Background. Virtual reality (VR) is becoming more and more widespread in various spheres of human life – in science, education, industry, and leisure. In particular, children are increasingly using VR. However, there is an insignificant number of methodological studies on the effects of virtual reality on children.
The Objective of this paper is to consider virtual reality technologies as a tool of developing a modern child. In accordance with the goal, the tasks were set to analyze the results of the application, the possibilities and limitations of using VR as a tool that mediates the process of mental development.
Design. The paper considers the qualitative features of Virtual Reality technologies in contrast to other digital technologies. The analysis of the VR impact on children of different ages in terms of finding the limits of VR applicability is given. It is noted that immersion in virtual environments of children of different age groups occurs with varying degrees of intensity, which is first of all determined by cognitive functions development in these age groups. The positive effects of VR application as an educational tool in the digital environment are highlighted. As a result, it was shown that successful immersion of a child in the virtual world and effective immersion means requires the development of adaptation skills to the new form of the surrounding world, where successfulness is possible only when shaping relevant operations and actions.
Results. The analysis of the existing results of the VR research as a means of developing a modern child has revealed a number of significant facts that determine further methodological research in this area. These include a shift in emphasis in the VR studies from consideration of risks and negative consequences towards qualitative positive effects from their application in order to overcome the limitations of using digital technologies that are considered classical.
Conclusion. VR has significant prospects both as a research tool and as a developing tool relevant to the evolving digital space.
The gaze direction of another person is an important social cue, allowing us to orient quickly in social interactions. The effect of short-term redirection of visual attention to the same object that other people are looking at is known as the gaze cueing effect. There is evidence that the strength of this effect depends on many social factors, such as the trust in a partner, her/his gender, social attitudes, etc. In our study we investigated the influence of race of face stimuli on the strength of the gaze cueing effect. Using the modified Posner Cueing Task an attentional shift was assessed in a scene where avatar faces of different race were used as distractors. Participants were instructed to fix the black dot in the centre of the screen until it changes colour, and then as soon as possible to make a rightward or leftward saccade, depending on colour of a fixed point. A male distractor face was shown in the centre of the screen simultaneously with a fixed point. The gaze direction of the distractor face changed from straight ahead to rightward or leftward at the moment when colour of a fixed point changed. It could be either congruent or incongruent with the saccade direction. We used face distractors of three race categories: Caucasian (own race faces), Asian and African (other race faces). Twenty five Caucasian participants took part in our study. The results showed that the race of face distractors influence the strength of the gaze cueing effect, that manifested in the change of latency and velocity of the ongoing saccades.
The self-motion illusion (‘vection’) refers to a subjective phenomenon where a stationary observer experiences a compelling sense of illusory self-motion when she/ he is exposed to large moving patterns of optic flow. As a part of vestibular dysfunction the self-motion illusion is accompanied by the complex of negative symptoms: vertigo, nausea, vomiting and headache. In recent years the phenomenon of vection has attracted the attention of researchers due to the development of virtual reality systems. In such systems stationary subjects are exposed to the large moving optic flow which leads to the appearance of vection. Despite the wide range of approaches and methods of its assessing there is no generally accepted view about the psychological and psychophysiological mechanisms of its appearance. This review considers various approaches to the study of the vection illusion, methods of its evaluation and various factors affecting its severity. Special attention is paid to the mechanisms of the brain activity underlying the vection perception, which was registered using the neuroimaging technique. This work contains also the analysis of the main factors influencing the vection perception such as technical features of virtual reality systems, individual characteristics of observers, cognitive rules of sensory information processing. A detailed description of psychological and psychophysiological methods allowing evaluating the vection strength is given. At the present understanding the process of the vection perception is an actual problem of theoretical and practical psychology. The experimental results may allow psychologists to solve the binding problem concerning the processes of sensory integration. As to practical application the results would help to develop new methods of counteracting the self-motion sickness for astronautics, pilots and sportsmen.
The paper discusses topical issues of virtual reality technologies in social research, particularly when studying the processes of ethnic cultural identity, development of ethnic and racial attitudes using «virtual avatars» for managing ethnic conflicts, development of communication skills in representatives of different cultures using virtual collaboration and video conferencing. One of the key issues of the paper to discuss the necessity of post-non-classical paradigm as a conceptual framework for social research. Contemporary social studies require developing new methods, technologies and techniques at all levels of the research: from task setting to the development of new methods and result analysis. One of the most promising methods rapidly developed in recent years is virtual reality technology. The paper presents the analysis of more than 40 experimental studies performed using CAVE and HMD virtual reality systems. Their application is considered hereunder for the studies of verbal and nonverbal cues in communication, social skills training, treatment of social anxiety disorders and the development of new methods of cognitive behavioural therapy. Studies on interpersonal communication with virtual partners (i.e. «avatars») are considered. Factors affecting the communication quality of avatars, its visual and behavioural realism, problems of seeing virtual human as real partners for social interaction are discussed. Special attention is paid to the studies of racial and ethnic attitudes performed using virtual reality systems. The possibilities of practical applications of the VR technologies for shaping positive attitudes and development of communication skills in a sociocultural context are emphasized.
In April 2015 the 7th All-Russian Festival of Student Sport took place. It was established seven years ago by the decision of the Academician V.A. Sadovnichy, rector of Lomonosov Moscow State University. This year the sports festival has embraced more than two hundreds of higher education institutions of the Russian Federation.
A variety of sporting events with the participation of undergraduate and graduate students, performances by famous athletes, delivery standards and other sport events allowed to attract both participants and spectators of all ages, professional sports facilities and the degree of preparedness.
A distinctive feature of the Festival’2015 was the fact of timing the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945Great Patriotic War in Russia. As a result, the program of the festival in addition to traditional sports and competitive events also includes sports and patriotic elements, i.e. trips to places of military glory, lectures and discussion clubs devoted to the development of sport and athletes during the war. Another innovation this year was held in the framework of the festival of scientific-practical conference “Fundamental science – sport”. The interdisciplinary nature of the conference allowed to unite representatives of different areas of knowledge, e.g. psychologists, biologists, doctors, philosophers and educators. The wide coverage of the audience and the speakers allowed to hold the conference in the format of online video simultaneously with the Tomsk State University, St. Petersburg State University, Southern Federal University and Perm State Humanitarian Teacher-Training University. To emphasize the importance of both fundamental and practical research, the conference was divided into two parts: the plenary session which highlighted the important methodological issues of interaction between science and sport, and the youth section of the conference that included reports on the application papers.
Available Online: 30.08.2015