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CrossWorlds @60th TeaP in Marburg

Maria Wirzberger during her talk

On the occasion of the 60th Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP), about 700 researchers from cognitive psychology and related fields visited the multifaceted city of Marburg, to present their latest results and discuss their research during a variety of well attended talk sessions, symposia and poster sessions.

The conference particularly facilitates the participation of young academics at the Bachelor, Master and PhD level, who are provided the opportunity to enter the scientific stage and become acquainted with established experts in their research fields.

Shirin Esmaeili Bijarsari presenting her poster

CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger used the chance to introduce one of the building blocks of her PhD work that has been conducted in cooperation with the chair of Media Informatics. Her results on influences of cognitive load on performance, speech and physiological parameters were well received by a large interested audience and also provided her the opportunity to broaden her professional network.

In line with the conference purpose, CrossWorlds master student Shirin Esmaeili Bijarsari presented findings from her master thesis on effects of guidance fading and color coding in a robot construction task. She also received broad and helpful feedback from various visitors during her poster session and successfully made her first steps within the scientific community.


CrossWorlds research introduced @INFORMATIK2017

From September 25th to 29th, the 47th Annual Meeting of the German Informatics Society (GI) took place in Chemnitz. With various workshops, tutorials and keynotes from outstanding experts like Lora Aroyo, Richard Stallman, Schahram Dustdar and Sören Auer, the conference comprised an important event in the national computer science community and was attended by professionals from both research and industry. In addition, it offered a rich programm for young researchers at the school, student and doctoral level.

Female research power @CSCOG

In the afternoon of the first conference day, CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger together with fellow researcher Martina Truschzinski from the MaCeLot project introduced benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary cognitive research from perspectives of psychology and computer science. Besides of introducing relevant research from both projects, dealing with effects of delay in a virtual speech-based memory training and a computational model for predicting mental workload in an air traffic controller task, Robin Hirt from the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute introduced his work on classifying Twitter users by machine learning and CrossWorlds master student Shirin Esmaeili Bijarsari presented work from her master thesis on instructional design in a robot construction task. The speakers received valuable questions after the talks and collected interesting ideas in the final discussion session on the topic of interdisciplinarity. Thanks to our involved audience and all presenters for a great workshop!

Comfortable “in action”

A further main topic of CrossWorlds aims to understand how interactive devices like tabletops and tangibles work for users in real-life environments. So CrossWorlds researchers Ingmar Rothe, Benedikt Etzold and Jan-Philipp Stein grabbed the chance to present and discuss methods for conducting studies “in-the-wild” around the “Comfortable”. In order to enrich the workshop with sustained impressions, they spent the afternoon session in the Chemnitz Museum of Industry itself with “hands on” the interfaces and their own approaches. We would like to say “thank you!” to the joining researchers Andreas Bischof, Susen Döbelt and Josefine Halama, Andreas Fritsch, Andreas Mladenow and all attending guests for making the whole friday session a great experience and great fun!


European cognitive psychologists hosted in Potsdam

Nations present at the conference

On behalf of the 20th Conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology, from September 3rd to 6th nearly 800 researchers from Europe and beyond, working on various cognition-related research questions, vistited Potsdam. The young university – founded just in 1991 – located in the German city with the highest amounts of researchers and castles per resident, hosted the celebratory occasion and prepared a rich program filled with outstanding workshops, keynotes, talks and posters.

Motivated by the local research and teaching focus, embodied cognition comprised a topic of special interest during the conference, represented by talks from experts like Friedemann Pulvermüller, Arthur Glenberg, Martin Fischer or Yann Coello. In addition, the schedule included various talk sessions and symposia on issues related to multitasking, mainly resulting from a current joint priority program that spans several German universities.

Maria Wirzberger presenting her poster

CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger had the opportunity to introduce her findings on influences of cognitive load on learning performance, speech and physiological parameters in a dual-task setting during one of the incredibly organized and well-attended poster sessions and received really encouraging feedback on her project. The presented approach resulted from ambitious collaborative work with fellow researcher Robert Herms from the chair of Media Informatics.

Besides of getting valuable scientific input and sucessfully improving her professional network across several European countries, our young researcher was truly impressed by the unique flair of the amazing conference location!


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!


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.

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!


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.


CrossWorlds researcher visited ICCM at PennState University


Maria Wirzberger presenting her poster at ICCM

With over 100 researchers from various countries, the 14th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM) was held at the amazing campus of PennState University from August 4th to 6th. Besides a schedule enriched with sophisticated keynotes and talks on various theoretical and methodological issues related to modeling and simulating human cognition, the organizers arranged an exciting social program including a mentoring lunch at the first day and a barbecue with sports activities like go-cart, baseball or golf in the evening of the second day.

In particular the poster sessions at the first and last conference day offered various opportunities for lively discussions. Related to this point in schedule, the organizers had invented a new format called “poster boaster”, a short session in which each presenter had to “advertise” his or her poster in advance, to arouse peoples’ curiosity in the presented work. Right within the first poster session, CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger introduced her project entitled “Examining load-inducing factors in instructional design: An ACT-R approach”, gained rich feedback on her model concept and could discuss current construction yards with experts from the community. Moreover, she had the opportunity to become aquainted with fellow researchers from all over the world and got surprising insights into the American way of life!


CrossWorlds at the ICC


The participants of the ICC 2016 © Stadt Fulda

The International Colloquium on Communication (ICC) was founded in 1968 and takes place every other year. It’s general aim is to discuss new results of research on communication. CrossWorlds is glad on having been part of the 2016th edition, wich took place in Fulda last week. This year’s specific focus was ‘communication and tragedy‘. Our fellow Ingmar presented a paper titled “The escape button as the only way out – when human-computer-interaction breaks down” as a spotlight on his current research.

A specific feature of the ICC is it’s small size with only about 25 participants. This year, 20 scholars from the U.S. and Europe met in Fulda from July 24th to 29th. Due to that we had plenty of time for enlightening discussions from various angles.


CrossWorlds at the CNS2016

Poster presentation René Richter

René Richter at the poster session

From the 2nd to the 7th July, René Richter joined other researchers at the 25th Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting (CNS2016) on Jeju Island in South Korea. This conference by the Organisation for Computational Neurosciences (OCNS) hosted 200 participants and provided a platform to present their research and additionally profit from tutorials and workshops in this particular field of research.

The poster session stretched over three days and on the third day René Richter presented his poster on how to simulate emotional attention within the biological background of the human brain. He had several interesting talks with other researchers who gave new perspectives and even offered potential collaborations for the future.