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science
ALL IN THE MIND
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All in the Mind
Wednesday 16:30-17:00
Exploring the limits and potential of the mind
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This week  
Tuesday 03 July 2007
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Professor Raj Persaud
Dr Raj Persaud finds out how the very latest computer gaming technology is being developed into a therapeutic tool and asks if psychologists have finally unlocked the secrets of attraction.
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VIRTUAL REALITY WAR ZONES and PTSD
Dr Raj Persaud discovers how computer games are being developed into virtual reality war zones in order to treat traumatised soldiers.

Raj Persaud experiences first hand a version of the American’s Virtual Iraq.  He is joined by Professor Paul Sharkey, Director of the Visualisation Centre at Reading University, Dr David Purves, Head of the Berkshire Traumatic Stress Service, and Researcher Ronan Jamieson, to find out how virtual reality is being used as a therapeutic tool to treat combat troops returning from Iraq who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A team led by Professor Skip Rizzo at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies has built the prototype called Virtual Iraq using the art assets from Full Spectrum Warrior.  Professor Rizzo explains why the realism provided by Virtual Reality was so important in the therapeutic process.

THE SCIENCE OF ATTRACTION
Have psychologists finally unlocked the secrets of attraction?  Why do British men prefer slimmer women whereas the Samoans fall for females with the fuller figure?  Philosopher David Hume declared “Beauty is no quality in things themselves; it exists merely in the mind that contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.”

But is it really the case that beauty, particularly personal physical attractiveness, defies scientific measurement because it’s purely subjective?  Dr Viren Swami, Evolutionary and Social Psychologist and Research Associate at the University of Liverpool and the author of The Missing Arms of Venus de Milo, Reflections of the Science of Attractiveness explains why beauty can be objectively and scientifically defined.
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Professor Paul Sharkey, Director of the Visualisation Centre at Reading University

Virtual Iraq

Dr David Purves, Head of the Berkshire Traumatic Stress Service

Ronan Jamieson, Researcher, School of Systems Engineering at The University of Reading

Professor Albert ‘Skip’ Rizzo
Director, Virtual Environments Laboratory and User-Centered Sciences Research Area, Integrated Media Systems Center, USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Research assistant professor and research scientist, University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies

Dr Viren Swami, Evolutionary and Social Psychologist and Research Associate at the University of Liverpool

The Missing Arms of Venus de Milo, Reflections of the Science of Attractiveness
Publisher: Book Guild Ltd
ISBN-10: 1846240751
ISBN-13: 978-1846240751

The Psychology of Physical Attraction
by Viren Swami and Adrian Furnham
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN-10: 0415422515
ISBN-13: 978-0415422512
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