Virtual Environments Lab

The Virtual Environments Lab of GEARS uses virtual reality technology, such as Vive and Oculus, to study human personality and behavior. The virtual environment lab includes the capability to immerse up to four players simultaneously in the same or different virtual environments.  Current research in this area compares the experience of game play in virtual environments to traditional computer gaming.

The GEARS Lab explores how games and simulation can be used to understand individuals, and enhance education and training.  

Specifically, faculty and students conduct research in several focus areas from the perspective of human factors; an applied discipline combining principles and theory from psychology and engineering to improve the interface between humans and systems. Studies have included work on ethics in gaming, training team communication and leadership, developing mathematical models of utility and choice in games, motivation and personality.

Recent Publications/Grants/Presentations

  • Frederick, C., Cunningham, R., Alex, L. & Via, C. (2015). Studying human relatedness through a shared gaming experience. Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Los Angeles, CA, October 26-30, 2015.
  • Frederick, C. M., Davidson, S. S., & Lew, V. K. (2017, February). Digital Touch in Gaming: Increasing Player Relatedness and Motivation. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Games User Research Summit, San Francisco, CA.
  • Frederick, C., Doherty, S., Keebler, J., Kring, J., & Dixon, L. (2016). Game-based learning and gamification research, theory and performance. Symposium presented at the Annual Conference of the American Psychological Association, Denver, CO, August 4, 2016.

Lab Information

To learn more or to schedule an appointment to speak with a faculty member, contact:

Joseph Keebler, PhD, Small Teams Research Leader,

Christina Frederick, PhD, GEARS Lab Director,

Shawn Doherty, Ph.D.,

Elizabeth Lazzara, Ph.D.,

Lab Location: COAS 401.31
Phone numbers: 386-226-7037
Email contact: