Experiments on Human Performance in Virtual Environments

Experiments on Human Performance in Virtual Environments

What is the village theme about?

During the village you will be guided into designing, performing, and analyse quantitative data. You will be asked to develop, under supervision of the village supervisor, experimental designs that can help to understand human interactions with virtual reality.

How is this useful to society?

Virtual reality, more commonly referred as VR, is increasingly finding space not only for entertainment purposes (cinema and gaming), but also in working environments. Companies and organizations are putting effort in the development of VR scenarios for training and for conducting remotely operations that would be otherwise impossible or dangerous to perform. However, it is an open question how humans and virtual environments interact, and little research has been conducted on it. In the present village the students will be stimulated to think about possible problems and the way to experimentally face them. Possible sub-topics are, e.g., cognitive workload, learning, memory, stress, wellbeing, etc.

Why is the village theme well suited for interdisciplinarity?

The village is well suited as many different knowledges are involved to realizing the virtual environments, using them, and test human performance. Furthermore, in our laboratory we employee experimental methodologies from various field of research, from psychology to neuroscience. During the last year, we have invested in implementing physiological measurement in our laboratory facilities as galvanic skin responses and hear-rate activity. We have invested in implementing the possibility to passively and non-invasively record brain activity using electroencephalography. This village can be an attractive experience for those people are interested in such methodologies.

Relevant competency

We stimulate the application to the village for students interested in research methods, and to learn more about the phases of scientific research. Students with background in: Psychology, Neuroscience, Biology, Medicine, Teaching/education, Informatics, and Engineering, are particularly suited for the village.

About the village

Here you can elaborate on the village, for those who want to apply to it:

  • More background information about the village and the village theme.
  • Potential external partners from business, research environments, conferences, links to web pages or other sources of information that may elaborate on the theme.
  • Possibilities to work on exciting projects.

The students will have the possibility to use VR equipment as oculus GO and HTC Vive PRO.

  • Expectations of the students in the village

The students are expected to carry on a scientific study going through all its phases, from the design of the project to the data analysis. Due to the limited amount of time of the village, the students will be closely supervised, and several project ideas/examples will be proposed. However, the students are expected to individually come up with solutions/alternative ideas, addition to possible experiments, etc.

  • Examples of research questions the student groups may use as a starting point

The present questions can be taken as the starting point for developing the experimental designs:

  1. Is Virtual Reality suited as a training tool? How it is possible to test it?
  2. What is the effect of Virtual Reality on well-being? How could be possible to reduce motion-sickness (the feeling of dizziness that someone feel during a simulation) in VR experience?
  3. How could we track the sense of “being immerse” in VR? Is “immersion” important?
  4. The images presented by VR equipment are “compressed” to decrease their size and therefore optimise the speed of image presentation during VR: is image compression a problem for experience quality? How can we test it?
  5. How experiencing VR could affect human workload?

Fakta om landsbyen – PSY3813

Course code: PSY3813
Village: Experiments on Human Performance in Virtual Environments
Type: Intensive
Language: English
Village supervisors: Simone Grassini
Semester: Spring 2020


Important information about EiT:

Important information about EiT:

  • The focus on teamwork skills and group processes is the unique feature of Experts in Teamwork (EiT).
  • EiT's teaching methods depend on the contribution and presence of every participant throughout the semester. For this reason, attendance is compulsory on every village day.
  • In contrast to many courses, the first few days are especially important in EiT. During this period, the team members get to know each other and discuss what each individual can contribute. You will also draw up the compulsory cooperation agreement and start preparing a shared research question.
  • For additional information about Experts in Teamwork, see the page for students.