Founded By: European Community funded research project – IST-2001-39192

Start date: 1 Oct. 2002          End date: 31 Mar. 2005

Grant: € 2.164.125

HTLab Involved People: Luciano Gamberini, Anna Spagnolli

So far, scientific literature has paid attention to the cognitive and environmental determinants of presence, trying to offer a definition and assessment measures that could seize such an elusive concept. However, the emotional determinants of presence have received less attention. Not too much effort has been dedicated to study the relationships between emotions and presence. However, emotional responses could play a key role in generating and enhancing presence, specially for some Virtual Reality (VR) applications, such as mental health field (both for promotion and treatment goals).

The main goal of EMMA (Engaging Media for Mental Health Applications) project -a European Community funded research project (IST-2001-39192)- is to study the relationships between presence and emotions. In particular, after analyzing the possible emotional impact of high compelling synthetic experiences characterized by an high level of presence, the EMMA project wants to develop “mood devices” able to induce different forms of mood enhancement on both clinical and non clinical samples.

The evaluations of the Virtual Environments and materials used in the project have been made in the University of Padova by our research group under the scientific coordination of prof. Luciano Gamberini and the direction of prof Giuseppe Mantovani.

Our work consists of a deep situated [contextualized] usability evaluation of all Virtual Environments developed within the EMMA European Project by Universidad Politecnica Valencia [UPV] and Interactive Institute of Umea [IIU] . Our local group is directed by Prof. G. Mantovani, and is composed by Luciano Gamberini (scientific coordinator), Anna Spagnolli (Researcher), Paolo Cottone (PhD candidate), Dr. Alessandro Grassi and Dr. Sara Valcavi. This research will help to understand better the development of some psychopathological phenomena and the development of “new correcting experiences and learnings” to cope those psychopathological experiences.

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