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Issue No. 03 - May/June (2009 vol. 15)
ISSN: 1077-2626
pp: 369-382
Aaron Kotranza , University of Florida, Gainesville
Benjamin Lok , University of Florida, Gainesville
Adeline Deladisma , Medical College of Georgia, Augusta
Carla M. Pugh , Northwestern University, Chicago
D. Scott Lind , Medical College of Georgia, Augusta
This paper presents Mixed Reality Humans (MRHs), a new type of embodied agent enabling touch-driven communication. Affording touch between human and agent allows MRHs to simulate interpersonal scenarios in which touch is crucial. Two studies provide initial evaluation of user behavior with a MRH patient and the usability and acceptability of a MRH patient for practice and evaluation of medical students' clinical skills. In Study I (n=8) it was observed that students treated MRHs as social actors more than students in prior interactions with virtual human patients (n=27), and used interpersonal touch to comfort and reassure the MRH patient similarly to prior interactions with human patients (n=76). In the within-subjects Study II (n=11), medical students performed a clinical breast exam on each of a MRH and human patient. Participants performed equivalent exams with the MRH and human patients, demonstrating the usability of MRHs to evaluate students' exam skills. The acceptability of the MRH patient for practicing exam skills was high as students rated the experience as believable and educationally beneficial. Acceptability was improved from Study I to Study II due to an increase in the MRH's visual realism, demonstrating that visual realism is critical for simulation of specific interpersonal scenarios.
Intelligent agents, Virtual reality, Life and Medical Sciences, Artificial, augmented, and virtual realities

A. Kotranza, C. M. Pugh, B. Lok, D. S. Lind and A. Deladisma, "Mixed Reality Humans: Evaluating Behavior, Usability, and Acceptability," in IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, vol. 15, no. , pp. 369-382, 2008.
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