Monday, February 28, 2011

Research Update

The final version of our paper on the interactions of avatars' visual aspect and social aggregation is now available and referenced (see earlier posts). The first published paper of a series on interactions between the avatars themselve and the structuring of virtual communities. Following very soon, the paper on the impact of trade role-play in the Second Life Gorean community (which has been accepted already a long time ago, but somehow the final publication seems to be longer than it should be ...). And following a bit later, something we just submitted on an extreme case of social aggregation of avatars with particular visual aspect.

Lortie CL, Guitton MJ (2011) Social organization in virtual settings depends on proximity to human visual aspect. Computers in Human Behavior, 27:1258-1261.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cyberworld: Shots from WoW

Just some views of the world of World of Warcraft ... For the viewing pleasure.
Well, we are on the way to submit this week another work using this cyberworld as a model. And no, the huge draenei in the pictures is not me J.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Literature Update

Well, we were warning people about it since several years, but finally somebody demonstrated it! (and this person, Colleen LePrell, is somebody I really appreciate: she was postdoc with Sandy Bledsoe back when I was visiting student at the Kresge Hearing Research Institute in the University of Michigan (Go Blue!!!!!) ... speaking about that, she is now Associate Professor in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at the sunny University of Florida, while I am in cold Canada L ... some people are better than other to organize their career I assume ...). A very interesting (yet somehow scary) work, showing that the youngsters are really seriously damaging their ears in modern societies. Practically speaking, it also reinforces my point that sensory evaluation shall be performed systematically before we try to assess cognition using interactive tasks.

Le Prell CG, Hensley BN, Campbell KC, Hall JW 3rd, Guire K (2011) Evidence of hearing loss in a 'normally-hearing' college-student population. Int J Audiol, 50(S1):S21-31.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Literature Update

The title says it all ...

Oldham-Cooper RE, Hardman CA, Nicoll CE, Rogers PJ, Brunstrom JM (2011) Playing a computer game during lunch affects fullness, memory for lunch, and later snack intake. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 93:308-313.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Well, the blog has been a bit quiet since I am at a research meeting in Rome, Italy (yeah, the life of a scientist is difficult, I know) ... So, to show how much the amazing architecture here inspires us, dedicated but illiterate biologists, here are some thoughts on how to connect the past and the future.
Vitruvius (Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, 80-70 BC to after 15 BC) was a Roman military engineer and architect active in the first century preceding our era. He is mostly known for is tomes, referred to as De architectura (“About architecture”, known nowadays in English as “The Ten Books of Architecture”). In this multi-volume book, he described three major criterions that should be always kept in mind when building a structure. Those “Vitruvian criterions” are SOLIDITY (firmitas, firmness), USEFULNESS (utilitas), and BEAUTY (venustas, from the Goddess Venus, meaning more “able to create a delight”).
The concepts of Vitruvius inspired some of the greatest geniuses in all of human history. We all know, or will recognized on sight, the amazing drawing from 1487 by Léonard de Vinci (sorry guys, I am French, so for me Léonard de Vinci has to be known under his French name J ) named the Vitruvian Man, as it is accompanied by quotes from the De architectura.

The simple three basic criterions of the Virtuvian logic are actually very interesting. And somehow, we should always keep them in mind when we try to understand why some cyberworlds survive, while some don’t. Or just when we try to understand how designers are building the artefacts which allow us to interact with those new media (take an iPhone or an iPad, and you will see what I mean ...).