Conference Papers

Pain Studies Lab presents AI research at IEEE GEM 2018

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Weina Jin, a Pain Studies Lab Ph.D. student, presented her research on using machine learning to predict cybersickness at the IEEE GEM 2018 conference in Galway, Ireland on August 17, 2019.

In her 20-minute talk, Weina outlined the challenges of building predictive models for cybersickness research. To address these problems, she and her colleagues used a pure data-driven approach. They constructed a dataset for this problem, collected VR gameplay data labeled with a cybersickness core and built machine learning models. In their pilot study, results showed that their machine learning could model cybersickness in real-world VR gameplay settings. The presentation was part of Session 3.4: Deep Learning Techniques for GEM.

Their full peer-reviewed paper will appear in the IEEE GEM’s Conference Proceedings: “Automatic Prediction of Cybersickness for Virtual Reality Games” by Weina Jin, Jianyu Fan, Diane Gromala and Philippe Pasquier.

The IEEE GEM (Game, Entertainment, and Media) 2018 conference is a platform for disseminating innovative research and development work on game, entertainment, and media technologies.

Audition: The Game named best paper at VS-Games 2012

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Audition, The Game: Exploring the role of video games in treating and studying speech impediments, a paper by Pain Lab researchers Terry Lavender and Diane Gromala, was named one of the best papers at the 4th International Conference on Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications (VS-Games 2012) conference in Genova, Italy, October 30, 2012. The paper describes a video game created to help analyze and treat people suffering from speech disorders, such as stuttering.

Tracing Transduction and Information in the Living Arts

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Tyler Fox presented his paper, Tracing Transduction and Information in the Living Arts, co-written by Diane Gromala, at nohuman, the 26th annual meeting of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, held in Milwaukee, Sept. 27-29.

The abstract of the paper reads as follows:

Gilbert Simondon offers a definition of information in opposition to the quantification of signal and noise introduced by Claude Shannon and information theory. For Simondon, information is “the tension between two disparate realities.” In this way, information precedes individuation, which results in resolutions, however partial, of such tension. If information precedes individuation, it is through processes of transduction that individuation occurs. Corresponding to relations of the disparate realities that require information and individuation, transduction can be traced through the structures and patterns that emerge from resolving a given set of relations, specifically patterns and structures that were not present before transduction. In this paper, I implement Simondon’s conceptualization of information and transduction as theoretical touchstones in relation to several recent works of art involving living entities, including a work in progress of my own. These artworks combine organic and inorganic materials and processes, bringing together “disparate realities” through nonhuman assemblages, and in ways that productively challenge the application of information theory to life in general. Thus, the emergent relations and resolutions brought forth through praxis and in the experience of these artworks offer useful points of exploration of Simondon’s ideas. Simondons work offers rich conceptual tools with which to trace how the informational demands and processes of transduction shift through the separate events of making and experiencing art.

Sound Design: A Procedural Communication Model for VE

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Pain Lab researcher Mark Nazemi presented his paper, co-written with Diane Gromala, on Sound Design: A Procedural Communication Model for VE at the seventh Audio Mostly conference in Corfu, Greece, September 26-28.

The full paper is available here. The abstract reads as follows:

In this paper, we address the issue of sound mapping in virtual environments (VEs). Currently, the use of sound in virtual environments is shifting towards adaptive or generative techniques in which sound no longer has a static quality but is dynamic via real-time controls that modify the tonal characteristics over time. We build upon the acoustic communication model posited by Barry Truax by examining two aspects: how sound mediates information and its importance to the listener through cognitive processing. Using this model and investigating the qualitative aspects of soundwalks, soundscape composition, and sound in virtual reality (VR), we present a hybrid model, which addresses the use of procedural sound design techniques to enhance the communicative and pragmatic role of sound in virtual environments. The end result produces a sonic environment that heightens the listeners experience and cognitively engages them to sounds within a specific time and space.

Portable Presence: Can Mobile Games be Immersive Games?

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Terry Lavender, a PhD candidate with the Transforming Pain Research Group, presented the paper Portable Presence: Can Mobile Games be Immersive Games?” at MOGA 12, the mobile gaming workshop at ICEC 2012 (International Conference on Entertainment Computing) in Bremen, Germany on September 26.

The paper was cowritten with Dr. Diane Gromala. It discusses planned research into whether immersion is achievable on smaller platforms, such as tablets and smartphones.


Mobile games – in particular, games played on smartphones and tablet computers – are becoming increasingly popular. Yet, there has been little research into whether players can experience immersion while playing mobile games. As the potential for immersive mobile games would be of interest to game developers, researchers and players, it is proposed to measure mobile immersion by comparing Osmos, a multi-platform ambient video game, on three different-sized devices – a smart phone, a tablet and a desktop computer.

ISEA Paper, 2011

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PhD student Tyler Fox presented Metaplasticity and Inner Body Schemas: VR for Chronic Pain at the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) in Istanbul, Turkey September, 18th, 2011. The paper, part of a panel on current VR research, focused on three of the works-in-progress in our lab: The Virtual Meditative Walk, The Sonic Cradle, and a sitting meditation planned around a new virtual environment created by our partners at FirstHand in Seattle.

SLSA Paper

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PhD student Tyler Fox presented his paper Permeable Embodiment: Bacteria and Indeterminate Embodiment at the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (SLSA) 2011 conference in Kitchener, Ontario September 24th. Tylers paper focused on our symbiotic relationship to bacteria, an important aspect of his current research and art projects.