Interactive Simulation (iSim) Lab under direction of Cali Fidopiastis, Ph.D. is part of UAB’s Virtual Rehabilitation and Medical Modeling & Simulation research area in the School of Physical Therapy. The research focus of the lab is to study human performance within naturalistic environments simulated using state-of-the-art computer graphics. Bridging the gap between basic and applied research, the iSIM lab employs devices such as near infrared imaging (fNIR), electroencephalography (EEG), and other portable, unobtrusive psychophysiological measures such as eye tracking to answer questions about brain plasticity and information processing in real world settings for clinical, educational, and military applications. The goal is to translate the findings into efficacy measures for therapy and products that improve quality of life today. Other related areas of study include specifying best practices in enabling technologies design, improving learning through brain-based theory, and understanding dynamical neural systems to improve brain-computer interface design.
The iSim lab includes a mixed reality testbed featuring a chroma-key video capture area, which can deliver augmented virtuality experiences that simulate every day places. An Augmented Cognition closed-loop testbed is also available to study brain state changes related to learning. Currently the lab is developing a hybrid brain-computer interface for military training and creating virtual environments to study food choice behavior for various patient populations.