17th conference of the International Society for Presence Research (ISPR)

May 21-22, 2018 (optional demonstrations and guided sightseeing events May 20)
Prague, Czech Republic

Conference theme: Challenges

[ PROCEEDINGS ISBN:  978-0-9792217-6-7 ]

Below is a list of the papers and presentations from the conference, in alphabetical order by author name.

The Proceedings are available via links to Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) files containing papers and presentation slides.

If you have questions or problems, please send an e-mail message to


EMPATHY: A conceptual framework for the design of enriched experiences [paper] [slides]
Nelma Albuquerque, Concepts and Insights

Dimensions of congruity in immersive virtual environments: A framework for the schematic processing of multimodal sensory cues [paper] [slides]
Tiernan Cahill, Boston University

More than a game? Presence and attitudes about virtual reality
Laura Canuelas-Torres and Makana Chock, Syracuse University

Presence and eudaimonic appreciation in interactive narrative
Kenneth Chen and Stefan Rank, Drexel University

Technological predictors of social presence: A foundation for a meta-analytic review and empirical concept explication [paper]
James Cummings and Blake Wertz, Boston University

The bodily presence in location-based mobile games
Konstantin Glazkov, NRU Higher School of Economics

Joint avatar control in virtual reality and its effects on self and social presence [paper]
Mengjia Guo, Xinhe Lian, and Andrea Stevenson Won, Cornell University

Presence measurement revisited: Developing presence scales from self-reports and behavioral observations using the Rasch model [paper]
Antal Hanns and Wijnand Ijsselsteijn, Eindhoven University of Technology

The usage of presence measures in research: A review [paper]
Dimitri Hein, Christian Mai, and Heinrich Hussmann, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Augmented versus virtual reality in education: An exploratory study examining science knowledge retention when using AR/VR mobile applications
Kuo-Ting Huang, Christopher Ball, Jessica Francis, Rabindra Ratan, Josephine Boumis, and Joseph Fordham, Michigan State University

Considering talk and emotion when creating and deploying realistic 3D avatars [paper]
Steve Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago, & Gordon Carlson, Fort Hays State University

Social presence in Human-AI interaction: A proposal for non-anthropocentric social presence [paper]
Bingjie Liu, Penn State University

Implications of presence portrayals in popular culture: Challenges for the future of technology and humanity
Matthew Lombard, Melissa Selverian, Emil Steiner, Kun Xu, and Hocheol Yang, Temple University

The future of presence: Millennials predict the future of human communication through the lens of social presence theory
Aditi Paul, Pace University

Sexual presence as a symptom of the post-human [paper] [slides]
Patrice Renaud, UQO/IPPM

From Edwardian selfie to telepresent comic
Paul Sermon, University of Brighton

Personalized avatars and self-presence
Yilu Sun, Swati Pandita, Omar Shaikh, Byungdoo Kim, and Andrea Stevenson Won, Cornell University

Presence and human development: Age-specific variations in presence and their implications for the design of life enhancing interactive applications [paper]
John Waterworth, Umeå University, Mark Chignell, Henry Moller, University of Toronto,  & Demi Kandylis, Ontario College of Art and Design

Action speaks louder than words: A preliminary study of users’ social responses to robots’ movements and voices
Kun Xu, Temple University

Effects of avatar personalization on presence and promoting physical activity [slides]
Shuo Zhou, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus


POSTERS – Challenges of New approaches in Presence Studies:

This is your brain on VR: Designing a VR/fNIRS device
Makana Chock, Hirshfield Leanne, Mark R. Costa, Se Jung Kim, Jun Zhang, Gyoung Mo Kim, Noah K. Buntain, Sung Yoon Ri, Shengjie Yao, and Daniel R. Pacheco, Syracuse University

Experimental and phenomenological approach to delays effects on the sense of presence during a social interaction [poster]
Gaëlle Garibaldi, Gunnar Declerck, Charles Lenay, and Dominique Aubert, CRED team, COSTECH laboratory – Université de Technologie de Compiègne

Realistic avatar in a violent video game enhances physical aggression in a violent video game
Gyoung Kim, Syracuse University, Daeyoung Lee, Konkuk University, and Frank Biocca, Syracuse University



Using the Senses to Make sense: From Aesthetics to Ethics

Immersive multimodal media increasingly offer virtually realistic experiences, which can be harnessed for a wide variety of industrial, medical/psychological and recreational purposes. With special attention to notions of “reality” being a perceived and experienced world informed by our senses and actions across the lifespan, we review the fundamental scientific evolution of this multidisciplinary field. Using neuroscientific principles, we debate inherent value added and challenges of differing paradigms to consider in future health-care and educational endeavours.

Henry J. Moller1,2,3,4 , Mark Chignell 1,2, Demi Kandylis5, John A, Waterworth6

1 University of Toronto, Dept of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
2 University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine
3 University of Toronto, Knowledge Media Design Institute
4 University of Toronto, Music and Health Research Collaboratory
5 Ontario College of Art and Design University (Toronto, Canada), Digital Futures Initiative
6 Umeå University, (Umeå, Sweden), Dept of Informatics


Presence in Practice A discussion about presence via telepresence tech (WebEx)

We often joke about how as telepresence scholars we have to travel around the world – with great financial cost, physical and emotional strain, lost time, and damage to the environment – to discuss technologies designed to allow people to avoid having to travel to meet face-to-face. We also take for granted that meeting in person precludes the participation of those who aren’t able to join us in person. This unique panel discussion is designed to consider the current status and future potential of visual collaboration technologies while actually using telepresence technology to include some of our colleagues who can’t be in Prague with us. An invitation to participate in the discussion via WebEx ( will be distributed to presence scholars across the globe and at the appointed time the assembled and remotely present participants will informally discuss a series of questions including: To what degree are we able to experience social and spatial presence? What are the primary obstacles – in technology, psychology and context – to experiencing sustained presence? Which obstacles are most significant and when if ever can we expect to overcome them? Is a fully “virtual” academic conference possible? If so, when can we reasonably expect this to happen? And if so, would the benefits necessarily outweigh the drawbacks?


New Ideas for Spatial and Social Cues

Many media technologies are designed to reflect human characteristics. For example, some robots are designed to have a human shape and humanlike movements. To evoke users’ medium-as-social-actor presence (i.e., perceiving a medium itself as a social entity) and corresponding social responses to these media technologies, innovators design social cues into the technologies, including facial expressions, eye gaze, handshakes, and abstract human characteristics such as reliability, lifespan, and identity. At the same time cues are critical to social presence with remotely located humans, avatars, game-generated characters and parasocial interaction, as well as spatial presence. This panel considers the role that these cues play in evoking presence.

First Professor Lombard will introduce some vivid examples of medium-as-social-actor presence, beginning with clocks. Then Kun Xu will join in conversation with Professor Lombard on how the social cues of these examples trigger ideas about expanding the Computers are Social Actors (CASA) paradigm to the Media are Social Actors (MASA) paradigm. Hocheol Yang will discuss the case of a hitchhiking robot that was destroyed in Philadelphia during its global journey and how the case reflects people’s attitudes toward robots and the cues they present to those who encounter them. Professor Cummings will expand the discussion to include his insights regarding the importance and roles of cues in the spatial and social dimensions of presence experiences. Finally, all of the attendees will be invited to join in the conversation.


Presence Challenges

This final panel is a summing up of the conference and a look ahead to the future of presence. The attendees will work together to formally identify, informally discuss, and prioritize some of the varied challenges that face those who theorize about, conduct research on, design, and participate in presence experiences. Questions to address in the process include: What do we most need to understand about how presence “works”? Is a “grand theory” of presence necessary and possible? Do we have adequate tools to measure presence experiences? Do we need more studies of presence “in the field” instead of the laboratory? How can scholars best develop practical advice for those who design (and market) presence-evoking technologies? What characteristics of presence-evoking technology need to be improved most? What new uses or applications of presence should we pursue? What can and should be done to ensure that presence is used ethically? How should we use, and not use, presence in our daily lives?


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