Teaching & research interests

  • Human multi-modal spa­tial cog­ni­tion, spa­tial ori­en­ta­tion, spa­tial updat­ing, and navigation
  • Enabling robust and effort­less spa­tial ori­en­ta­tion in vir­tual environments
  • Self-motion per­cep­tion, illu­sions (“vec­tion”), and sim­u­la­tion; Multi-modal con­tri­bu­tions and interactions
  • Multi-modal cue inte­gra­tion: Experimentation and the­o­ret­i­cal modeling
  • Design and iter­a­tive eval­u­a­tion and improve­ment of per­cep­tu­ally ori­ented, multi-modal human-computer inter­faces and human-centered, effec­tive vir­tual real­ity simulations
  • Immersion and presence

Bernhard's biography

I am a psycho-physicist and Cognitive Scientist who’s excited about study­ing how humans orient in vir­tual and real envi­ron­ments. I received my PhD in Physics from the Tübingen University in Germany and researched for a decade in the Virtual Reality group of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany. After a post-doc in Psychology at Vanderbilt University I joined the School of Interactive Arts & Technology of Simon Fraser University as an assis­tant pro­fes­sor in 2008. My research approach com­bines fun­da­men­tal sci­en­tific research with an applied per­spec­tive of improv­ing human-computer interaction.

I com­bine multi-disciplinary research approaches and immer­sive vir­tual envi­ron­ments to inves­ti­gate what con­sti­tutes effec­tive, robust, embod­ied and intu­itive human spa­tial cog­ni­tion, ori­en­ta­tion and behav­iour (and many other things as you can see on the projects pages). This fun­da­men­tal knowl­edge is used to guide the design of novel, more effec­tive human-computer inter­faces and inter­ac­tion par­a­digms that enable sim­i­lar processes in computer-mediated envi­ron­ments like vir­tual real­ity (VR) and multi-media. These improved inter­faces can then enable and inspire fur­ther research, both fun­da­men­tal and applied.

The iSpace Lab

Bernhard is looking for PhD/MSc students to work at intersection of Psychology/Cognitive Science, immersive Virtual Reality, and HCI, see http://ispace.iat.sfu.ca/contact/


  • BSc equivalent, Physics, Tübingen University
  • MSc equivalent, Physics, Tübingen University & Max Planck Institute
  • PhD, Physics, Tübingen Univeristy & Max Planck Institute

Current & upcoming courses