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Welcome to HEI-Lab


The concept behind HEI-Lab is rooted in the framework of human-environment interaction, and looks at the mutual effects between human behavior and its contexts.

Our mission is to converge knowledge from Psychology, Design and Videogames into a transdisciplinary scientific platform to study human behavior within this interchangeable view.

Digital technology following psychological principles and created with Design and Engineering processes is HEI-Lab’s signature. Our approach offers the opportunity to explore human behavior by digitally modelling its contextual environment. In the context of mental health care, it is part of an eHealth outlook that has been encouraged by leading political and health organizations (e.g., EC, WHO).

HEI-Lab is organized into 5 labs:

HCB: Human Cognition and Behaviour Lab

The HCB aims to contribute to HEI-Lab goals by applying the principles of Cognitive-behavioral framework to study human behavior in virtual reality environments. The focus is placed on investigating the cognitive processes underlying main behavioral functions, both in typical and non-typical populations, with special focus on neuropsychology, forensics and clinical psychology areas.

 

PHC: Psychopathology and Human Change Lab

The main objective of the Psychopathology and Human Change Lab is the development of research in the area of psychopathology, involving multiple life domains and contexts. We take advantage of several methodological approaches as qualitative and quantitative methods in psychology, including virtual reality, in pursuing the study of humans more comprehensively.

The general theoretical background of the Psychopathology and Human Change Lab is based on Cognitive-behavioural Therapy and their recent developments, Developmental Psychopathology, and Ecological theories.

 

HDR: Human Development and Relationships Lab

This Lab is devoted to studying human interpersonal relationships as a core process of human development across developmental systems and lifespan. We are primarily interested in examining how close/primary relationships (e.g., dating/marital partner, siblings, parent-child, parent-parent, kin members, family system, peers) are transactionally related to developmental pathways and risk/protection on human adaptation. In particular, the Lab researchers address the etiopathology mechanisms that mediate the association between all forms of conflict, aggression, and violence in close interpersonal relationships and the emergence of adaptation problems. Under developmental, evolutionary, systemic, and socio-developmental frameworks, our research efforts are also focused on designing and evaluating psychological interventions to promote, prevent, or treat close interpersonal relationships across clinical, forensic, and health settings.

 

SBEC: Social Behaviour, Environment, and Culture Lab

Our research group investigates how individuals think and behave in social situations, from interpersonal to intergroup interaction, considering environmental cues and the cultural context in which these interactions occur. To study these interactions, we combine studies using traditional techniques with studies that take advantage of digital technology and virtual reality environments. We conduct theoretical and empirical investigations based on social cognition and theories of intergroup relations.

 

PID: Playful Interaction Design Lab

The Playful Interaction Design Lab is a multidisciplinary gathering of researchers at the crossroads of the newly-expanded fields of play design and interaction design. Play has expanded beyond games and continues to become more embedded in everyday life and spaces. Interaction is more playful than ever. Design improves effective and engaged interactions. A multiplicity of new experiences, spaces, and understandings has become available. Play, Design, and Interaction are closer to indistinguishable than ever, and hold significant implications in affective computing, artificial intelligence, procedural content generation, adaptivity, embodiment, design research, and the internet of things. These are all aspects of the future of interaction, which warrant a renewed “future-proofing” interdisciplinary research perspective as a multiplicity of new experiences, spaces, and understandings have become increasingly available. The Playful Interaction Design Lab aims to study the new expanded realities of these topics, harness the potential of their heightened interconnectedness for novel social and cultural interventions, and find new, relevant expressions in an ever-more playful, embodied world. We are interested in building theoretical and empirical bridges between virtual playful experiences and how players feel and interact with virtual experiences from an emotional and interactive perspective. Moreover, we intend to develop a relevant model for agency in games, opening up further avenues of research in media and research in games in a range of applications.

Some of our immersive solutions can be found here

HEI-Lab’s ‘By Laws’ can be found here

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