Brown Bag Seminar: See you in Virtual Reality – digitalisation, human interaction and wellbeing

In the Arctic areas, sparse population density and long distances can affect people’s wellbeing in different ways. Digitalisation can offer solutions to some of the specific wellbeing challenges in the Arctic, but does digitalisation reduce or increase people’s loneliness and how can this be researched? What about virtual reality: is it possible to meet virtually, to see, hear, touch and smell, as if the other people were in the same space with you? How do people respond and interact in virtual contexts?
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Venue location

Tellus Stage, Linnanmaa campus & Zoom

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Welcome to the Brown Bag Seminar on Tuesday 21 November from 11 am to 12 pm at Tellus Stage on Linnanmaa campus to learn more about and discuss these topics. The speakers at this seminar are Mikko Sams and Anna Reetta Rönkä. The seminar will be held in English.

Mikko Sams is a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Aalto University School of Science. He is the leader of the MAGICS infrastructure consortium and academic leader of Magics Aalto. Professor Sams is connected to the University of Oulu through his participation in the Argumenta project “Healthy environment – healthy people” coordinated by the Kvantum Institute.

Anna Reetta Rönkä is a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Education and Psychology, and Vice-Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Health and Wellbeing in the Arctic. University of the Arctic (UArctic) is a cooperative, multidisciplinary network of universities, colleges, research institutes and other organizations working together in education, research and knowledge sharing in and about the Arctic.

At this seminar, Rönkä will be discussing the relationship between digitalisation and loneliness in the Arctic context, their impact on wellbeing, and how this topic has been researched so far. Sams will be discussing the MAGICS infrastructure and the opportunities it provides to researchers for example to study the virtualisation of humans and their surroundings and measure and observe how people respond and interact in virtual and naturalistic contexts.

Lunch will be served to registered participants attending the seminar on campus. For catering purposes, please register here by Friday 17 November at 12 pm.

If you cannot make it to the campus, you can also join us via Zoom.

This autumn, we want to highlight the new Arctic Strategy of the University of Oulu at our Brown Bag Seminars. The Arctic Strategy aims to address the challenges and opportunities in the Arctic by creating a sustainable arctic knowledge society. The spearheads of the Arctic Strategy are resilience and response ability, environment and one health, and natural resources and business. The University of Oulu has over 150 researchers specialicing in Arctic topics and we work actively in networks that co-operate in matters related to Arctic education and research.

The idea of the University of Oulu's Brown Bag seminars is to bring together researchers from different fields and to encourage interdisciplinary discussion. Once a month, we invite two of our researchers from different disciplines to talk about their research related to the same topic. Brown Bag seminars are open to everyone – come learn something new and join in the conversation!

Last updated: 23.10.2023