Technologies for enhancing human abilities and capacities.

Presence in virtual environment

Presence research is an emerging research area that tries to find what are the mechanisms involved in the subjective perception occurring when though part or all of an individual’s current experience is generated by and/or filtered through human-made technology (like VR), part or all of the individual’s perception fails to accurately acknowledge the role of the technology in the experience. Following this definition, presence research is a key element for the study of the usefulness of virtual environments.

Main contributions

In 2000 it co-authored one of the first published questionnaires for measuring presence. In 2002, it started to investigate the relationship between presence and emotions. For that, it developed the first mood induction procedure (MIP) using VR technology, defined as VR-MIPS. Since then, VR-MIPS are being used by several leader groups in clinical psychology research as a very effective way for inducing and measuring mood states in human subjects. This research line has led to several pioneering works demonstrating the importance of mood states in the sense of presence, and the crucial role of VE contents. In 2005, it co-authored a new theory of presence centered in the influence of different complex cognitive process in the sense of presence. It has authored a large number of works that studies the influence of different technological and psychological mechanisms in the sense of presence. In 2008, it authored the first published work proposing the use of the functional transcranial doppler (fTCD) technique for the study of the sense of presence. Now it is centered in the application of chaos theory and non-linear dynamics to fTCD and other monitoring signals for the detection of the sense of presence and other complex cognitive process like emotions.