Human Spatial Cognition In his research Professor David Waller investigates how people learn and mentally represent spatial information about their environment. Wearing a head-mounted display and carrying a laptop-based dual pipe image generator in a backpack, users can wirelessly walk through extremely large computer generated virtual environments.
Research Project Examples Specificity of Spatial Memories When people learn about the locations of objects in a scene, what information gets represented in memory? For example, do people only remember what they saw, or do they commit more abstract information to memory? In two projects, we address these questions by examining how well people recognize perspectives of a scene that are similar but not identical to the views that they have learned. In a third project, we examine the reference frames that are used to code spatial information in memory. In a fourth project, we investigate whether the biases that people have in their memory for pictures also occur when they remember three-dimensional scenes.
Nonvisual Egocentric Spatial Updating When we walk through the environment, we realize that the objects we pass do not cease to exist just because they are out of sight (e.g. behind us). We stay oriented in this way because we spatially update (i.e., keep track of changes in our position and orientation relative to the environment.)
设备: WorldViz Vizard 3D software toolkit, WorldViz PPT H8 optical inertial hybrid wide-area tracking system, NVIS nVisor SX head-mounted display, Arrington Eye Tracker
Professor Colin Ellard about his research: I am interested in how the organization and appearance of natural and built spaces affects movement, wayfinding, emotion and physiology. My approach to these questions is strongly multidisciplinary and is informed by collaborations with architects, artists, planners, and health professionals. Current studies include investigations of the psychology of residential design, wayfinding at the urban scale, restorative effects of exposure to natural settings, and comparative studies of defensive responses. My research methods include both field investigations and studies of human behavior in immersive virtual environments.
部分发表论文: Colin Ellard (2009). Where am I? Why we can find our way to the Moon but get lost in the mall. Toronto: Harper Collins Canada.
Journal Articles: Colin Ellard and Lori Wagar (2008). Plasticity of the association between visual space and action space in a blind-walking task. Perception, 37(7), 1044-1053.
Colin Ellard and Meghan Eller (2009). Spatial cognition in the gerbil: Computing optimal escape routes from visual threats. Animal Cognition, 12(2), 333-345.
Posters: Kevin Barton and Colin Ellard (2009). Finding your way: The influence of global spatial intelligibility and field-of-view on a wayfinding task. Poster session presented at the 9th annual meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, Naples, FL. (Link To Poster)
Brian Garrison and Colin Ellard (2009). The connection effect in the disconnect between peripersonal and extrapersonal space. Poster session presented at the 9th annual meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, Naples, FL. (Link To Poster)
设备： WorldViz Vizard 3D software toolkit, WorldViz PPT X8 optical inertial hybrid wide-area tracking system, NVIS nVisor SX head-mounted display, Complete Characters avatar package
The mission of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab is to understand the dynamics and implications of interactions among people in immersive virtual reality simulations (VR), and other forms of human digital representations in media, communication systems, and games. Researchers in the lab are most concerned with understanding the social interaction that occurs within the confines of VR, and the majority of our work is centered on using empirical, behavioral science methodologies to explore people as they interact in these digital worlds. However, oftentimes it is necessary to develop new gesture tracking systems, three-dimensional modeling techniques, or agent-behavior algorithms in order to answer these basic social questions. Consequently, we also engage in research geared towards developing new ways to produce these VR simulations.
Our research programs tend to fall under one of three larger questions:
1. What new social issues arise from the use of immersive VR communication systems?
2. How can VR be used as a basic research tool to study the nuances of face-to-face interaction?
3. How can VR be applied to improve everyday life, such as legal practices, and communications systems.
设备： WorldViz Vizard 3D software toolkit, WorldViz PPT X8 optical inertial hybrid wide-area tracking system, NVIS nVisor SX head-mounted display
The long-range objective of the laboratory is to better understand the neural bases of human sensorimotor control and learning. Our approach is to analyze normal motor control and learning processes, and the nature of the breakdown in those processes in patients with selective failure of specific sensory or motor systems of the brain. Toward this end, we have developed novel methods of imaging and graphic analysis of spatiotemporal patterns inherent in digital records of movement trajectories. We monitor movements of the limbs, body, head, and eyes, both in real environments and in 3D multimodal, immersive virtual environments, and recently have added synchronous recording of high-definition EEG. One domain of our studies is Parkinson's disease. Our studies have been dissecting out those elements of sensorimotor processing which may be most impaired in Parkinsonism, and those elements that may most crucially depend upon basal ganglia function and cannot be compensated for by other brain systems. Since skilled movement and learning may be considered opposite sides of the same coin, we also are investigating learning in Parkinson’s disease: how Parkinson’s patients learn to adapt their movements in altered sensorimotor environments; how their eye-hand coordination changes over the course of learning sequences; and how their neural dynamics are altered when learning to make decisions based on reward. Finally, we are examining the ability of drug versus deep brain stimulation therapies to ameliorate deficits in these functions.