My current research interest is using VR in the study of social cognition.
In general, I am interested in generating expressive virtual characters to create an empathic social interaction, that is immersive and engaging.
My PhD thesis (2005-09) consists several VR experimental studies in understanding social anxiety. For instance, the study of social blushing, training application for social phobia, and building personality in virtual characters.
During my first post-doc (2009-13) I developed several VR scenarios in the study of morality. Our research was covered in BBC Horizon programme "Are you good or evil".
Currently I work with neuroscientists to study the underlying mechanisms of social interaction. The results of our research will contribute in for instance understanding of the cause of autism.
I am also collaborating with UCL Laws on exploring ethical challenges in medical professional, with Immersive Virtual Reality (Oculus). This is in particular relevant to training for effective communication.
I have co-organised the London Virtual Social Interaction Workshop (September, 2014, London) which brought social scientists and VR technologists together to discuss how new technologies can help us probe and measure human social behaviour without sacrificing the validity of the interaction.
Technically, I specialise on interactive Virtual Environment and character animation (facial expression, body movements, motion capture, key frame animation) with modelling and VR software such as 3dsMax, Unity, and Vizard. The majority of my work was conducted in immersive Virtual Reality (the CAVE-like system at UCL, and HMDs, for instance, the Oculus), where users not only see everything in 3D, but also have their head tracked - this provides a compelling experience - more shocking than seeing a 3D movie in the iMax!