The Angevine Platform for Behaviour Analysis (P2AC) is a Userlab supporting experiments in Human and Social Sciences (psychology, economics, marketing, etc.) and product development where the analysis of the human experience is essential (ergonomics, sensation, feeling).
The technical support that the platform provides allows to combine computer, digital and electronic technologies (e.g. design of virtual reality applications, human signal capture, connected objects) for the analysis of behaviour. P2AC is housed in the Confluences Federative Research Structure (SFR 4201) and located in the Maison de la Recherche Germaine Tillion.
Winner of the AMI Userlab 2019
Supported by UA / SFR Confluences
The laboratories of the University of Angers involved:
- GRANEM (EA 7456)
- LPPL (EA 4638)
- BePsyLab (EA 4638)
- LARIS (EA 7315)
- ESO (UMR XP-6590)
- TEMOS (UMR 9016)
The P2AC project is co-financed by the University of Angers, the State-Region Plan Contract (CPER) and the Pays de la Loire Region (West Creative Industries)
Presentation of the Angevine Platform for Behaviour Analysis
The Angevine Platform for Behavioural Analysis (P2AC) enables laboratories in psychology (LPPL, BePsyLab), economics and management (GRANEM), geography and sociology (ESO) and history (TEMOS) to develop experimental studies based on the collection of quantitative and qualitative data from individuals and groups, tests of new products, behavioural tests associated with specific stimuli, tests with cognitive and immersive environments, cognitive and neurocognitive tests and questionnaires, cognitive and/or sensory stimulation workshops.
The support of the SFR MathSTIC allows the platform to develop the computer dimension of projects. In Angers, 6 laboratories, 31 professors and 460 students are directly concerned by this equipment. It will also be accessible to all teachers-researchers in the Pays de la Loire region. The P2AC is part of a regional network led by OIC, involving the Userlabs of the University of Nantes (XP-Lab) and the University of Le Mans (UDP). In addition, it will be a brick of the SHS Datalab project, proposed by the MSH Ange Guépin on behalf of the three regional universities under the CPER 2021-2026.
P2AC – the technical platform
The Userlab premises are located at the Maison de la Recherche Germaine Tillion in Angers. The platform is located in a dedicated and modular space that allows for different types of experiments.
- A 25 m² room with 12 seats and 12 laptops allows a wide range of experiments and tests to be conducted, with potentially multiple users.
- Two controlled environment booths (insulation and light/ventilation control) allow individual experiments to be conducted.
- Digital virtual environments (VR) can be produced (Unity3D) and displayed using a large screen and VR headsets (Oculus Quest 2; HTC vive pro eye).
P2AC – the equipment
Depending on the profiles of individuals mobilised for the projects (consumers, healthy users or users with particular pathologies, elderly people, etc.) and the object of study (purchasing experience, vulnerability to fraud, decision-making, etc.), the Userlab allows the implementation of experiments in a controlled environment to assess the impact of a variable (a situation, a product, a social interaction) on behaviour. This response may be behavioural (e.g. eye movement), cognitive (e.g. emotions) or physiological (e.g. heart rate). The measurement of this impact is carried out by means of specific sensors such as gaze tracking, facial expression tracking, electromyogram, electroencephalogram, skin conductance, etc. Specific interfaces and sensors can be designed and deployed (steering wheel, joystick, custom haptic interface, etc.) to enable users to interact in virtual, mixed or real environments.
- Physiological analysis: the Userlab has various instruments for measuring physiological indicators, including sensors such as EMG, ECG, respiration, skin conductance, and EEG.
- Cognitive analysis: the platform can mobilise numerous psycho-cognitive questionnaires for the analysis of emotions, reasoning, memory, risk-taking, attention, etc.
- Behavioural analysis: a complete set of equipment also allows the monitoring of behavioural experiments with, in particular, cameras (12x magnification), webcams, a depth camera (kinect 2), a facial recognition module for emotions as well as event analysis tools in virtual applications.
Projects and prospects
P2AC is the only technological platform in the field of social and human sciences at the University of Angers. This platform dedicated to the analysis of human behavior aims to take advantage of the know-how and scientific knowledge of researchers from different laboratories in humanities and social sciences and the expertise in R&D of the P2AC leader to :
- Support research projects by integrating the contribution of technology in the responses to the various PAAs;
- Complete the educational offer and training content on methods focused on the analysis of user behavior in various environments and controlled. This offer is aimed at Master’s students wishing to be trained in these experimental methods, doctoral students as part of their thesis (experiments), teacher-researchers wishing to appropriate these techniques, methodologies and technologies, as well as other potential users (e.g. socio-economic actors in the territory).
- To propose services for socio-economic actors of the territory wishing to mobilize these methods in the framework of their R&D approach.
Work using P2AC is already underway, by the LPPL, the GRANEM and the LARIS. Let us mention the example of two mixed projects between SHS and digital technologies:
- LPPL – LARIS: Analysis of perception and cognitive processes (such as memory) of individuals in immersive environments (virtual city)
- GRANEM – LARIS: Analysis of purchasing behaviour and experiences (marketing) in mixed environments (virtual and real)
Network of Loire Valley Userlabs
A Userlab is a tool that enables any player, whether academic or industrial, to base their research or innovation on scientifically controlled experiments (scientific and technical validity of the protocol, measurements, treatments and results obtained). A Userlab builds a bridge between research and innovation by responding to common experimental needs, but it is also a vector of accessibility to skills linked to user experience and oriented towards innovation.
Since 2019, the West Creatives Industries programme has been supporting the emergence and development of three Userlabs in the Pays de la Loire region, including P2AC (University of Angers), with the Experience Lab or XP-LAB (Halle 6 Ouest, University of Nantes) and UDP (University of Le Mans), and contributing to the networking and structuring of these platforms as well as the promotion of associated academic skills, in close collaboration with research and innovation players in the region (Technocampus, MSH, etc.)
Angevine Platform for Behavioural Analysis (P2AC)
Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux – Head of SFR Confluences / firstname.lastname@example.org
Florian Focone – Userlab Manager / email@example.com
Julien Laflaquière – WCI Innovation Officer / firstname.lastname@example.org