Monthly Archives: February 2012

NordiCHI 2012 – Making sense through design

The 7th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction is the main
forum in Northern Europe for human-computer interaction research. It
is the meeting place for researchers, designers, practitioners, and
educators from a broad range of traditions and communities. The
conference will take place at the IT University of Copenhagen on the
14-17th of October 2012.

Submission deadlines:

30th of April 2012: Full papers & short papers
25th of May 2012: Workshop and tutorials
13th of July 2012: Posters, demos, and videos; design cases;
industrial experiences
10th of August 2012: Doctoral consortium

Visit the website or scroll below for committee and call for

The doctoral consortium is a full day session taking place on Sunday
14th October 2012. It is intended for Ph.D. students working in the
field of human-computer interaction. The doctoral consortium is an
opportunity to present issues of concern in the doctoral studies, meet
fellow Ph.D. students, and get extensive feedback from the session
co-chairs and other participants. It is primarily intended for
students in the “middle” of their PhD studies (you have started your
study, but it is not too late to make changes based on feedback).

Submit a 2-4 pages paper in ACM SIGCHI Publications Format describing
your PhD project. Please also submit a resume (CV) and a letter of
recommendation from your supervisor. Students accepted will be asked
to read at least two other submissions, and should be prepared to give
feedback to those students during the consortium.

For further information and for submissions, please email the
doctorial consortium chairs at

Submission deadline for Doctoral Consortium: 10th of August 2012
Notification of acceptance will be sent out on August 25th, 2012.

People have individual traits that predispose them to be more or less responsive to certain stimuli; the interaction between the learned associations of the clinical situation and the person’s particular biology produces a response. The response could be a basic physiological process such as modulation of sensory processing, release of neurotransmitters or alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis or immune system activity. The placebo response could also be some more complex physiological process including change in mood, change in motivation/effort or cognitive set-shifting.

The placebo can be any clinical intervention including words, gestures, pills, devices and surgery (Chaput de Saintonge and Herxheimer, 1994)

“Pretend play has recently been of great interest to researchers studying children’s understanding of the mind. One reason for this interest is that pretense seems to require many of the same skills as mental state understanding, and these skills seem to emerge precociously in pretense. Pretend play might be a zone of proximal development, an activity in which children operate at a cognitive level higher than they operate at in nonpretense situations. Alternatively, pretend play might be fool’s gold, in that it might appear to be more sophisticated than it really is. This paper first discusses what pretend play is. It then investigates whether pretend play is an area of advanced understanding with reference to 3 skills that are implicated in both pretend play and a theory of mind: the ability to represent one object as two things at once, the ability to see one object as representing another, and the ability to represent mental representations.”

Child development. 1993 Apr;64(2):348-71.
Pretend play skills and the child’s theory of mind.
Lillard AS
Stanford University, CA.

“One of the enduring objects used to represent our technological future is the robot. This legacy means that its promise has the ability to evolve in accordance with our societal and cultural dreams and aspirations, it can reflect the current state of technological development, our hopes for that technology and also our fears; fundamentally though after almost a century of media depictions and public demonstrations, the robot is yet to enter our homes and lives in any meaningful way.”

“Much of a drug response is related to nonspecific factors. Perceptual characteristics of drug preparations likely play a major role in expectancy and response. This study focused on perceptual characteristics of a preparation related to anticipated effect: capsule color, capsule size, and preparation form (capsule versus tablet). College students ranked capsules for perceived strength based on capsule size, categorized capsules in terms of anticipated pharmacological effect based on color, and evaluated strength based on preparation form. Data showed nonchance distributions for nine capsule colors in anticipated action, with specific effects for four colors. A significant difference between capsule and tablet for perceived strength was found, as was a trend relating capsule size to perceived drug strength. Discussion centered on awareness and consideration of drug perceptual characteristics in support of drug efficacy.”

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1982 Aug;2(4):245-8.
An investigation of drug expectancy as a function of capsule color and size and preparation form.
Buckalew LW, Coffield KE.

“There is accumulating evidence from different methodological approaches that the placebo effect is a neurobiological phenomenon. Behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging results have largely contributed to accepting the placebo response as real. A major aspect of recent and future advances in placebo research is to demonstrate linkages between behavior, brain, and bodily responses. This article provides an overview of the processes involved in the formation of placebo responses by combining research findings from behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging methods. The integration of these different methodological approaches is a key objective, motivating our scientific pursuits toward a placebo research that can inform and guide important future scientific knowledge.”

The Placebo Effect: Advances from Different Methodological Approaches
Karin Meissner1,2,*, Ulrike Bingel3,*, Luana Colloca4,5,*, Tor D. Wager6,*, Alison Watson7,*, and Magne Arve Flaten8,*

The Journal of Neuroscience, 9 November 2011, 31(45): 16117-16124