Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lab Update: CAN Meeting

All the lab is presently at the Fifth Canadian Neuroscience Meeting (the meeting of CAN - Canadian Association for Neuroscience). We had a pretty good representation with 5 posters: 3 related to cyberbehavior, and 2 related to animal models. It went pretty well, well done to all the lab presenters, you did very well!


Lortie CL, Guitton MJ. The judgement of humanity of an interlocutor is in the Eye of the Beholder. M-G-006.
Lortie CL, Guitton MJ. Social organuzation in virtual settings depends of the proximity to human visual aspect. M-G-007.
Lomanowska AM, Guitton MJ. Social density and physical aggregation of avatars in virtual spaces. T-G-001.

Animal Models:

Marquilly C, Guitton MJ. Salicylate-induced tinnitus triggers serotonergic-dependant anxiety. M-D-001.
Bories C, Husson, Z, Guitton MJ, De Koninck Y. Frontal substrates of cognitive performance heterogeneity during aging. T-C-034 (not shown in picture).

Saturday, May 28, 2011


We are still working with the virtual environment of Second Life as a model of human behavior in virtual spaces. Here is the avatar of one of the members of our group, Anna. We are submitting the first experimental paper on cyberbehavior of her postdoc in the coming weeks! (go us!) ... Well, in my (always biased) opinion, it is a very interesting work, dealing with some cool mathematical model of human-controlled avatar behavior. More to come soon.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Parallel to the G8 meeting in Paris, another meeting is held: the e-G8 Forum. About 1000 influential people of the internet-world are gathered together to discuss issues related to the new media, mostly (if not solely) from an economical point of view, however. Among the guests: Eric Smith (Executive Director of Google), Jimmy Wales (co-founder of Wikipedia), Jeff Bezos (founder and Executive Director of Amazon.com), John Donahoe (Executive Director of eBay), Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder and Executive Director of Facebook), Sean Parker (co-founder of Facebook and of Napster, associate of the Founders Fund), and Niklas Zennström (co-founder of Skype and Executive Director of the fund Atomico). And some major players of economy, such as Rupert Murdoch (Executive Director of News Corporation), and Christine Lagarde (French Minister of Economy, and putative next Director of the IMF).
Debates seems to be oriented on business models, future trends, and management of legal issues in multinational spaces.

On a more light touch, we can hardly be scientists focusing on virtual worlds without being aware of the so-called Geek culture, so here are some funny things. A representative panel of Geeks voted for the best quotes of the whole (Geek) history. Here is the top five for your viewing pleasure:
"May the force be with you" (Star Wars)
"Luke, I am your father" (Star Wars)
"You shall not pass!" (Lord of the Rings)
"I will be back" (Terminator)
"My Precious" (Lord of the Rings)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Two small articles from eMarketer dealing with the impact of women-written blogs in product or brand image and popularity. A bit formalizing the phenomenon of word-of-mouth in online settings, blogs being finally simply a new media for social, inter-individual influence. Interestingly (and that echoes the remark in the comment of the post of May 5), the notion of “opinion leaders” is very important to decipher the efficiency of a blog in term of convincing others …
The first article describes the characteristics of some of the main type of female users and shows that only a small proportion of them are actually active and efficient (in this context, the “opinion leaders”).

The second article describes some of the strategies which can be used to help convince a female blogger to contribute actively to the word-of-mouth of a given product.

Do Woman Bloggers Want to Work with your Brand?

All that is very interesting to read, digest, and consider in the context of deciphering how social media can represent a tool of influence over others (individuals or groups).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cyberworld: the Second Life City of Rarn

Long time since we showed in this blog some virtual world things ... So, here are some views of the Second Life City of Rarn. Rarn, the City of Copper, is a City of Gor, located close to the City of Tharna (see the previous "Cyberworld" entries). A very well designed City, which succeed to reflect both the mountain location and a unique atmosphear. The design of the City is highly efficient in terms of opportunities to trigger easily interesting immersive role-play situations.

After going out of the "out of character" arrival point, you directly land in a mountain road, the "road to Rarn", where you can appreciate the mountain landscape.

After a short walk, the massive walls of the City attract your eyes.

The design of the City is at the same time simple and complex. Simple, as the general City map is clear, and the City is surrounded by high walls, with a strongly protected gate, allowing the citizens and local warriors to defend the City in a optimal way. Complex, as the inner map and building organisation is, despite being easy to navigate in, far to be simplistic, leading to a real pleasure in terms of immersion for the visitor.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Literature Update

Education (at a very broad sense) is a key target of the utilisation of new media. Numerous universities are offering very high numbers of online course, programs, and so on (by the way, Canada in general, and Quebec Province in particular, are doing pretty well on that, as mentionned in the chapter on "Cyber Behaviors in Canada" which I wrote for the "Encyclopedia of Cyber Behavior", currently in press). However, a major issue related to that (and it raised some interesting debates, or at least elicited some interesting presentation at the Design Conference in Rome last February), is the problematic of the evaluation of the efficiency. In regards to this problematic, the following paper (even if a case study, with all the limitations it can hold), is interesting:

Lee H, Kim JW, Hackney R (2011) Knowledge hoarding and user acceptance of online discussion board systems in eLearning: A case study. Computers in Human Behavior, 27:1431-1437.

Something else, just something to think about as a possible way to foresee evolutions in the field. Not necessary have to agree, but interesting to read anyway:

Drigas A, Koukianakis L, Papagerasimou Y (2011) Towards an ICT-based psychology: E-psychology. Computers in Human Behavior, 27:1416-1423.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Comment: Question to the Readers

I need your opinion. As people are obviously very shy, I re-ask the question of few weeks (and unfortunately not enough posts) ago. What would be needed in a graduate course on Cyberpsychology? Which concepts should be introduced, which fields should be covered, which would be the main papers ... what format such a course should take?
Dear reader, time to help me! You can send a comment to this post, you can send me an email, you can come to my office to tell me what you think ... Any comment is appreciated, as this field is utterly dynamic!