August 21, 2017 | Log in

Visiting “The Big Smoke”: CrossWorlds @CogSci2017 in London

An amazing view on the city of London and Queen’s House in front of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in Greenwich Park

Being hosted in Europe by now and then, the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society took place in the impressive city of London. From July 26th to 29th, about 1100 researchers from various cognition-related areas had the opportunity to attend outstanding keynotes and discuss their research during the well-attended talk and poster sessions. Related to this year’s conference theme on computational foundations of cognition, on July 26th the annual ACT-R workshop was held at the UCL and offerend remarkable insights into currently ongoing scientific developments within the related community.

CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger participated in both the conference and the workshop and presented her poster on “Modeling cognitive load effects in an interrupted learning task: An ACT-R approach” during the final poster session. Moreover, she co-authored a paper presented by fellow researcher Martina Truschzinski from the MaCeLot project, introducing a dynamic process model for predicting workload in an air traffic controller task. Besides getting a variety of helpful comments on their respective research projects, both researchers were inspired by the high quality of the presented innovations, broadened their existing networks and made new friends. They even had the chance to explore some hidden treasures of the city and taste the local cuisine!


Call for participants in virtual memory training

Do requirements on digital learning facilities change with increasing age?

To address this question, an interdisciplinary group of CrossWorlds researchers developed a memory training framework that features a virtual agent and operates on speech-based interaction. The fruitful collaboration between Human Factors graduate Maria Wirzberger, computer scientist René Schmidt, and Maria Barlag, holding a master’s degree in “Intelligent Media and Virtual Reality”, provides a bright example of elaborated research emerging from the unique concept of the Research Training Group.

During the following weeks, the researchers will test their prototype and thus look for adult participants with native German language skills across all age groups. All colleagues, students, family members, friends and acquaintances are invited to join! Details regarding time, location and contact are provided on the flyer.


CrossWorlds contribution to TeaP 2017 in Dresden

Maria Wirzberger introducing her research

Not far away from Chemnitz, the 59th conference of experimental psychologists (TeaP) took place from March 26th to 29th in the beautiful city of Dresden. Apart from a broad variety of talks and symposia from the fields of basic and applied experimental psychology, the conference hosted three exciting and insightful keynotes from the internationally renowned researchers Klaus Oberauer, Tania Singer and Patrick Haggard.

In the afternoon of the first conference day, CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger participated in a symposium on cognition and emotion in human-machine interaction, organized by colleagues from the chair of cognitive psychology and cognitive ergonomics at TU Berlin. In the well-attended session, she introduced a study on interrupting features of hyperlinks in multimedia learning. The session also featured a talk from her colleague Sascha Schneider from the affiliated chair of E-Learning and New Media (TU Chemnitz) about the moderating role of arousal on the seductive detail effect. Both researchers received beneficial feedback on their work in the vivid discussions afterwards.

CrossWorlds talk on stereotypes and media

At the final conference day, CrossWorlds researcher Jan-Philipp Stein, accompanied by master’s student Xiaomeng Lu, gave a talk on “Connecting stereotypes among German and Chinese students to their perceptions of native speaking media”. Their work was well-received by the large audience and inspired a fruitful discussion on the political implications of this fascinating topic of social psychology.

In addition, the final conference day covered a talk session on teaching and instruction, chaired by CrossWorlds member Maria Wirzberger, including further talks from her colleagues of the chair of E-Learning and New Media: Maik Beege introduced his research on the influence of age coherence between pedagogical agents and verbal information on learning and cognitive load and Maria Mikheeva presented a study on the politeness effect in online learning materials for higher mathematics.

Taken together, the days spent in Dresden proved of high value for our researchers, due to various opportunities to strengthen existing networks, establish new contacts, and gain insights into fascinating new developments within the field of cognition research!


Confidence in a successful program

Maria Wirzberger with her scholar Nora Moser ©TU Berlin_PhilippArnoldt

On February 2nd, the 6th Germany scholarship award was celebrated at the beautiful atrium of the TU Berlin. As in the previous year, CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger participated as sponsor within the program and supported a student from her former Human Factors master’s degree course. During the get-together after the award ceremony, she had the opportunity to hand over the scholarship certificate to her current scholar Nora Moser and engage in lively discussions.

With a steadily growing number of sponsors, various career-related opportunities from involved companies, and an increasing range of social and publicity-related activities amongst the scholars, the Germany scholarship program has indeed proven a success for the university and both sponsors and scholars!


CrossWorlds at birthday party ;)

Tomorrow, November 12th, our colleagues Benedikt and Ingmar will celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of CrossWorlds most important cooperation partners, the Chemnitz Museum of Industry. Visitors are asked to test our newest tabletop application that combines a solid interface with mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. Read more: or and join us!


Thank you, Katharina Scheiter, for visiting CrossWorlds!


An impressed audience listened to Katharina Scheiter’s talk

As announced, Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter visited CrossWorlds yesterday and gave an amazing talk on multiple representations in multimedia learning. The audience from many disciplines and departments across the university was very impressed and excited about the high quality of the presented research and enjoyed the vivid discussion! In addition, our guest provided insights into the work at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien and gave beneficial career-related advice to our young researchers during the afternoon meeting and the really enjoyable social evening.

Many thanks to you, Katharina Scheiter, for visiting Chemnitz and sharing your experiences with us!


No seats left during Benny Liebold’s successful PhD defence


(from left to right:) Prof. Dr. Georg Jahn, Prof. Dr. Josef Krems, Prof. Dr. Peter Sedlmeier, Dr. des. Benny Liebold, Prof. Dr. Peter Ohler, Prof. Dr. Frank Schwab

Congratulations to our CrossWorlds fellow Benny Liebold on successfully defending his PhD thesis “Cognitive and Emotional Processing of Virtual Environments: The Significance of Attentional Processes and Mental Models”! In front of a crowded audience, Benny gave a fascinating overview of his multi-faceted work of the last years, before engaging in a lively discussion with the dissertation committee.

Naturally, the defence turned out a big success, as professors, colleagues, and friends applauded Benny for his excellent dissertation. A joyful celebration among his guests ended the day appropriately. The soon-to-be PhD will continue his work at the chair of Media Psychology (TU Chemnitz).

Best wishes from your CrossWorld fellows, Benny!


Katharina Scheiter visits CrossWorlds!

CrossWorlds proudly announces the visit of an outstanding expert in multimedia research: At November 10th, Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter from the Institute of Knowledge Media and the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen visits Chemnitz and introduces her research in learning from multiple representations of knowledge. Her talk entitled “Integration multipler Repräsentationen: Von den kognitiven Grundlagen bis zur Anwendung in der Praxis” will deal with basic research on knowledge integration as well as its application in educational interventions and is scheduled from 10.30 a.m. to 12 in room 1/305 (main building Straße der Nationen 62).

We are looking forward to welcome a broad audience and engage in lively discussions!

Please save the date and spread the word!



CrossWorlds at the 50th DGPs Conference


Impressions from an outstanding and (obviously) extremely well-attended keynote on Open Science by Prof. Brian Nosek

From September 18th to 22nd, the 50th Conference of the German Society for Psychology (DGPs) was held in Leipzig. With talks and posters from all major fields of Psychology, the conference showcased a wide variety of current developments within psychological research.

CrossWorlds alumnus Daniel Pietschmann presented a poster entitled “User Experience, Spatial Cues and Spatial Mapping: When is stereoscopy a good choice for virtual environments?”. In a session on learning with media, CrossWorlds researcher Alexander Skulmowski held a talk describing how “Learning time determines cognitive load in embodied learning tasks.” Additionally, this session featured two talks by researchers from the affiliated chair of E-Learning and New Media: Steve Nebel talked about feedback and competition due to highscores in educational videogames, and Maik Beege introduced his research on the split-attention effect. Within a symposium on social factors and performance in school, Sascha Schneider gave a talk on social cues in multimedia learning. Moreover, he had organized a symposium on emotions in multimedia learning, in which he introduced his work on emotional decorative pictures.

The conference offered fruitful discussions and new perspectives. In particular, talks on Open Science – one of the “Hot Topics” of the conference – as well as a selection of high-profile keynote speakers provided food for thought.


CrossWorlds at the URPP Summer School ‚Language and Space‘ in Kloster Kappel (CH)


The perfect place to think and talk about language and space.

Combining various methods and perspectives within a research project is an ambitious approach – one that we take very seriously. From September 4th to 9th, CrossWorlds joined the summer school of the URPP “Language and Space” at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Due to the relatively small participant group, we were able to work very productively through each of the three daily sessions. A great selection of invited scholars introduced us to their different angles and methodological approaches in dealing with virtual, social, and physical space. In the end, we wrapped it up into a large picture of relationships and differences between the discussed concepts. In order to give an overview of their current research every participant performed a pecha kucha at Tuesday and Thursday night. These sessions have been highlights of the week.
It seems very likely that this summer school served as a great kickoff for further collaborations and thought processes. Apart from enjoying the sun and the surroundings in Kappel am Albis, the event certainly inspired new insights into our data; reminding us that research is an amazing thing, being demanding and fun at the same time.

Thanks a lot to Prof. Dr. Andreas Jucker and his colleagues who made this event happen.