Cyberball3D+: a 3D serious game for fMRI investigating social exclusion and empathy

Mavromihelaki, Evangelia, Eccles, Jessica, Harrison, Neil, Grice-Jackson, Thomas, Ward, Jamie, Critchley, Hugo and Mania, Katerina (2015) Cyberball3D+: a 3D serious game for fMRI investigating social exclusion and empathy. Valletta, Malta, 9 - 12 September 2014. Published in: Camilleri, Vanessa, Dingli, Alexei and Montebello, Matthew, (eds.) 2014 6th International Conference on Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications (VS-Games). 1-8. Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers ISBN 9781479940561

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This paper presents a 3D interactive gaming paradigm for the secluded space of an fMRI scanner. The Cyberball3D+ game is a virtual ball-toss game in which the participant is either excluded or not from ball tossing played by three virtual players and the subject in the scanner. It has been used in simple sketch mode by neuroscientists for research on ostracism, social exclusion or rejection as well as discrimination and prejudice. The game proposed is designed to render an interactive Virtual Environment (VE) on an fMRI display, enabling the conduct of formal neuroscientific experiments and investigating the effects of social exclusion, empathy and different level of anthropomorphism on human brain activity. Although, here, the focus is on the technical implementation of the system, the goal is to use this system to explore whether the pain felt by someone when socially excluded is the same when observing other people get socially excluded and whether there are differences in relation to empathy for friends and strangers. Moreover, for the first time, we propose a validated neuroscientific measure of character believability and emotional engagement. The system was developed in close collaboration between the Technical University of Crete where the technical implementation took place and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School where the initial fMRI experiments were conducted using the system proposed. A broader aim of this work is to assess whether such powerful social-psychological studies could be usefully carried out within VEs advancing cognitive neuroscience and computer graphics as well as serious gaming research.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Keywords: cyberball, social exclusion, empathy, level of anthropomorphism
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
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Depositing User: Christina Lee
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2015 15:31
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2017 14:28

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