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Child's Play May Revolutionize Video Gaming, Police Work

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University of Alberta's Eric Legge, Marcia Spetch, and Vadim Bulitko

University of Alberta researchers Eric Legge, Marcia Spetch and Vadim Bulitko are studying the reasoning and decision-making process involved in hiding and searching for objects.

Credit: University of Alberta

University of Alberta researchers Marcia Spetch and Vadim Bulitko have completed a study on the decisions humans make when hiding and searching for objects. According to the study, people hiding objects often use the entire room, while people asked to find objects focus on the area where they begin their search. The researchers found that people who have hidden objects first are more likely to use the entire room when searching for objects later. Spetch and Bulitko are contributing to research that can make video-game characters more lifelike by helping them mimic human reasoning.

"I think players expect human-like characters in the game to behave like humans," Bulitko says. "And if somebody appears like a human in a game, they should also have the same sort of abilities as the human player." The research also can improve searching technology for police officers, perhaps by helping to create goggles that find the best hiding spots in a room.

Because Spetch and Bulitko found that human decision-making in virtual rooms and physical ones were the same, they can use virtual technology to investigate human behavior in different scenarios.

From University of Alberta
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