The Cognitive Science Lab

The Cognitive Science Lab at SFU studies human cognition, with much of their research focused on video games and virtual reality. I’ve worked on several project with the lab, using Unity to build experiments, prototypes and tools that are used in studies.

More info about the lab can be found on the lab’s website


ExNovo is an ongoing project at the lab. It aims to be a single input method for finger tracking VR controllers where beginners and experts use the same interface. It involves mapping different finger tapping sequences to UI actions, with multimodal feedback to help users learn the sequences.

To test the idea, I implemented the interface in Unity, representing actions with different colored boxes. Then we made a game to use it with. I also implemented a “right-click context menu” style interface for the game to act as a more familiar UI to test against. In an experiment, we’re having participants play the game with the ExNovo and right-click interfaces.

exnovo gif

ExNovo Invaders being played with the ExNovo interface, where button sequences are used to equipt different colored lazers

exnovo gif

ExNovo Invaders being played with a right-click cascading context-style menu

Lab walkaround

I made a 3D approximation of one of the rooms of the lab in Unity using snaps and ProGrids. It’s for a new project that will be studying learning in virtual spaces. Here’s a gif of me navigating around it in VR, you can play it in a desktop browser using the mouse+wasd keys on the link below.

lab gif

The password for the link is lab1

VR projects

A new project the lab is working on involves building spaces and tools to facilitate learning. I made some virtual devices for users to collect information for these spaces.

The first is a polaroid camera. Grab it, point it at something, press the shutter button, and a photo comes out of the camera. The photo can then be placed somewhere in the virtual space.

camera gif

Another one is a tape recorder that records to mic input from the VR headset. It creates a tape which plays back the recording when grabbed.