We are pleased to invite you to our Wednesday Research Seminar. It will be held on 13 November from 4pm, at Middlesex University Dubai in the Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Knowledge Park.
Wednesday Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008, and has featured more than 260 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions. Dr. Sameer will deliver seminar on:
“Using Immersive Virtual Reality to Become Einstein”
Several studies over the past few decades have shown that people tend to react to situations in Virtual Reality (VR) as they would if that event were happening in real life. Concepts such as Presence, Place Illusion and Plausibility Illusion refer to the feeling of ‘being there’ in the virtual environment and believing that the events taking place in VR are really happening. Taking advantage of this phenomenon, experiences have been developed in VR for several applications: Treatment of phobias (fear of spiders, fear of public speaking, etc.), social psychology studies (bystander effect, racial bias, etc.) and even medical treatments, such as stroke rehabilitation. In this talk, after a brief overview of the technology and various interesting applications, I will talk about a recent study that we published, where we developed an application that was used to treat people with a fear of heights (acrophobia). The results were very positive in terms of improving the level of fear of the participants and were published in The Lancet. In addition, I will also talk about how owning a virtual body in VR tends to influence higher-level behaviour and implicit biases. I will provide certain examples from past research, and then talk about a study we carried out where we ‘embodied’ university students in the body of Albert Einstein in order to see if that would improve their cognition. We observed that ‘becoming’ Einstein improved their performance in a cognitive task and reduced their implicit bias against older people.
Dr. Sameer Kishore is a senior lecturer at Middlesex University Dubai. His main research interest is human-robot interaction with a specific focus on studying the effects of having an illusion of body ownership over a humanoid robot. Dr. Kishore completed his PhD in 2016 at the University of Barcelona. He was awarded a three-year pre-doctorate grant from the Government of Spain for carrying out his PhD and received an additional award for successfully completing and defending his thesis. He spent a year as a post-doctoral researcher involved in a project funded by the Government of Spain, regarding higher-level cognitive functioning and implicit behaviours in immersive virtual reality. He has worked with state-of-the-art technological systems and carried out several studies, which were published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals and conferences such as The Lancet Psychiatry (Impact Factor 2018: 18.329), IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications and the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology. His work has received widespread media coverage, including channels such as the BBC, The New Yorker and The Guardian. Dr. Kishore has a Master’s degree in computer graphics and computer vision from University College London, UK and a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Dubai.
We look forward to welcoming you at the seminar.
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