2022-05031 - Post-Doctoral Research Visit F/M Feeling and perceiving the symptoms of schizophrenia in augmented reality to reduce stigma
Le descriptif de l’offre ci-dessous est en Anglais

Type de contrat : CDD

Niveau de diplôme exigé : Thèse ou équivalent

Fonction : Post-Doctorant

A propos du centre ou de la direction fonctionnelle

Potioc designs, develops and evaluates new approaches that exploit multimodal interaction to
promote a stimulating user experience. In particular, we explore approaches based on mixed reality
(AR, RV), tangible interaction, brain-computer interfaces, and physiological interfaces. The main areas
of application we are targeting are education, well-being, art, and accessibility.

Contexte et atouts du poste

Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic mental disorder that affects about 23 million people worldwide. This disorder is most often manifested by hallucinations, derealisation and delusions (so-called "psychotic" symptoms). This condition is a serious handicap impacting both the health and the social integration of the patient [1]. This is partly due to the stigmatisation of patients suffering from this disease, by the general population, but also by professionals (health, education, HR, police and so on) who are generally untrained in this disease. Patients are often seen as dangerous and unpredictable, whereas a very small percentage of them are likely to be violent [2]. This false belief limits their social relationships, their chances of getting a job, but also delays treatment.

One method of reducing the stigma of a mental illness is to have individuals experience its symptoms (For a state of the art, see Ando et al. [3]) In the case of schizophrenia, previous work have simulated auditory hallucinations using voices broadcast through headphones or have used virtual reality to simulate visual hallucinations. This type of approach has, in general, produced positive results and had the impact of increasing the participants' empathy for the patients. However, these methods have several limitations. Firstly, they immerse the subjects in a virtual environment where seeing and hearing the real world no longer takes place. This creates a misjudgment and distancing from the patients' real life experiences. To overcome this problem, it is possible to use augmented reality (AR), which places the user in real conditions of their environment, of which only certain sensory characteristics can be modified. AR therefore appears particularly capable of simulating 'reality distortion' experiences such as those that occur during psychotic episodes.


Mission confiée

As part of this research, the goal of this Post-doc would be to design an AR experience that would provide a convincing demonstration of schizophrenia symptoms following an iterative and user-centered design process. The design of this experience will be done in collaboration with the team of neuropsychologist of Antoinette Prouteau at the University of Bordeaux. Workshops with psychologists and patients will have to be organize both to understand better schizophrenia and test the realisms of the prototype. For the design of the prototype, the candidate will explore the application of game design and virtual reality concepts (e.g. sense of presence, embodiment) to such augmented reality immersion using an AR headset like the Hololens 2, but also vibro-tactile actuators.

Principales activités

The candidate will design functional prototypes, manage their implementation and evaluate them. The implementation itself will be performed in collaboration with an engineer funded on the same project.
It will be expected, however, for the candidate to be able to implement and test basic features using unity. The postdoc will benefit from the strong experience of the research team in both the design of AR experience and in the use of Unity.


  • Strong experience in Human-Computer Science research
  • Skills in Programming (including Unity/C#)
  • Experience with user-centered design process
  • Previous experience in AR/VR appreciated
  • Interest in Psychology/Mental Health


  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs
  • Possibility of teleworking and flexible organization of working hours
  • Professional equipment available (videoconferencing, loan of computer equipment, etc.)
  • Social, cultural and sports events and activities
  • Access to vocational training
  • Social security coverage


2653€ / month (before taxs)