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24 July 2014
NeuroImage publishes a Virtual Reality experiment carried out at our lab
The fMRI brain study of one of our Virtual Reality experiences that simulates life-threatening situations has been published by NeuroImage, a top neuroscience journal. The experience requires users to survive a serious fire emergency in a building, and puts them in a situation in which they have to choose between saving a virtual character trapped under a heavy cabinet or reaching the exit of the building. The results of the paper show differences in brain activity between users who escaped the building and users who helped the virtual character. These results have been featured on Wired as well as the Science section of Slashdot.
16 July 2014
Importance of evaluating the Placebo Effect in Affective Computing studies
The International Journal of Human-Computer Studies has just published our recent evaluation of different virtual character control systems based on user's physiology (read the news) that highlights the importance of including a Placebo condition in Affective Computing studies. Our paper has been featured on the Science section of Slashdot.
12 June 2014
Game characters controlled by user’s emotions
We have conducted a laboratory study to evaluate different methods to control the behavior of a virtual character through user’s physiological signals in a game for relaxation training (see video). The character control system has been featured on popular Web sites like Rock-Paper-Shotgun and the Games section of Slashdot.
11 April 2014
Brace for impact with our interactive app
This week our lab has released the Learn to Brace app for all major mobile and desktop operating systems. This first public game for aircraft passengers' safety is generating a lot of interest, and the news is being discusses on several popular Web sites, including Gizmodo, Slashdot and Fark.
03 April 2014
Luca Chittaro's speech is on
The speech on technostress by our lab director is now available on You can watch it here.
18 March 2014
Computer-Supported Mindfulness
Our lab is the first to conduct a laboratory study of the effectiveness of mindfulness apps. The paper has been published by the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and shows that the studied app is more effective than traditional non-interactive methods on a sample of novice meditators.
01 February 2014
TIME features a virtual reality experiment carried out at our lab
Jeffrey Kluger, Editor at Large for TIME, the weekly news magazine with the largest world's circulation, reflects about the implications of the virtual reality experiment that took place at our lab in cooperation with SISSA Social Neuroscience Lab. His article can be read from TIME website, while the technical description of the experiment is at this link.
08 January 2014
Social Neuroscience publishes a virtual reality experiment carried out at our lab.
The study reproduced critical situations in which user's actions lead to the death of virtual humans (see video). The paper shows that user's behavior in virtual reality becomes more utilitarian with respect to the traditional, less realistic ways of presenting such dilemmas in moral psychology research.
18 October 2013
Time perspective and problematic Internet use in Facebook users.
A study conducted by our lab has linked specific attitudes towards time (Past Negative and Present Fatalistic) of Facebook users with their level of Problematic Internet Use. The results are described in a paper that has just appeared in the Personality and Individual Differences Journal.
03 September 2013
New physiological measures for affective computing.
In a paper presented today at the 5th International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII 2013), our lab explores if eye-blink startle response, as a measure of stress and negative emotions, could be used in affective computing. We show that eye-blink startle response can be elicited using natural sounds and exploited in interactive applications such as 3D virtual environments.