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Cognition, Serious Gaming and Behaviourism: The Emotional Dimension

Learn all about it next Monday at De Montfort University.

For immediate release: 27 November 2008

From predicting how people will behave in emergencies to improving avatars in virtual worlds, a talk next week will look at how computer games technology is influencing researchers in other fields.

The lecture entitled 'Cognition, Serious Gaming and Behaviourism: The Emotional Dimension' will be given by De Montfort University's Dr Aladdin Ayesh, a leading researcher in the field of emotional and social modelling.

Serious gaming is the use of computer games technology in applications such as simulators and training suites, which are developed for purposes other than entertainment.

In the talk, which takes place next Monday (1 December), Dr Ayesh will discuss the potential of emotion modelling in serious gaming.

One application is computer programs which use emotion modelling to demonstrate how people are likely to exit a building in an emergency by giving them realistic motivations.

While most people would run from danger, parents may remain in a burning building in an attempt to rescue their children while other people might stay to take photos of the event on their phone.

By anticipating impulsive behaviour in this way, this type of program could assist in the design of buildings and can also be used to devise disaster plans and to train the emergency services.

Emotion modelling can also be used to create avatars which are more responsive and realistic, something which would be of particular benefit to companies or organisations who want to use a virtual world to deliver advertising, training or other services.

Dr Ayesh said: "In this talk we will look at current developments in emotion modelling, emotion-based inference, emotion expression and classification.

"A particular attention will be paid to behaviourist theories of emotions, which are often used in developing the computational models."

Another application of emotion modelling which Dr Ayesh believes could be very valuable is the use of avatars to provide cultural training for military personnel who are deployed to countries whose customs they are not familiar with.

Dr Ayesh said: "With international operations, soldiers and managers need to work within a wide cultural scope. Serious gaming with emotionally-enhanced cognitive avatars can provide valuable training tools at a low cost with high returns."

The talk takes place at 2pm in De Montfort University's Institute of Creative Technologies on Gateway Street, Leicester.

Places should be booked in advance by emailing Lisa McNicoll at


For more information please contact the De Montfort University Press and Public Relations Office on 0116 207 8353.

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