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Scientific talks, posters and demos

Tuesday, November 20th & Thursday, November 22nd, Main Hall, Minatec Centre

Goal & Topics
Invited speakers

Goal & Topics

The aim of the conference is to encourage the emergence of a multidisciplinary research community in a new field of research and on a new generation of human-computer interfaces called Enactive Interfaces.

During Enactive/07 talk, poster and demo sessions, creative researchers, pioneer theorists, innovative engineers and producers will confront their last theoretical, experimental, technological and applicated advances on the following topics:


  • Epistemology, Ontology, Philosophical issues
  • Theories of Enaction
  • Ecological and embodied cognition


  • Human computer interaction, Multisensory Data Representation
  • Hw and Sw Standards
  • Multimodal and enactive interfaces
  • Real time reactive and interactive architecture for simulators and teleoperators
  • Technology for complete multisensory-motor interactions
  • Technology for haptic interfaces, control and modelling of human-computer interfaces
  • Technology for haptic-auditory and haptic-vision interfaces

Human action & perception

  • Believability of computational models
  • Control laws and sensorimotor contingencies
  • Kinaesthetic model of the user
  • Motor control of perception
  • Perceptual control of movements
  • Psychophysics of multisensory-motor interaction
  • Sensory substitution and enaction

Applications and uses

  • Creativity, Art and Enaction
  • Design in arts and Multimedia
  • E-teaching and e-learning
  • Industrial design and simulation, virtual prototyping
  • Interactive simulations
  • Special users and uses
  • Sport and Entertainment
  • Surgical simulation, Telemedicine, Teleoperation

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Invited speakers

Hong Z. Tan - Associate Professor, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
All About Thresholds: An Overview of Human Haptic Perception of Mechanical Properties
Tuesday, November 20th - 9.30 am

Enactive interfaces capitalize on human's exquisite sensitivity to object properties through physical interactions with the environment. While such interactions are natural and intuitive, our sensitivity to mechanical properties needs to be specified explicitly so that the enactive interfaces can successfully match the human sensory-motor capabilities. In this talk, I will summarize what we currently know about the human discrimination thresholds for displacement, joint-angle position, force magnitude and direction, and stiffness. These data can be quite useful for solving engineering problems, as I will illustrate with examples. I will end the talk with our recent results on human haptic perception of complex waveforms using, again, threshold measurements. I hope that the threshold data summarized in this overview will be informative to the designers of enactive interfaces.


Hong Z. Tan is currently an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, P.R. China. She earned her Master and Doctorate degrees, both in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She was a Research Scientist at the MIT Media Laboratory before joining the faculty at Purdue's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1998. She currently holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. She is also a Faculty Fellow in the Envision Center for Data Perceptualization at Purdue University. Tan has held a McDonnell Visiting Fellowship at Oxford University, and a Visiting Associate Professorship in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University.

Tan's research interest is in the area of haptic human-machine interface and human haptic perception. She has published more than 100 research articles in journals, conference proceedings and books. She was a recipient of the US National Science Foundation's Early Faculty Development (CAREER) Award from 2000 to 2004. In addition to serving on numerous conference program committees, she was a co-organizer (with Blake Hannaford) of the International Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems from 2003 to 2005. She currently serves as the Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics, a home for the international interdisciplinary haptics research community.

Jean-Pierre Roll - Professor, UFR SVTE, Neurosciences Dpt., Université de Provence, Marseille, France
From Actual to Virtual Action
Thursday, November 22nd - 9 am

Patients with proprioceptive loss are totally deprived of the ability to perceive their own body, and in addition, they can no longer move. This pathological model definitely proves the existence of a "circular loop" between motor representation and motor control. Do we enact our "kinaesthetic experience", since body ownership is not consciously acquired at once but gradually set up as the result of active experience?

Proprioceptive cues contribute crucially to body awareness as well as providing a link between the body and extrapersonal space. The network responsible for mechanosensitivity is deeply buried and spreads throughout the whole musculature, and the complex structural and functional properties of the proprioceptive system have only recently been brought to light. The proprioceptive sensory codes are oriented and weighted population codes, as recently established in humans using microneurographic methods.The proprioceptive feedback generated by complex movement results from the exactly adjusted and timed lengthening and shortening of all the muscles crossing the joints during their execution. The afferent patterns thus produced are specific to each of our actions:they therefore constitute a set of "neurosensory bar-codes", each of which is the "sensory signature" of a given action. These patterns are highly specific and perfectly reproducible when the same action is repeated.

Since we have been collecting these proprioceptive afferent patterns for several years at our laboratory, we have built up a proper "human neurosensory library" containing the proprioceptive signatures of various movements with trajectories corresponding to written symbols. By applying to human subjects vibration patterns which were copies of "natural" afferent responses, it was found to be possible to evoke the illusion of the corresponding movements although no actual movements were performed. In addition, the fact that the subjects were able to recognize and name the symbols corresponding to the virtual movements evoked by the vibration suggests that "proprioceptive" and "kinaesthetic" signatures may evoke the "cognitive signature" associated with our actions, or at least with those involved in forming symbolic shapes.

We are now working on the development of a "proprioceptive generator of Virtual Movements" in humans: this should constitute a useful tool in the fields of motor learning, rehabilitation and virtual reality.

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The complete schedule of the conference is available here.

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