Ashkan Hayati is a 3rd-year PhD student at University of South Australia and he is currently working on “Brain synchronisation in collaborative VR using EEG hyperscanning” under supervision of Prof. Mark Bullinghurst and Dr. Gun Lee. His research includes different areas such as EEG signal processing using Python and Matlab, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality using Microsoft Hololens.
He received his B.Sc. in industrial engineering from Amirkabir University (Tehran Polytechnic) and M.Sc. in Information Technology from Shiraz University in Iran. He has been a web developer and has a broad knowledge in programming and web solutions.
He’s worked in gaming industry and advertisement networks for more than 5 years and has big dreams in AR/VR app development. He has started some researches in Augmented Reality from May 2015 and collaborating with Empathic Computing Lab in web development and Unity3d since then.
Virtual reality (VR) interfaces is an influential medium to trigger emotional changes in humans. However, there is little research on making users of VR interfaces aware of their own and in collaborative interfaces, one another's emotional state. In this project, through a series of system development and user evaluations, we are investigating how physiological data such as heart rate, galvanic skin response, pupil dilation, and EEG can be used as a medium to communicate emotional states either to self (single user interfaces) or the collaborator (collaborative interfaces). The overarching goal is to make VR environments more empathetic and collaborators more aware of each other's emotional state.
Collaborative Virtual Reality have been the subject of research for nearly three decades now. This has led to a deep understanding of how individuals interact in such environments and some of the factors that impede these interactions. However, despite this knowledge we still do not fully understand how inter-personal interactions in virtual environments are reflected in the physiological domain. This project seeks to answer the question by monitoring neural activity of participants in collaborative virtual environments. We do this by using a technique known as Hyperscanning, which refers to the simultaneous acquisition of neural activity from two or more people. In this project we use Hyperscanning to determine if individuals interacting in a virtual environment exhibit inter-brain synchrony. The goal of this project is to first study the phenomenon of inter-brain synchrony, and then find means of inducing and expediting it by making changes in the virtual environment. This project feeds into the overarching goals of the Empathic Computing Laboratory that seek to bring individuals closer using technology as a vehicle to evoke empathy.
Gumilar, I., Sareen, E., Bell, R., Stone, A., Hayati, A., Mao, J., ... & Billinghurst, M. (2021). A comparative study on inter-brain synchrony in real and virtual environments using hyperscanning. Computers & Graphics, 94, 62-75.
Gumilar, I., Barde, A., Hayati, A. F., Billinghurst, M., Lee, G., Momin, A., ... & Dey, A. (2021, May). Connecting the Brains via Virtual Eyes: Eye-Gaze Directions and Inter-brain Synchrony in VR. In Extended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-7).
Barde, A., Gumilar, I., Hayati, A. F., Dey, A., Lee, G., & Billinghurst, M. (2020, December). A Review of Hyperscanning and Its Use in Virtual Environments. In Informatics (Vol. 7, No. 4, p. 55). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute.
Gumilar, I., Barde, A., Sasikumar, P., Billinghurst, M., Hayati, A. F., Lee, G., ... & Momin, A. (2022, April). Inter-brain Synchrony and Eye Gaze Direction During Collaboration in VR. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (pp. 1-7).