Human-Computer Interaction



The sense of time co-constitutes our subjective experience and embodied self-consciousness. It refers to the dimensions of passage of time (time passing by) and structure of time (serial order of events). We will systematically enrich the scenery both physically (objects) and socially (interaction partners). In the realm of time-based interventions this will allow to manipulate passage of time and structure of time.

Project Vision

VIRTUALTIMES is based on the vision that “MetaChron” as time-sensitive, individualized, neuroadaptive, game-like VR platform will radically change our understanding of time experience and its relevance for psychopathological conditions in particular and human well-being in general. Equipped with AI components that not only detect (“diagnose”), but also allow to modify (“treat”) variations or distortions of the sense of time in an individualized, neuroadaptive, hence “intelligent” way, we will study and overcome distortions of the sense of time, but also other related psychopathological symptoms. Hence, we will substantially contribute to the individual well-being of the users of MetaChron.

Our Role

Development of an experimental VR platform (Metachron) that allows to perform experiments of time experience and time manipulation studies requiring (1) provision of robust and user-friendly VR research scenarios, (2) integration of a novel AI-driven time controller modifying the dynamics of the VR setup, (3) development and integration the relevant technology and methodology components including VR environments, (4) preparation of automatic scenario adaptation.

Metachron Media

Videos demonstrating our VR system and experiments can be found here:

Metachron version Link to Video
0.8 Environments showcase , First Zeitgebers
1.0 First waiting room prototype with Embodiment , Waiting Room replica experiment
1.1 Eyetracking integration , Full Body Tracking
1.2 Eyetracking heatmap , Realistic Waiting Room and different user representations , Questionnaires in VR , Synchronicity manipulation , Time-Event physics manipulation , Social Atmospheres
1.3 Gravity manipulation + Rewind Time Feature , Environmental effects
2.0 New modules added: MetaChron-UI and MetaChron-AI. Showcase: Detection of psychophysiological states and communication to MetaChron-VR


Vacation despite Corona
The sense of presence that virtual reality can trigger in us - Prof. Dr. Marc Erich Latoschik (HCI) talks about this in the program Xenius: Urlaub trotz Corona: Neue Chancen entdecken. The focus is on the projects Virtual Times and Interactive Opera.
Vacation in VR
Prof. Dr. Marc Erich Latoschik (HCI) speaks in the program alles wissen about the feeling of presence that virtual reality can trigger in us. The focus is on the projects Virtual Times and Interactive Opera.
HCI Group @ VRST 2019 in Sydney
Daniel Roth and Maximilian Landeck presented their work at the VRST 2019 in Sydney.
The HCI chair will start to work at a new party promoted research project called "VIRTUALTIMES -Exploring and Modifying the Sense of Time in Virtual Environments."

Funding and Collaboration

JÜLICH will lead the consortium of VIRTUALTIMESand will play a leading role in the neuroscientific validation of time experience in the different populations of persons being studied including their variations due to the different psychopathological conditions.
Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health (IGPP)
IGPP will play a strategic role in the project as it brings in the expertise in all psychological aspects of human subjective time.
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (UW)
Universität Würzburg will be responsible for the provision of the base technological platform for the various prototypes as well as of the integration of the modules into the prototypes. It will lead the development of the timeliness protocols and interfaces and will provide key functionality of the avatar technologies. It will support the development of the sync-engine, especially with respect to the timeliness protocols.
Cognitive Neuropsychology and Pathophysiology of Schizophrenia (INSERM)
The INSERM U1114 laboratory will provide its expertise on timing disorders in schizophrenia, its innovative methods of behavioral exploration and access to patients for both experimental, EEG and fMRI studies.
University of Helsinki (UH)
The University of Helsinki (UH) is one of the best multidisciplinary research universities in Europe. The high-quality research carried out by the university creates new knowledge for educating diverse specialists in various fields and for utilization in social decision making and the business sector. From the UH, two departments are participating in EMPATEC: the Department of Social Research and the Department of Computer Science.
Psious Smart Apps, S.L. (PSICO)
PSICO will be the lead partner in developing the VR environments with hyper-realistic format and human-like avatars and integrating them with the time scaling techniques. PSICO is an expert bringing medical and therapeutic meaning into the VR technology, crucial for the project.



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