Effects of Cognitive Load and Stress in Virtual and Augmented Reality

MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development

Lead Researcher: Associate Professor Gabrielle Weidemann

About the project

Western Sydney University in collaboration with the Human Performance Research Network(opens in a new window) invites applications from highly motivated graduates seeking to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy degree to work with Associate Professor John Cass and Associate Professor Gabrielle Weidemann  on two projects designed to evaluate the perceptual and cognitive demands of Augmented and Virtual Reality displays on human navigation performance. In addition to evaluating human behavioural performance the project will involve measurement of various physiological indices of stress and cognitive load, including pupil-diameter, eye-movements and cortical blood flow (functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy).

There are two scholarship positions and applicants must indicate which project they are applying to:

  • Project 1: Effects of augmented reality and stress on cognitive load; or
  • Project 2: Visual perception of augmented reality in virtual environments.

The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development(opens in a new window) studies the scientific bases of human communication. Situated on four campuses, MARCS research on brain, behaviour and development encompasses such areas as: how we combine information from different sensory modalities; how we learn language and handle foreign accents; how to program robots for human interaction; how we can enhance communication with infants, those with hearing impairments, and the elderly; and how music and human movement communicate universally. We apply our work to advanced technology, biomedical engineering, and improving physical and mental health by designing electronics inspired by neural systems, building better biomedical devices, analysing heightened performance in the creative arts, and addressing impaired performance in developmental delay and sensory deficit.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
  • Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and additional costs as approved by MARCS.
  • Access to the extensive range of MARCS specialised equipment and laboratory facilities.
  • Additional funding to support training and equipment purchases.
  • A rich environment of support and academic expertise via supervisory panels, seminars, colloquia, international and industry collaborations.

Eligibility criteria

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds, who are keen to apply their skills to the area of event-based imaging. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with strong interests in event-based sensors applied to the fields of space situational awareness (SSA) and related aerospace applications.

The successful applicant should:

  • be an Australian citizen.
  • hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications.
  • have demonstrated research experience in experimental psychology.
  • have a background in quantitative experimental methods and statistical analyses.
  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.

Demonstrated skills in computer programming are desirable.

International applicants are not eligible for this scholarship.

How to apply

Follow the step-by-step instructions on the how to apply for a project scholarship(opens in a new window) page.

Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.

For questions and advice about the research project, please contact the Lead Researcher;
Associate Professor Gabrielle Weidemann: g.weidemann@westernsydney.edu.au

For questions and advice about the application process, please contact the Graduate Research School: grs.scholarships@westernsydney.edu.au.

Applications close 30 June 2020

*Applications close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

Scholarship reference code: 2020_006_MARCS