health is rapidly expanding with digital tools being used in assessment, intervention, and supporting self-help. The application of digital mental health to hallucinations is, however, at a very early stage. This report from a working group of the International Consortium on Hallucinations Research considers particular synergies between the phenomenon of hallucinations and digital tools that are being developed. Highlighted uses include monitoring and managing intermittently occurring hallucinations in daily life; therapeutic applications of audio and video media including virtual and augmented reality; targeting verbal aspects of hallucinations; and using avatars to represent hallucinatory voices...
February 1, 2019: Schizophrenia Bulletin
Daniel Freeman, Rachel Lister, Felicity Waite, Ly-Mee Yu, Mel Slater, Graham Dunn, David Clark
BACKGROUND: Persecutory delusions are a major psychiatric problem and are associated with a wide range of adverse outcomes. Our theoretical model views these delusions as unfounded threat beliefs which persist due to defence behaviours (e.g. avoidance) that prevent disconfirmatory evidence being processed. The treatment implications are that patients need to (1) go into feared situations and (2) not use defence behaviours. This enables relearning of safety and hence paranoia diminution...
January 29, 2019: Trials
Haohan Zhang, Biing-Chwen Chang, Young-Jae Rue, Sunil K Agrawal
Head-neck interfaces have the potential to command and control orientation tasks when the hand-wrist is not available for use as a joystick. We pose the question in this paper - How well can the head-neck be used to perform orientation tasks when compared to the hand-wrist? Anatomically, the motion of the head-neck is similar to that of the hand-wrist. We hypothesize that the head-neck motion can be as effective as the motion of the hand-wrist to control orientation tasks. A study was designed to characterize the ability of head-neck to command and control general orientation tasks...
January 23, 2019: IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Taraneh Shafii, Samantha K Benson, Diane M Morrison, James P Hughes, Matthew R Golden, King K Holmes
INTRODUCTION: Interactive computer-based interventions (ICBI) are potentially scalable tools for use in real-world settings to promote sexual health and prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. We developed and assessed the feasibility and acceptability of an ICBI for promoting adolescent and young adult sexual health, and the effectiveness of the intervention in reducing unprotected sex, STIs, and unintended pregnancy. METHODS: This pilot randomized controlled trial enrolled STI Clinic patients, in Seattle, Washington, who were 14-24 years old and reported unprotected vaginal sex during the last 2 months...
2019: PloS One
Andrew C Gallup, Daniil Vasilyev, Nicola Anderson, Alan Kingstone
Contagious yawning occurs in humans and a few other highly social animals following the detection of yawns in others, yet the factors influencing the propagation of this response remain largely unknown. Stemming from earlier laboratory research, we conducted five experiments to investigate the effects of social presence on contagious yawning in virtual reality (VR). We show that, similar to a traditional laboratory setting, having a researcher present during testing significantly inhibited contagious yawning in VR, even though participants were viewing a virtual environment and unable to see the researcher...
January 22, 2019: Scientific Reports
Atsuro Uchida, Deepa Manjunath, Rishi P Singh, Aleksandra V Rachitskaya, Peter K Kaiser, Sunil K Srivastava, Jamie L Reese, Justis P Ehlers
Objective: To evaluate the use of optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) to detect choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in eyes with indeterminate CNV features on conventional imaging. Design: The AVATAR study is a prospective observational study of OCTA in patients undergoing routine spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) for macular disease. Participants: Subjects enrolled in the AVATAR study for which CNV was considered as part of a differential diagnosis based on clinical exam and/or prior imaging, but in whom the presence of CNV was not definitive on SD-OCT and fluorescein angiography (FA) imaging...
November 2018: Ophthalmology Retina
Jing Li, Ning Xie, Weixun Zhao
In the course of spatial representation, the choice of intrinsic axis depends on various spatial and non-spatial properties. The main purpose of the current study is to investigate how people choose the intrinsic axis in a virtual reality environment with spatial cues from different categories. Sixty-four participants (32 males and 32 females) each took part in one of two experiments. In each experiment, participants learned a layout comprising seven objects and viewed the scene through a head-mounted display from two perspectives...
January 19, 2019: Cognitive Processing
Marek Palasinski, William Brown, Neil Shortland, Damien W Riggs, Minsi Chen, Lorraine Bowman-Grieve
Although knives are the most common homicide instrument in Britain, factors that influence knife-carrying tolerance (i.e., the extent to which it is seen as acceptable and justified) and perceptions of anti-knife messages (i.e., slogans and posters aimed at reducing knife crime) have not been examined, which the current article will cover by featuring progressively related studies. In Study 1, 227 men took part in a study on factors associated with knife-carrying. In Study 2, 200 participants took part in an experimental study on anti-knife slogans...
January 18, 2019: Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Georgios Tsaramirsis, Seyed M Buhari, Mohammed Basheri, Milos Stojmenovic
Realization of navigation in virtual environments remains a challenge as it involves complex operating conditions. Decomposition of such complexity is attainable by fusion of sensors and machine learning techniques. Identifying the right combination of sensory information and the appropriate machine learning technique is a vital ingredient for translating physical actions to virtual movements. The contributions of our work include: (i) Synchronization of actions and movements using suitable multiple sensor units, and (ii) selection of the significant features and an appropriate algorithm to process them...
January 13, 2019: Sensors
Max Valentin Birk, Regan Lee Mandryk
BACKGROUND: The success of internet-based mental health interventions in practice-that is, in the wild-depends on the uptake and retention of the application and the user's focused attention in the moment of use. Incorporating game-based motivational design into digital interventions delivered in the wild has been shown to increase uptake and retention in internet-based training; however, there are outstanding questions about the potential of game-based motivational strategies to increase engagement with a task in the moment of use and the effect on intervention efficacy...
January 8, 2019: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Heiko Hecht, Robin Welsch, Jana Viehoff, Matthew R Longo
The notion of a personal space surrounding one's ego-center is time-honored. However, few attempts have been made to measure the shape of this space. With increasing use of virtual environments, the question has arisen if real-world aspects, such as gender-effects or the shape of personal space, translate to virtual setups. We conducted two experiments, one with real people matched according to body height and level of acquaintance in a large laboratory setting, and one where subjects faced a virtual character, likewise matched to their body height...
January 7, 2019: Acta Psychologica
Dalila Burin, Konstantina Kilteni, Marco Rabuffetti, Mel Slater, Lorenzo Pia
When we successfully achieve willed actions, the feeling that our moving body parts belong to the self (i.e., body ownership) is barely required. However, how and to what extent the awareness of our own body contributes to the neurocognitive processes subserving actions is still debated. Here we capitalized on immersive virtual reality in order to examine whether and how body ownership influences motor performance (and, secondly, if it modulates the feeling of voluntariness). Healthy participants saw a virtual body either from a first or a third person perspective...
2019: PloS One
Evonne Miller, Debra Polson
From artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and biometric sensors, to advanced robotics, virtual reality and mobile applications, rapid advances in technology are transforming the design, delivery and experience of mental healthcare. This paper explores the promise and pitfalls of three technologies (apps, avatars and robots) posed to transform mental health education, practice and research. By highlighting potential practical and ethical implications, this paper argues mental health professionals must actively engage in the co-design and development of new technologies, and reflexively reflect on whether the future will be a techno-utopia or dystopia...
January 3, 2019: Issues in Mental Health Nursing
Tom K J Craig
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 2019: World Psychiatry: Official Journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA)
Victoria Rodway, Bethany Tatham, Kun Guo
Research has indicated that Caucasian women gaze more often at waist-hip and chest regions than other local body areas when assessing female body attractiveness and body size, and this stereotypical gaze distribution is further modulated by their own body satisfaction and body composition. However, little is known whether the model race and viewing perspective could affect women's body-viewing gaze behaviour and body perception. Here, we presented female body images of Caucasian, Asian and African avatars in a continuum of common dress sizes in full frontal, mid-profile and rear view, and asked young Caucasian women to rate the perceived body attractiveness and body size...
December 15, 2018: Psychological Research
M Fusaro, G Tieri, S M Aglioti
Observing others' pain may induce a reaction called personal distress that may be influenced by top-down (imagine self or other in pain, i.e., self- vs other-oriented stance) and bottom-up (physical perspective of those who suffer, i.e., first vs third person perspective- 1PP vs 3PP) processes. The different contributions of these processes have not been teased apart. By capitalizing on the power of Immersive Virtual Reality, we explored how behavioural (subjective ratings) and physiological reactivity (skin conductance reactivity, SCR) to pain and pleasure delivered to an avatar was influenced by Cognitive stance and Physical perspective...
December 12, 2018: Consciousness and Cognition
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