Presence 2009
The 12th Annual International Workshop on Presence

November 11-13
Los Angeles, California, USA

Conference Program


DAY 1: Wednesday November 11, 2009 (click for details)

DAY 2: Thursday November 12, 2009 (click for details)

DAY 3: Friday November 13, 2009 (click for details)

Day 1: Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Registration and dinner signups


Welcomes and introductions
Randall Hill, Director, ICT
Matthew Lombard, President, ISPR
Jacquelyn Ford Morie and Belinda Lange, Conference Co-Chairs, ICT


Keynote address 1: Physical vs. Functional Presence in Virtual Characters

Barbara Hayes-Roth, Lifelike Solutions, Inc.

Barbara "Bella" Hayes-Roth is a Computer Scientist and Cognitive Psychologist. Early in her career, Dr. Hayes-Roth did basic research on learning and cognition at Bell Laboratories and Rand Corporation. During 1982-2003, she directed the Adaptive Agents and Virtual Theater Projects at Stanford University. She developed the BB1 architecture for intelligent agents that use opportunistic control strategies to manage diverse knowledge sources in dynamic situations. Applications include the Guardian agent for monitoring ICU patients. She subsequently extended and refined the architecture to support rounded, improvisational characters. Applications include the Improv Puppets for improving children's literacy and social empathy through play. In 1996, Dr. Hayes-Roth founded Extempo Systems, Inc., where she led development of the Imp Character Technology and Tools, with commercial applications in education, training, and customer care. In 2007, she founded Lifelike Solutions, Inc., where she works on virtual coaches and role-players to help people improve their health behaviors and interaction skills. Dr. Hayes-Roth has taught Computer Science and Psychology at Stanford, UCLA, and the University of Michigan. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles. She holds two patents on interactive characters. She is a Fellow of the AAAI.

Click here for an abstract of her presentation.


Short break


Paper Session 1: Understanding and measuring presence

Self-presence Standardized: Introducing the Self-Presence Questionnaire (SPQ)
Rabindra Ayyan Ratan, University of California
Béatrice Hasler, University of Zurich

On the Use of Adjustable Distraction as a Measure to Determine Sustained Attention during Movie Clips
Rolf Nordahl and Dannie Korsgaard, Aalborg University Copenhagen

Measuring Telepresence: The Temple Presence Inventory
Matthew Lombard, Temple University
Theresa Ditton, Vertex, Inc.
Lisa Weinstein, Temple University

The Meaning of Being There is Related to a Specific Activation in the Brain Located in the Parahypocampus
Stéphane Bouchard, Jeanne Talbot, André-Anne Ledoux, Jennifer Phillips, Matteo Cantamese and Geneviève Robillard, University of Quebec in Outaouais

Spatial Presence in Dynamic Environments: Tracking the Visual Attention Allocation During Exposure
Bartholomäus Wissmath, David Weibel, Daniel Stricker, University of Bern, Swiss Universitary Institute of Distance Education
Fred W. Mast, University of Bern


Lunch break


Paper Session 2: Hybrid workshop format
(5 minute summary presentations followed by informal discussion)

Natural Interactive Walking in Porto
Rolf Nordahl, Stefania Serafin, Aalborg University Copenhagen
Federico Fontana, University of Verona

Second Life as a Learning & Teaching Environment
Minhua Ma, Andreas Oikonomou, University of Derby
Huiru Zheng, University of Ulster

Outsiders, Interlopers, and Employee-Identified Avatars
Victoria McArthur and Melanie Baljko, York University

The Effect of Avatar Categorization on Perceptions
Rory P. McGloin, Kristine L. Nowak, Stephen C. Stifano and Gretta Flynn, University of Connecticut

Attention, Spatial Presence and Engagement: Implications for Virtual Environment Learning Platforms
Steven Hornik
, University of Central Florida


Short break


Paper Session 3: Creating presence

Who´s there? Can a Virtual Agent Really Elicit Social Presence?
Astrid M. von der Pütten, Nicole C. Krämer, University of Duisburg-Essen,
Jonathan Gratch, University of Southern California

"I'm Always Touched by Your Presence, Dear":  Combining Mediated Social Touch with Morphologically Correct Visual Feedback
Antal Haans and Wijnand IJsselsteijn, Eindhoven University of Technology

Image vs. Sound: A Comparison of Formal Feature Effects on Presence, Video Game Enjoyment, and Player Performance
Paul Skalski, Rob Whitbred and Pete Lindmark, Cleveland State University

Tangible Presence in Blended Reality Space
Kei Hoshi and John A Waterworth, Umeå University,


ISPR business meeting (all attendees invited)

6:15 -  

Informal dinners on own

Day 2: Thursday, November 12, 2009




Keynote Address 2: Telepresence - The Good, the Bad, and the (Potentially) Ugly and the Geopolitical and Economic Realities Sending it to the Moon

Howard Lichtman, Human Productivity Lab (with DVE Telepresence demonstration)
Howard S. Lichtman (HSL) is a productivity-focused technologist, publisher and consultant with specialties in Telepresence and Visual Collaboration and Organizational & Personal Productivity. He is the founder and President of the Human Productivity Lab, an independent consultancy covering the telepresence and effective visual collaboration industries.

Mr. Lichtman is the editor and publisher of the Telepresence Options website and the Telepresence Options Telegraph also the author of Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light (2006) on the emerging telepresence industry and was a contributing author to Emerging Technologies for Teleconferencing and Telepresence (2005) he is currently working on Telepresence Options 2009 and The Inter-company Telepresence and Videoconferencing Handbook. Mr. Lichtman is a frequent commentator on telepresence, videoconferencing and effective visual collaboration and his writings on and analysis of the industry have been featured by US News and World Report, Telephony Magazine, CXO Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Reuters, Pro AV Magazine, Killer App Magazine, ABA Banking Journal, Bank Systems and Technology Magazine, Next Generation Pharmaceuticals Magazine, AV Technology Magazine, and CFO Magazine among others.

Click here for an abstract of his presentation.


Short Break


Paper Session 4: The real world translated to virtual
Presence and the Victims of Cybercrime in Virtual Worlds
Grainne Kirwan, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology

Social Presence in Virtual World Surveys
Elizabeth Dean, Joe Murphy and Sarah Cook, RTI International

The Role of Realism and Anthropomorphism in the Selection of Avatars
Mark A. Hamilton and Kristine L. Nowak, University of Connecticut

Presence and the Meaning of Life: Exploring (Tele)Presence Simulation Scenarios and their Implications
Matthew T. Jones, Matthew Lombard and Joan Jasak, Temple University


Discussion Session 1A: Identifying Challenges in Presence


Lunch Break (with discussion of challenges and solutions)


Discussion Session 1B: Identifying Potential Solutions in Presence


Paper Session 5: Effects and roles of presence
Moderating Effects of Social Presence on Behavioral Conformation in Virtual Reality Environments: A Comparison between Social Presence and Identification
Younbo Jung, Nanyang Technological University

Perceived Affordances:  Why do people wear virtual cooking pots on their heads?
Kirsten Albrecht,
Kristopher J. Blom and Steffi Beckhaus, University of Hamburg

Advertising Effects through Virtual Violence
Eui Jun Jeong, Frank Biocca, M.I.N.D. Lab, Michigan State University,
Sungkyunkwan University
Corey Bohil, M.I.N.D. Lab, Michigan State University

The Effects of Competition on Intrinsic Motivation in Exergames and the Conditional Indirect Effects of Presence
Hayeon Song, Jihyun Kim, Kelly Elizabeth Tenzek, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
Kwan Min Lee, University of Southern California

6:00 -   

Conference Dinner

Day 3: Friday, November 13, 2009




Keynote Address 3: Clinical Virtual Reality: A Brief Review of the Future!

Albert "Skip" Rizzo, University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies

Albert “Skip” Rizzo received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He is a Research Scientist at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies and has Research Professor appointments with the USC Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and at the USC School of Gerontology. Dr. Rizzo conducts research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment and rehabilitation. This work spans the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. In the psychological domain, his latest project has focused on the translation of the graphic assets from the Xbox game, Full Spectrum Warrior, into an exposure therapy application for combat-related PTSD with Iraq War veterans. Additionally, he is conducting research on VR applications that use 360 Degree Panoramic video for exposure therapy (social phobia), role-playing applications (anger management, etc.), and recently has used this technology to capture news scenes for future multimedia journalism applications. He is also working with a team that is creating artificially intelligent virtual patients that clinicians can use to practice skills required for challenging clinical interviews and diagnostic assessments (sexual assault, resistant patients, suicide lethality, etc.). His cognitive work has addressed the use of VR applications to test and train attention, memory, visuospatial abilities and executive function. In the motor domain, he has developed VR Game systems to address physical rehabilitation post stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury and for prosthetic use training. He is also investigating the use of VR for pain distraction at LA Children’s Hospital and is currently designing game-based VR scenarios to address issues of concern with children having autistic spectrum disorder. His research also involves designing and evaluating 3D User Interface devices and interaction methods and he has created a graduate level Industrial and Systems Engineering course at USC entitled, “Human Factors and Integrated Media Systems”. In the area of Gerontology, Dr. Rizzo has served as the program director of the USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and is currently conducting a VR study of visuospatial and wayfinding ability with persons with Alzheimer’s.

Click here for an abstract of his presentation and further biographical information.


Demonstrations of ICT projects by:
Patrick Kenny
Louis-Philippe Morency
Jacquelyn Ford Morie
Stacy Marsella
David Krum and Mark Bolas


Lunch Break


Invited talk: Shawn Edmondson, Founder and CEO, thereNow Inc.

Dr. Edmondson received his Ph.D. in Research and Evaluation Methodology from the Psychology Department at Utah State University. Has served as an instructor at Utah State University and as an evaluator for a wide variety research and evaluation projects. For his doctoral dissertation research he explored the use of a telepresence-enabled, cognitive apprenticeship model of teacher professional development. This research led to the formation of thereNow, Inc., which provides innovative professional development services to state, regional, and local educational agencies. Dr. Edmondson is currently the Principal Investigator for a U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences research study investigating the efficacy of IRIS. 

The IRIS system consists of two primary components: a portable hardware device and a web application. 

Using our proprietary hardware and web application, a coach can see and hear a remote classroom without ever leaving the office.  The coach can observe classrooms live, make video recordings, and provide feedback to teachers using text notes, video, audio, and more.  The feedback is immediate and embedded in the video, so the teacher can see when a comment was made and save time by only clicking on the comments. IRIS serves as a secure, non-obtrusive, and scalable tool that facilitates classroom based and individualized professional development. IRIS is currently being used by educators and education researchers at schools and universities throughout the U.S, England, and in China.

During his presentation, Dr. Edmondson will briefly outline the theoretical basis for IRIS, touching on the research literature from cognitive psychology, education, and the psychology of learning. He will also provide an overview and demonstration of how IRIS is currently being used around the world.

For more information about IRIS, please visit


Paper Session 6: Applications: Contexts of presence

Social And Spatial Presence: An Application to Optimize Human-Computer Interaction
Karl Horvath, Gwynedd-Mercy College
Matthew Lombard, Temple University

Presence, Participation, and Political Text-on-Television: Pilot Testing a Converged Technology
Asta Zelenkauskaite and Erik Bucy, Indiana University

When Richer is Poorer; Understanding the Influence of Channel Richness and Presence on the Introduction of a Mission Statement
Robert Whitbred, Paul Skalski, Evan Lieberman and Cheryl Bracken, Cleveland State University

Exploring the Role of Latency and Orchestra Placement on the Networked Performance of a Distributed Opera
Adriana Olmos, Mathieu Brulé, Nicolas Bouillot, Mitchel Benovoy, Jeff Blum, Haijian Sun, McGill University
Niels Windfeld Lund, University of Tromsø
Jeremy R. Cooperstock, McGill University


Discussion Session 2: Where we’ve been, where we’re going
Conference close