External Advisory Board (EAB)

Frank Biocca. Area of Expertise : Virtual Reality.

Dr. Biocca is the SBC Chair of Telecommunication, Information, and Media. He directs the networked Media Interface and Network Design (M.I.N.D.) Lab. Dr. Biocca is interested in how mind and media can be coupled to extend human cognition and enhance human performance. His current projects include research on the psychology of presence in virtual environments, spatial cognition and information organization in high-bandwidth and mobile system collaborative augmented reality systems, and work on adapting interfaces to cognitive styles and sub-cultural differences. Among his books is the award winning, Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality.

Dr. Biocca has patents on augmented reality technology, over 150 publications, and participated in the introduction of the first portable computer. Dr. Biocca is on the editorial board of several journals including MIT Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, Journal of Communication, Media Psychology, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and other international journals. Dr. Biocca has been a professor, researcher, or lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley, Stanford, University of North Carolina, and University of Wisconsin.

Valerie Shute. Area of Expertise : VR and serious games.

Val Shute is the Mack and Effie Campbell Tyner endowed professor of education at Florida S  tate University. Before coming to FSU in 2007, she was a principal research scientist at Educational Testing Service (2001-2007) where she was involved with basic and applied research projects related to assessment, cognitive diagnosis, and learning from advanced instructional systems and where she generally honed her psychometric skills. Prior to ETS, Val worked in industry for two years, and before that, she was enthusiastically employed at the Air Force Research Lab in San Antonio, Texas (1986-1999).

She earned a Ph.D. in cognitive/educational psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1984), and held a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Learning Research and Development Center.

Her general research interests hover around the design, development, and evaluation of advanced systems to support competencies. Towards this end, she’s been involved in (a) exploratory and confirmatory tests of aptitude-treatment interactions using the controlled environments offered by intelligent tutoring systems, (b) student modeling research (currently evangelizing the use of evidence-centered design), and (c) developing automated knowledge elicitation and organization tools. An example of current research involves using immersive games with stealth assessment to support learning—of cognitive and noncognitive knowledge and skills. Another example of current research involves externalizing mental models and assessing understanding of complex phenomena. She and her colleagues are developing a suite of model-based tools that are used to assess understanding and provide the basis for informative and reflective feedback during instruction.

Paul Verschure. Area of Expertise: Neuroscience.

Dr. Paul Verschure (1962) is an ICREA Research Prof. and director of the Center of Autonomous Systems and Neurorobotics at Univ. Pompeu Fabra where he runs the Laboratory of Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems (SPECS). He received both his MA and PhD in Psychology and pursued his research at different leading institutes: the Neurosciences Institute and The Salk Institute, both in San Diego, the Univ. of Amsterdam, Univ. of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology-ETH and currently with ICREA and Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Paul’s research group comprises a multidisciplinary team of 25 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers including psychologists, engineers and biologists. He is a consultant for the European Commission regarding the integration of Neuroinformatics in the 5th-6th & 7th FP, Horizon 2020 and a referee for Science, Nature, Royal Society London, Trends in Neuroscience, IEEE neural networks, PLoS Computational Biology and PLoS ONE.

His scientific aim is to find a unified theory of mind, brain and body through the use of synthetic methods and to apply such a theory to the development of novel technologies and quality of life enhancing applications. Paul’s research group on Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems (specs.upf.edu) comprises a multidisciplinary team of about 25 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers that include physicists, psychologists, engineers and biologists. Paul has organized SPECS along three dimensions: 1) computational models of neuronal mechanisms underlying perception, cognition, emotion and behavior. 2) robotics and avatars as artificial bodies for neuronal models and the validation of cognitive architectures. 3) the application of the technologies developed in 2) combined with the theories from 1) to the enhancement of the quality of life in brain health, education and cultural heritage.

Georgina Cárdenas. Area of Expertise: Cyberphsycology.


Michel Wedel. Area of Expertise: Consumer Science.

Michel Wedel is the Pepsico Chaired Professor of Consumer Science at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and a Distinguished University Professor, at the University of Maryland. He holds the Henri Theil Visiting Chair in Marketing and Econometric at the Econometric Institute of the Erasmus University.

Wedel has improved the understanding of consumer behavior and marketing decision making through the development and application of statistical and econometric methods. He is a pioneer and leading expert in the development of methods for response-based market segmentation, and for the analysis of eye movements to improve visual marketing. Wedel published three books, seven software packages, more than 175 peer reviewed articles, and over 20 book chapters. His work has been cited over 20,000 times. He has been ranked the most productive marketing researcher in the world. Wedel has consulted for companies like Procter & Gamble, Mars, Unilever, Daimler, McKinsey, Nielsen, Gfk, In4mation Insights and TNS.

Wedel’s work has received several best paper awards, and he received the Muller award for outstanding contributions to the social sciences from the Royal Dutch Academy of the Sciences, and both the Churchill and Parlin awards for lifetime contributions to marketing research from the American Marketing Association. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, the American Marketing Association,
and the Institute for Operations research and Management Science.

Riccardo Barbieri. Area of Expertise: Signal processing and Machine learning.

Riccardo Barbieri is Associate Professor at the Politecnico di Milano.  Before coming to Politecnico in 2015, he was a faculty member at the Harvard Medical School, the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy, in 1992, and the Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University, Boston, MA, in 1998.

Prof. Barbieri’s broad research interests are in the development of signal processing algorithms for the analysis of biological systems. He has focused his studies on computational modeling of neural information encoding, and on application of advanced nonlinear and multivariate statistical models to characterize heart rate variability and cardiovascular control dynamics. He is author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in these fields since 1994. Prof. Barbieri is a Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the European Society of Hypertension, the Society for Neuroscience, and Senior Member of IEEE and the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.

Michael Madary. Area of Expertise: Ethics of VR in Consumer Neuroscience.

Michael Madary is an internationally-recognized expert and foundational figure in the ethics of immersive technology.  In 2016, Madary and Thomas Metzinger published the first code of ethics for research and consumer use of virtual reality.  The code covers the psychological and neurological risks that might be associated with the technology and has already had great impact, including widespread media attention.

In addition to his work on the ethics of emerging technology, Madary has published widely on the topic of visual perception from an interdisciplinary perspective.  His recent book, Visual Phenomenology (MIT Press, 2016), offers a synthesis of philosophical, psychological, and neuroscientific evidence to make the case that human vision is essentially anticipatory.

Madary is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Tulane University in New Orleans.  Prior to taking this position, Madary collaborated on a number of international research projects, including Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-Embodiment (VERE) based in Mainz, Germany, and Consciousness in Interaction (CONTACT) based in Bristol, England.