Martin Dechant University of Saskatchewan

Mental illnesses are on the rise, predominantly influenced by the ongoing deviations in societies and environmental changes. The damages of theses illnesses on short-term health and long-term well-being are also harmful for the overall society and the economies in the world. Solutions that help patients to mitigate experienced anxiety and build resilience to surrounding threats would yield a large and lasting benefit for the mental well being of the world population. Using technology, one potential solution could be Augmented Reality as part of an ongoing treatment of mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety and mood disabilities. With Augmented Reality we will bring the treatment out of the clinic and allow patients to stay connected with their environment at the same time. Through the research I'm conducted during my PhD I want to contribute to the ongoing exploration and development of digital health solutions for the mental wellbeing of people. Based on a previous collaboration with clinical psychologist, where we evaluated the potential of Gaze Data in Virtual Reality as a potential tool for assessment of social anxiety, we continue with the development of novel intervention techniques. Therefore, I explore in how we can help people suffering from social anxiety in stressful situations, such as interviews or public presentations trough the usage of visual augmentations.

Publications

FTVR in VR: Evaluation of 3D Perception With a Simulated Volumetric Fish-Tank Virtual Reality Display
Fafard, D., Stavness, I., Dechant, M., Mandryk, R., Zhou, Q., Fels, S. (2019), Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI. Glasgow. <doi:10.1145/3290605.3300763>
EyePlay Revisited: Past, Present and Future Challenges for Eye-Based Interaction in Games
Dechant, M. (2018), CHI PLAY '18 Extended Abstracts, Melbourne. 689-693. <doi:10.1145/3270316.3271549>
Empirical Evaluation of Hybrid Gaze-Controller Selection Techniques in a Gaming Context
Dechant, M., Stavness, I., Mairena, A., Mandryk, R. (2018), Proceedings of the 2018 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY), 73-85. <doi:10.1145/3242671.3242699>
Potential of virtual reality as a diagnostic tool for social anxiety
Dechant, M. (2017), Journal Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 76 no. C, Elsevier Science Publishers B. V.. Amsterdam. 128-134. <doi:10.1016/j.chb.2017.07.005>