Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Animation Aids Psychology in 'Second Life' Experiment

Bournemouth University’s computer animation experts have been awarded a major grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to support a three-year project linking animation to psychology.

The £290,000 award will support Professor Jian Zhang and his colleagues in the BU-based National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) over the next three years as they develop improvements to lifelike animated humans.

The new and improved ‘virtual’ humans developed by the NCCA will be used by project partners at UCL (University College London) and the University of Lancaster in a series of psychology experiments, observed by the Metropolitan Police.

The project will test how people respond to extreme social situations - particularly the ‘bystander effect’ - using an immersive virtual environment like Second Life where real people interact with each other socially through lifelike animated characters.

The bystander effect suggests that the more witnesses there are to an emergency, the less likely an individual bystander is to intervene. This phenomenon was identified as a particular consequence of the assault and murder of Kitty Genovese in New York in 1964 which was witnessed by some 38 people, all of whom remained bystanders and failed to come to Kitty’s aid.

Scientists have previously been unable to study the bystander effect, even under controlled conditions, due to ethical and practical reasons. However, the advanced animated humans and environments created by the NCCA will give scientists a unique opportunity to test the bystander effect in the context of a ‘controlled’ immersive virtual environment.

“We want to dramatically improve the quality of these social virtual environments,” said Professor Zhang, Director of BU’s Computer Animation Research Centre. “We also want to contribute to the growing body of research that uses virtual environments as a laboratory for social psychological research.

“Other studies have already shown that real people tend to respond realistically in virtual social situations,” Professor Zhang continued. “As our real participants take part in the study within the virtual environments we’ll be creating, we will measure their physiological, behavioural, cognitive and emotional responses to that environment. These responses will help us to learn even more about the bystander effect and should provide further insight into many other psychological phenomenon.”

Professor Zhang also hopes that the techniques developed through the project may have applications in 3D computer games.

Charles Elder | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Green Light for Galaxy Europe
15.03.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Tokyo Tech's six-legged robots get closer to nature
12.03.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>