Brain Dynamics & Motion Capture Lab at UCSD Institute for Neural Computation
The laboratory for Brain Dynamics and Motion Capture,
is a part of the Institute for Neural Computation and MURI Center at the University of California, San Diego. Directed by Howard Poizner, the laboratory closely collaborates with CAST in studies of active human behavior, including movement planning and prospective decision-making.
The laboratory focuses on the neural bases of human sensor motor control, learning and memory in health and disease. Howard Poizner and Joseph Snider at Brain Dynamics & Motion Capture Lab develop technologies for 3D motion analysis, robotics and immersive virtual reality in conjunction with noninvasive brain imaging: EEG, fMRI, and concurrent EEG+fMRI. A unique strength of this research group is the capacity for simultaneous recording of movement of the limbs, body, head and eyes, coupled with EEG, while human participants act in large-scale, immersive virtual environments. Of the projects unfolding at Brain Dynamics & Motion Capture Lab at the moment are studies of the temporal dynamics of EEG while participants freely explore and learn a spatial environment. This work reveals oscillation-based neural maps of space that are likely to underlie spatial memories of specific places. Another important line of studies at Brain Dynamics & Motion Capture Lab concerns the impaired motor control, as in Parkinson’s disease. The goal is to understand the distinct functional roles of the basal ganglia and cortical circuits in control of movement and sensorimotor learning.
World Building Media Lab at USC School of Cinematic Arts
The World Building Media Lab, WbML, at the School of Cinematic Arts of the University of Southern California is directed by Professor Alex McDowell, RDI, an award-winning designer and storyteller working at the intersection of emergent technologies and experiential media. McDowell was a production designer with 30 years experience in feature films, working with directors David Fincher, Steven Spielberg, Terry Gilliam and Anthony Minghelia amongst others. He was the production designer for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Watchmen, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fight Club and Minority Report. His production design work on Minority Report is considered seminal for its vision of near-future technology and integration of technology with human behavior: it has resulted in nearly 100 patents for new technologies.
The WbML integrates imagination and emergent technologies to create new narratives from inception through iteration and prototyping, towards making rich immersive multimedia. The laboratory transforms the industrial model of linear pre-production, production and post-production of experience (established in the 20th century) into a new nonlinear, iterative, integrated and persistent process for the new century, creating a unified dynamic space for all narrative media and opening up new exciting possibilities for cross-media and multi-platform research.