Invited Talk - 5th August 2016 - 11am - Jubilee Building, Room: 118
Talk by Luca Rinaldi on "Sensorimotor experience constrains serial and temporal order processing".

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Space and time are tightly coupled to each other in both the physical world and in the human mind. For instance, we subjectively experience that the passage of time goes along with the passage of space when we move from one place to another. But does this experience of time in a physical space affect our cognition of temporal concepts? In this talk, I will present evidence from both developmental and adult studies supporting the idea that temporal concepts are grounded in spatial coordinates through the sensorimotor system. In particular, I will show that prior sensorimotor experience in space (i.e., reading and writing, finger counting, locomotion) affects the way humans process and represent temporal information.

Short Bio

I received my PhD in Experimental Psychology on the sensorimotor mechanisms subserving the control of visuospatial attention and the processing of temporal information, under the supervision of Luisa Girelli from the University of Milano-Bicocca in January 2016. During this time, I also had the opportunity to gain experience with several techniques for measuring the kinematics of human movements (e.g., motion tracking system, eye-tracking, graphics tablet) under the supervision of Avishai Henik at the Ben-Gurion University (Beer-Sheva, Israel) and of Peter Brugger at the Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (Zurich, Switzerland). My postdoctoral research career began in January 2016 under the supervision of Tomaso Vecchi at the University of Pavia, where I am pursuing my interests in time processing. In particular, I am currently investigating how our brains manage to adjust prior directional experience to current information coming from the different senses - such as sight and hearing - to orient our bodies in space and in time. In addition to exploring the basic mechanisms of space-time processing, I am interested in how these are affected by emotions and how they develop over the lifespan. For these reasons, I am now joining for some months the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development at Birkbeck University, under the supervision of Annette Karmiloff-Smith.

Invited Talk - 1st July 2016 - 11am - FULTON Building, FUL-114
Massimiliano Di Luca, Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham.

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Massimiliano Di Luca is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham, working in the research centre for Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics. He received the Laurea in Psychology from the University of Trieste in 2000 and the PhD in Cognitive Science from Brown University in 2006. Afterward, he worked as postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. His research goal is to understand human sensory processing. Using psychophysical methods and computational modeling, he investigates how the brain combines multisensory information for perception and action. For the past year, he has been on a sabbatical Oculus VR.

Talk Abstract

How do we know if an avocado is ripe, raw, or rotten? When we press our fingers against the avocado, sensory signals provide information related to its material. Our brain combines the information into a representation of the material properties and compares it to the expectations about how an avocado is supposed to feel: too hard and we should wait for it to ripe, too soft and it already too late. In his talk, Max will give an overview of his work on how humans interact with soft objects and how multiple sensory signals are used to perceive material properties, with an emphasis on object deformability. The empirical results will be compared to the predictions of a computational model of softness perception, where sensory signals are combined to obtain perceptual estimates. The use of probability distributions as a description of the signals and the expectations involved in the computations makes the model suitable to describe the cognitive mechanisms underlying the use of multiple sources of information in softness perception according to the rules of Bayesian inference.

Invited Talk - 8th April 2016 - 11am - FULTON Building, Room: 101
Nadia Berthouze, Professor in Affective Computing and Interaction at the Interaction Centre of the University College London (UCL).
Bringing affect into technology: the case of chronic pain physical rehabilitation.

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Emotions and affective states more generally play an important role in people’s life, including when they interact with increasingly pervasive technology. Yet, their integration into technology for real life applications is sparse. Our research aims to design technology that is capable to take into account how we feel so as to provide us with relevant support. This talk will focus on technology for chronic pain physical rehabilitation. Chronic pain brings with it many affective states in addition to frustration or boredom at engaging in repetitive exercises and functional activity. Those include low self-esteem for the new body we have to accept, fear and anxiety of injuring oneself, and low perceived self-efficacy modulated by attention to pain. Whilst gamification has been found to mitigate the more boring aspects of physical rehabilitation, the other affective states are still mostly overlooked resulting in low adherence to the therapy program and low transfer to everyday functional capabilities. In this talk, I will present our investigations into the affective barriers to physical rehabilitation in chronic pain and how technology could help breaking them. Finally, I will briefly present related works on automatically detecting affective states from body expressions and touch behaviour.

Invited Talk - 18th March 2016 - 11am - Arundel Building, Room: 223
Grace Boyle, creator of the feelies, a multi-sensory cinema and Shuffle Festival.
Charles Michel, experience designer / researcher – University of Oxford.

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Grace is the creator of The Feelies, the first public multi-sensory cinema based around virtual reality. Made in collaboration with virtual reality company VRSE, perfume artist Nadjib Achaibou and Charles Michel, researcher at the Crossmodal Research Lab at Oxford University, the first Feelies was a 40-minute theatrical experience attended by 600 people over 7 days, in August 2015. It was featured in the Independent, the Guardian and Vice/Motherboard, and quickly sold out.

Charles is a Colombian-French professional chef graduated from the ‘Institut Paul Bocuse’ cookery school in Lyon, France in 2006. After a classical training in Michelin-starred restaurants, his work as a cook took a turn in a collaborative research with professor Charles Spence, applying insights from sensory and psychological science to experience design.

Invited Talk - 7th March 2016 - 11am - Arundel Building, Room: 223
Kate Kirby, Founder & Director of Kindred Planet Productions on Immersive Storytelling & Empathy Engineering.

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Visiting documentary filmmaker, Kate Kirby, presents the tale of her unorthodox journey to the intersection of art and science, and a vision for the future of multi-sensory storytelling. The presentation will include video clips from past projects and ideas for “9D TV” productions.

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About the SCHI Lab

The SCHI Lab research lies in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), an area in which research on multisensory experiences makes a difference on how we design and interact with technology in the future. The interdisciplinary team explores tactile, gustatory, and olfactory experiences as novel interaction modalities.


Sussex Computer Human Interaction Lab

Creative Technology Research Group

School of Engineering and Informatics

University of Sussex Chichester, 1

BN1 9QJ Brighton, UK

Phone: +44 (0)1273 877837

Mail: m.obrist [at] sussex.ac.uk

University of Sussex


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