Geek Therapy
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Geek Therapy
How Geek Culture is saving the world. Can geeky, nerdy, and techy things help heal the world? Absolutely. | For the Geek Therapy Podcast and more, visit http://www.geektherapy.com.
Curated by Josué Cardona
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Virtual Game Helps the Blind Navigate New Environments

Virtual Game Helps the Blind Navigate New Environments | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Researchers in the Department of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School developed a virtual game to help the blind find their way through new surroundings using computer generated layouts of public buildings.

 

Participants can interact with the virtual environment with a keyboard and rather than relying on visual cues, the game uses auditory cues to help orient the player. According to a new report, the team of researchers are looking to incorporate other interfaces and tools such as a Wii remote or joystick.

 

Dr. Lotfi Merabet, a contributor to the study, says the game metaphor allows for open discoveryand a better understanding of layouts compared to participants simply following directions.

Josué Cardona's insight:

By adding gaming elements, the researchers found it more effective than simply making an empty virtual map. 

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Virtual Training Can Reduce Kids’ Social Anxiety

Virtual Training Can Reduce Kids’ Social Anxiety | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
New research shows how technology can be used to create an ideal setting for teaching skills to children with anxiety. 

 

Researchers at the University of Central Florida’s Anxiety Disorders Clinic and the Atlanta-based company Virtually Better developed a new, one-of-a-kind computer simulation program that enables children to interact with avatars playing the roles of classmates, teachers and a principal.

 

The simulation, designed for children ages 8 to 12, allows clinicians to play the roles of the avatars while the children sit at a computer in a different room and respond to situations they encounter routinely.

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New generation of virtual humans helping to train psychologists

New generation of virtual humans helping to train psychologists | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

New technology has led to the creation of virtual humans who can interact with therapists via a computer screen and realistically mimic the symptoms of a patient with clinical psychological disorders, according to new research presented at the American Psychological Association's 120th Annual Convention.

 

"As this technology continues to improve, it will have a significant impact on how clinical training is conducted in psychology and medicine," said psychologist and virtual reality technology expert Albert "Skip" Rizzo, PhD, who demonstrated recent advancements in virtual reality for use in psychology.


Virtual humans can now be highly interactive, artificially intelligent and capable of carrying on a conversation with real humans, according to Rizzo, a research scientist at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. "This has set the stage for the 'birth' of intelligent virtual humans to be used in clinical training settings," he said.

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