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Joanna Hale, Antonia F De C Hamilton
People mimic each other's actions and postures during everyday interactions. It is widely believed this mimicry acts as a social glue, leading to increased rapport. We present two studies using virtual reality to rigorously test this hypothesis. In Study 1, 50 participants interacted with two avatars who either mimicked their head and torso movements at a 1 or 3 second time delay or did not mimic, and rated feelings of rapport and trust toward the avatars. Rapport was higher towards mimicking avatars, with no effect of timing...
October 14, 2016: Scientific Reports
Emiliano Calvo, Jean-Charles Soria, Wen Wee Ma, Tao Wang, Rastilav Bahleda, Anthony Tolcher, Diana Gernhardt, Joseph O'Connell, Robert Millham, Nagdeep Giri, Michael J Wick, Alex A Adjei, Manuel Hidalgo
PURPOSE: This phase I, open-label, single-arm trial assessed the safety and tolerability of dacomitinib-figitumumab combination therapy in patients with advanced solid tumors. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A standard 3+3 dose escalation/de-escalation design was utilized. Starting doses were figitumumab 20 mg/kg administered intravenously once every 3 weeks (q3w) and dacomitinib 30 mg administered orally once daily. We also performed an independent study of the combination in patient-derived xenograft (avatar mouse) models of adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC)...
October 12, 2016: Clinical Cancer Research: An Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research
Jin Tokunaga, Norito Takamura, Yasuyuki Kourogi, Misato Imada, Ayaka Kozasa, Kanako Komori, Chisa Ono, Akie Nishimura, Kenji Ogata, Nao Setoguchi, Toshikazu Matsuoka, Mitsuhiro Kai, Keizo Sato, Kazuhiko Arimori
 We utilized the information and communication technology to develop the physical assessment (PA) learning materials in the virtual experience type. This learning material consists of two parts which include case learning and basic learning. We created example scenarios about various conditions that a pharmacist may experience in medical scenes such as in a hospital ward, community pharmacy, home, and drugstore. Illustrations of a virtual patient's avatar before and after taking the medicines were incorporated in the learning materials...
2016: Yakugaku Zasshi: Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
Moritz Berning, Anita Hardon
This study examines how experimentation with designer drugs is mediated by the Internet. We selected a popular drug forum that presents reports on self-experimentation with little or even completely unexplored designer drugs to examine: (1) how participants report their "trying out" of new compounds and (2) how participants reduce the pharmacological uncertainty associated with using these substances. Our methods included passive observation online, engaging more actively with the online community using an avatar, and off-line interviews with key interlocutors to validate our online findings...
September 2016: Contemporary Drug Problems
Hollie S Jones, Emily L Williams, David Marchant, S Andy Sparks, Craig A Bridge, Adrian W Midgley, Lars R Mc Naughton
The provision of performance-related feedback during exercise is acknowledged as an influential external cue used to inform pacing decisions. The provision of this feedback in a challenging or deceptive context allows research to explore how feedback can be used to improve performance and influence perceptual responses. However, the effects of deception on both acute and residual responses have yet to be explored, despite potential application for performance enhancement. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of challenging and deceptive feedback on perceptual responses and performance in self-paced cycling time trials (TT) and explored whether changes in performance are sustained in a subsequent TT following the disclosure of the deception...
2016: Frontiers in Physiology
Margaret A Nosek, Susan Robinson-Whelen, Rosemary B Hughes, Thomas M Nosek
Purpose: To examine the feasibility of an online self-esteem enhancement group program for women with disabilities. Method: A sample of 19 racially and ethnically diverse, community-living women with physical disabilities, 22 to 61 years old, participated in a 7-session interactive group intervention (extending Hughes et al., 2004) in the 3-D, immersive, virtual environment of, using avatars with voice and text communication. Baseline and postintervention questionnaires were administered online...
October 6, 2016: Rehabilitation Psychology
E A Edwards, J Lumsden, C Rivas, L Steed, L A Edwards, A Thiyagarajan, R Sohanpal, H Caton, C J Griffiths, M R Munafò, S Taylor, R T Walton
OBJECTIVE: Smartphone games that aim to alter health behaviours are common, but there is uncertainty about how to achieve this. We systematically reviewed health apps containing gaming elements analysing their embedded behaviour change techniques. METHODS: Two trained researchers independently coded apps for behaviour change techniques using a standard taxonomy. We explored associations with user ratings and price. DATA SOURCES: We screened the National Health Service (NHS) Health Apps Library and all top-rated medical, health and wellness and health and fitness apps (defined by Apple and Google Play stores based on revenue and downloads)...
October 4, 2016: BMJ Open
Paul A G Forbes, Xueni Pan, Antonia F de C Hamilton
Mimicry involves unconsciously copying the actions of others. Increasing evidence suggests that autistic people can copy the goal of an observed action but show differences in their mimicry. We investigated mimicry in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within a two-dimensional virtual reality environment. Participants played an imitation game with a socially engaged avatar and socially disengaged avatar. Despite being told only to copy the goal of the observed action, autistic participants and matched neurotypical participants mimicked the kinematics of the avatars' movements...
September 30, 2016: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Esperanza Johnson, Ramón Hervás, Carlos Gutiérrez López de la Franca, Tania Mondéjar, Sergio F Ochoa, Jesús Favela
Assistive technologies can improve the quality of life of people diagnosed with different forms of social communication disorders. We report on the design and evaluation of an affective avatar aimed at engaging the user in a social interaction with the purpose of assisting in communication therapies. A human-avatar taxonomy is proposed to assist the design of affective avatars aimed at addressing social communication disorder. The avatar was evaluated with 30 subjects to assess how effectively it conveys the desired emotion and elicits empathy from the user...
September 30, 2016: Health Informatics Journal
Katharina Dobs, Isabelle Bülthoff, Johannes Schultz
Facial movements convey information about many social cues, including identity. However, how much information about a person's identity is conveyed by different kinds of facial movements is unknown. We addressed this question using a recent motion capture and animation system, with which we animated one avatar head with facial movements of three types: (1) emotional, (2) emotional in social interaction and (3) conversational, all recorded from several actors. In a delayed match-to-sample task, observers were best at matching actor identity across conversational movements, worse with emotional movements in social interactions, and at chance level with emotional facial expressions...
September 29, 2016: Scientific Reports
Phil Brüll, Robert A C Ruiter, Reinout W Wiers, Gerjo Kok
OBJECTIVE: Comprehensive sex education programs specifically designed for adolescents and young adults that take into account gender norms and cultural background have shown promise as a means of countering the high sexually transmitted infection rate in young people. Recently, digital gaming interventions delivered on computers or mobile devices have emerged as another way to promote safer sex behavior in a young population. Tailoring these computer-based interventions to their target population has been recognized to increase positive behavior outcomes...
September 28, 2016: Games for Health
Debbe Thompson, Dora Cantu, Madhur Rajendran, Mayur Rajendran, Tanay Bhargava, Yuting Zhang, Cheng Chen, Yan Liu, Zhigang Deng
INTRODUCTION: Exergames require body movement to play and may be an effective method for enhancing teen physical activity (PA). However, results have been mixed. Innovative methods are needed to develop Exergames that increase and maintain PA. Self-representational avatars, or avatars created from a digital image of an individual, may increase PA (e.g., intensity, duration) during Exergame play. This article addresses this novel idea by describing the development of an Exergame played with a self-representational avatar...
September 28, 2016: Games for Health
Nicolas Robitaille, Philip L Jackson, Luc J Hébert, Catherine Mercier, Laurent J Bouyer, Shirley Fecteau, Carol L Richards, Bradford J McFadyen
PURPOSE: This proof of concept study tested the ability of a dual task walking protocol using a recently developed avatar-based virtual reality (VR) platform to detect differences between military personnel post mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and healthy controls. METHODS: The VR platform coordinated motion capture, an interaction and rendering system, and a projection system to present first (participant-controlled) and third person avatars within the context of a specific military patrol scene...
September 28, 2016: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Guillaume Descamps, Ann d'Alcantara
BACKGROUND: This work presents the experience of an Emancipatory action research led at the Therapeutic Center for Adolescents (CThA) at Saint Luc's Clinics (UCL). SUBJECT AND METHODS: This research focuses on the practice effects of "Pixels" and "Passerelle" workshops at CThA. It is about the use of video games as a therapeutic tool, mobilizing of the symptomatology of the teenager. RESULTS: "Pixels" workshops use playing according to three specific forms: the paper role-play game, the video game, and the cards playing game...
September 2016: Psychiatria Danubina
Andrew Baird, Chenliang Deng, Matthew H Eliceiri, Fatima Haghi, Xitong Dang, Raul Coimbra, Todd W Costantini, Bruce E Torbett, Brian P Eliceiri
Mice engrafted with human CD34(+) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (CD34(+) -HSPCs) have been used to study human infection, diabetes, sepsis, and burn, suggesting that they could be highly amenable to characterizing the human inflammatory response to injury. To this end, human leukocytes infiltrating subcutaneous implants of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) sponges were analyzed in immunodeficient NSG mice reconstituted with CD34(+) -HSPCs. It was reported that human CD45(+) (hCD45(+) ) leukocytes were present in PVA sponges 3 and 7 days postimplantation and could be localized within the sponges by immunohistochemistry...
September 24, 2016: Wound Repair and Regeneration
Michiel van Elk, Monique Duizer, Ilja Sligte, Hein van Schie
Given the current debates about the precise functional role of the right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ) in egocentric and exocentric perspective taking, in the present study we manipulated activity in the rTPJ to investigate the effects on a spatial perspective-taking task. Participants engaged in a mental body transformation task, requiring them to mentally rotate their own body to the position of an avatar, while undergoing anodal, cathodal, or sham transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the rTPJ...
September 20, 2016: Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience
Solaiman Shokur, Simone Gallo, Renan C Moioli, Ana Rita C Donati, Edgard Morya, Hannes Bleuler, Miguel A L Nicolelis
Spinal cord injuries disrupt bidirectional communication between the patient's brain and body. Here, we demonstrate a new approach for reproducing lower limb somatosensory feedback in paraplegics by remapping missing leg/foot tactile sensations onto the skin of patients' forearms. A portable haptic display was tested in eight patients in a setup where the lower limbs were simulated using immersive virtual reality (VR). For six out of eight patients, the haptic display induced the realistic illusion of walking on three different types of floor surfaces: beach sand, a paved street or grass...
2016: Scientific Reports
James S Thomas, Christopher R France, Megan E Applegate, Samuel T Leitkam, Peter E Pidcoe, Stevan Walkowski
BACKGROUND: Virtual reality (VR) interventions hold great potential for rehabilitation as commercial systems are becoming more affordable and can be easily applied to both clinical and home settings. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we sought to determine how differences in the VR display type can influence motor behavior, cognitive load, and participant engagement. METHODS: Movement patterns of 17 healthy young adults (8 female, 9 male) were examined during games of Virtual Dodgeball presented on a three-dimensional television (3DTV) and a head-mounted display (HMD)...
2016: JMIR Serious Games
Abdulaziz Alshaer, Holger Regenbrecht, David O'Hare
Virtual Reality based driving simulators are increasingly used to train and assess users' abilities to operate vehicles in a controlled and safe way. For the development of those simulators it is important to identify and evaluate design factors affecting perception, behaviour, and driving performance. In an exemplary power wheelchair simulator setting we identified the three immersion factors display type (head-mounted display v monitor), ability to freely change the field of view (FOV), and the visualisation of the user's avatar as potentially affecting perception and behaviour...
January 2017: Applied Ergonomics
Sélim Yahia Coll, Didier Grandjean
Our brain codes the features of perceptual events in a distributed fashion, raising the question of how information belonging to one event is processed without any interference of features from other events. Hommel (1998) suggested the "event file" concept to elucidate these mechanisms: an episodic memory trace "binding" together perceptual features and actions related to an object. Using a similar paradigm, we designed a pilot experiment and four additional experiments to investigate whether emotion, similarly than perceptual features, could bind with a motor response when the emotion was relevant and irrelevant for the task...
October 2016: Acta Psychologica
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