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Virtual women reveal more skin, regardless of body proportions

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Dec. 26, 2012 — In the virtual world of Second Life, female avatars expose substantially more skin than males, independent of their virtual body proportions, according to research published December 26 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Matthieu Guitton and colleagues from Laval University, Canada.

The human tendency to cover up stems from climatic, environmental, physical and cultural constraints, so measuring people's propensity to reveal skin can be difficult in the real world. To study human behavior free of at least some of these constraints, the researchers analyzed how male and female avatars in the virtual, 3- dimensional world of Second Life dressed. Second Life offers users options to choose the gender...

Creativity and linguistic skills important for immersion in World of Warcraft

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TechAndComputer (Dec. 5, 2012) — The sense of immersion in role-play and computer games is sometimes viewed as dangerous, as players' strong perceptions of fictional worlds are assumed to make them lose contact with reality. On the other hand, players' immersion also implies a potential for improved learning, since it enables them to 'experience' new places and historical eras. Yet a new study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that immersion in online role-play games...

From rats to people: Gaming platform used to compare memory impairments of rodents and humans with epilepsy

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TechAndComputer (Dec. 3, 2012) — A behavioral test widely used on rodents to study spatial learning and memory, the Morris water maze (MWM), was recreated using software developed to create custom video game environments. By creating a virtual reality analogue for humans, it was possible to obtain a direct comparison between the results of studies on a rodent model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), whose spatial memory performance was found to be severely impaired, and patients with...

Technology use in the classroom helps autistic children communicate

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TechAndComputer (Nov. 29, 2012) — The use of technology in the classroom is nothing new, but Topcliffe Primary School in Birmingham is breaking new ground by using technology to help pupils with autism communicate more effectively.

The school, which teaches around 30 children with various levels of autism, was one of four schools across UK, which participated in the ECHOES research project, jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and...

Online learning strategies of male and female students

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TechAndComputer (Nov. 23, 2012) — Research Highlight -- Virtual learning via cyber space. Researcher Rasaya Marimuthu and his team from Universiti Teknologi MARA conducted a study to determine the online learning strategies of male and female students in an English Language course.

Utilizing computers as a tool in education appears to be gaining momentum. There appears to be varying levels of interest in this method of online learning. This study attempted to investigate the...