NeuroRehabLab @ 16th Congress of the Portuguese Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Monica Cameirao

This year's topic of the 16th Congress of the Portuguese Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (19-21 of March), the largest Portuguese medical rehabilitation venue, is the use of technology in rehabilitation. M-ITI's researcher Mónica Cameirão was invited to give a talk where she will be presenting the results of the RehabNet project (, as a successful example of interface between academia, engineering and physical rehabilitation.

Researchers at the RehabNet Lab argue that a key challenge in the development of interactive technologies and virtual reality for rehabilitation is to find a balance between rehabilitation medicine, engineering and entertainment that allows these new rehabilitation approaches to be appealing without disregarding its value and scientific rigor. In this presentation Mónica Cameirão will describe the approach followed in the NeuroRehabLab, where we combine virtual reality, neuroscience and rehabilitation in order to develop and clinically validate interactive systems specifically designed for motor and cognitive rehabilitation after a stroke.


Examining the Interplay Between Universal Behavioural Tendencies, Online Social Networks and Social Capital

M-ITI PhD student Jayant Venkatanathan successfully defended his PhD thesis in Human-Computer Interaction on March 17th.

Jayant’s work was co-supervised by Prof. Evangelos Karapanos and Prof. Vassilis Kostakos and looked at how individuals’ behavioral tendencies are manifested in online social networks and the impact these have on the benefits individuals receive from their online social ties.

We would like to congratulate Jayant and wish him all the best in his future steps.


Thesis title:

Examining the Interplay Between Universal Behavioural Tendencies, Online Social Networks and Social Capital


Interaction with others is fundamental to well-being, as it serves to fulfil our basic needs. Thus humans have various behavioural tendencies, patterns of behaviour that serve as strategies to fulfil these needs. Given the increasingly crucial role of online social networks on our communication and interaction, it is important to study these factors in the online context. In this thesis we explore how universal behavioural tendencies, i.e. behavioural tendencies that have been observed across cultures, affect our online interaction and how these in turn affect social capital. Focusing on disclosure behaviour and social network structure as proxies for online interaction behaviour, this work consists of three main components developed over four studies. Firstly, we attempt to understand how the tendency to reciprocate affects individuals’ willingness to disclose information about themselves. Secondly, we study the interplay between individuals’ disclosure patterns and their positions in the network. Finally, we study how individuals, along with their differences in universal behavioural tendencies, accrue social capital from the structure of their immediate networks. Key findings include: (1) People tend to reciprocate the disclosure of personal information, both when the initial disclosure is directed towards them, and also when it is broadcast and directed to nobody in particular, (2) The centrality of individuals in a social network is related to how much information they disclose, and how much others disclose to them, and (3) Online social network structure is related to social capital, and network structure and empathy play an interconnected role in the creation of social capital. The empirical findings, discussions and methodologies presented in this work will be useful for HCI and social science researchers studying the fundamental aspects of humans’ use of social technologies.

Yasmine's Adventures presented in Berlin

Symposium Community Now

Future Fabulators @M-ITI recently participated in the symposium Community Now? The Politics of Participatory Design, which took place from 19-21 February at the Jewish Museum, Berlin. You can read more about the initiative here.

A few months ago the Fabulators were invited by Bianca from Design Research Lab - UdK to take part in the event with an interactive neighborhood walk, a workshop about possible futures for the community, and a final presentation.

Researchers Mara Dionisio and Luis Ferreira, assisted by Paulo Bala and Rui Trindade under the guidance of Valentina Nisi and Julian Hanna, developed Yasmine's Adventures, a series of interactive vignettes tailored specifically to the Mehringplatz neighborhood near the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

The story relates the experiences of a free-spirited and adventurous local girl named Yasmine following her escape from a school tour as she tries to find her way home. The locations depicted in the narrative were chosen by community members during the RDL/UdK-led 'Pinpointing Mehringplatz' workshop, and they hold specific positive or negative values for the inhabitants.

The audience on our walk viewed the neighborhood through Yasmine's eyes and by extension through the eyes of the community: the most beloved spaces, areas that require change, and spaces that are disliked by the community. In the workshop led by Julian participants explored alternative futures for the local community using a collaborative design game.

Read more on the Future Fabulators website.

Research Through Design

Chris CsikszentmihályiChris Csikszentmihályi will be participating in Research Through Design Conference to be held inCambridge, UK, between the 25th and 27th of March 2015.
He will present RootIO – Platform Design for Civic Media, a project that aims to create an open-source toolkit to give anyone the power to start and run a radio station using only a smartphone, a cheap radio transmitter and cloud telephony services. The project is currently running in rural northern Uganda, where it will help community to share their own stories, in their own language.

Research through Design (RTD) is a new conference that supports the dissemination of practice-based design research through a novel and experimental conference format, comprising a curated exhibition accompanied by round-table discussions in ‘Rooms of Interest’. RTD 2015 will include an exciting programme of invited ‘Provocations’ – plenary talks that will take place throughout the conference for inspiring and provoking further discussion and debate around the conference themes.

M-ITI Seminars

Madeira-ITI organises seminars and invited talks in the areas of Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction.
Andreea Bonea
17 March, 2015 - 15:00


Andreea will give her perspectives on making interdisciplinary groups work, comparing her experience from the US corporate world with the European NGO's, with a close eye on the Sponge experimental group.

Short bio:

Andreea Bonea is a well versed Project Manager who’s expertise and qualifications were retained and further developed by internet giants such as Google and Yahoo Inc. She managed tactical roll outs of key products and platforms for both companies.
As a freelance Project Management Professional in Europe, she strives to infuse her Silicon Valley corporate tech expertise into the European Non Profit sector. In this respect she’s already had fruitful collaborations with Open Knowledge Foundation, the Sponge Media Lab and Mozilla Knight Foundation.

Stefan Candea
17 March, 2015 - 14:00


Stefan will talk about how his investigative searches in Eastern Europe evolved during the last decade, from paper files to huge data-sets, from local to cross-border. Chasing the information requires more and more the help of other skilled people, like hackers - this collaboration bringing interesting ethical challenges. Hi will also present his ongoing research into the health of cross-border networks for investigative journalism. 


Short bio:

Stefan Candea is an investigative journalist and co-founder of the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism (CRJI), a nonprofit registered in Bucharest, Romania. His cross-border investigative stories on organized crime won several international awards.
During the recent years, Stefan started Sponge, an open and collaborative media innovation lab for Eastern Europe. The lab created an in-depth magazine, The Black Sea, a lifeboat for journalism in the region. He is the initiator of Investigative SmartGrid, a new, open business model for a modular journalistic enterprise that was shortlisted for the European Press Prize 2013, the Innovation Award.
A member of the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism, he teaches investigative journalism at Bucharest University, is doing his PhD on cross-border networks for investigative journalism at University of Westminster and the European Institute for Journalism and Communication Research and was the 2011 Carroll Binder Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Research posts

M-ITI often participates in international conferences. Here is a list of the latest conference presentations
Oakley, I., Lee, D., Islam, R., and Esteves, A. 2015. Beats: Tapping Gestures for Smart Watches. To appear in Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI...
  Esteves, A., Bakker, S., Antle, A., May, A., Warren, J. and Oakley, I. 2015.   The ATB Framework: Quantifying and Classifying Epistemic Strategies in Tangible Problem-Solving...
  by Pedro Campos, Alfredo Ferreira, Craig Anslow   Workshop aims This workshop aims to exchange experiences regarding collaborative user interface design techniques that...