Cognitive Projections is an initiative by the faculties of Dentistry & Medicine, and Rehabilitation Medicine assembled to explore virtual and augmented reality in teaching and learning at the University of Alberta.

The Team

Every organization is just people. Here are ours.

Dr. Martin Ferguson-Pell       

The PI and chief champion for what we do.

Lucie Eliasova       

Our digital art director, she keeps our products looking good.

Dr. Nathanial Maeda   

Technical director for our operations.

Sydney Hampshire       

Graduate researcher specializing in EON iCube.

John Christy Johnson       

Graduate reseacher specializing in Optitrack motion capture.

Kaitlyn & Bentley Sosnowski   

Undergaduate trainee & therapy doggo.

Our Collaborators

We collaborate with an inter-disciplinary team of University of Alberta researchers.

Dr. Greg Kawchuk   

Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Dr. Vivian Mushahwar   

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Dr. Tom Stevenson   

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Dr. Michael Pinkoski   

Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine; Pinkoski Consulting Inc.

Dr. Paul LaPointe   

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Dr. Shaniff Esmail   

Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Dr. Pierre Boulanger   

Faculty of Science

Dr. Kim Adams   

Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Dr. Jacqueline Hebert   

Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Dr. Randy Goebel   

Faculty of Science

Dr. Irene Cheng   

Faculty of Science

Dr. Bin Zheng   

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Our Specialties

We leverage new technologies to promote better learning for Universities.

Technical Skill

We bring together designers, artists, and programmers to craft modern learning experiences that can be used across a spectrum of technologies.

Content Expertise

We work with world-leading content experts at the University of Alberta to ensure products are delivered with the highest quality of knowledge.

Educational Pedagogy

We engage educational pedagogy experts at the University of Alberta to create engaging learning experiences that truly connect with students.

Our Partners

A lot of our work is made possible thanks to our partners.

University of Alberta
EON Reality
SMART Network


Words are nice and all, but what do we actually make?

VR OSCE Exam Simulator

Anxious about your upcoming OSCE Exam?

Come chat with our Virtual Reality patient powered by IBM Watson's machine learning. Developed for students of Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta, this simulator allows you to practice your OSCE exam without the stress and anxiety of the real thing.

VR Craniofacial Anatomy

You could read about anatomical structures for hours, or you could just reach out and grab them.

A work-in-progress for the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, this VR app puts you in a room with a 3x-scale disembodied floating head (no, this is not a haunted house!)

The head is anatomically correct below the skin, with labels for relevant pieces of anatomy including muscles, nerves, bones, and more. Using the HTC Vive room-scale controllers, you can virtually dissect the head one piece of anatomy at a time while learning their names and how they interact with other anatomical structures along the way.

VR Dental Anesthesia Simulator

Before giving injections to real people, why not practice on virtual ones first?

By creating a realistic doctor-patient scenario, students can practice the skills necessary to not only properly locate critical injection points, but practice the entire procedure so proper anaesthetics and aspiration practices are used.

Advice Taking in VR

Although virtual reality is well understood to be incredibly immersive, little is known about the effectiveness of teaching and learning in these virtual environments.

In an effort to examine the effectiveness of the medium itself, Dr. Kyle Murray and Shirley Chen from the Faculty of Business recruited Cognitive Projections to create two relatively short virtual reality experiences to test the effectiveness of advice taking in VR.

In the first scenario, users were presented with personal finance advice delivered in a nice office by a financial expert. In the second scenario, the user is sitting in a chair in a dental office, when a dentist walks in. The dentist is fully animated, and begins speaking directly to the user, instructing them about the importance of brushing their teeth as well as techniques for doing so.

Scoliosis VR

Scoliosis is an inherently 3D problem traditionally taught and diagnosed in a 2D environment.

Scoliosis is a condition where the spine twists out of alignment and can cause all sorts of issues. Typically, it is measured and diagnosed in 2D, using a single x-ray. In reality, scoliosis is more of a 3D distortion of the spine than a 2D distortion.

Through both a short lecture and self-paced exploration session, this app allows students to visualize a scoliotic spine in 3D, from any angle, and compare that to a healthy spine.

Cell 101 VR

Learn about cellular structures in a natural, 3D way!

Cellular and molecular structures can be difficult to truly understand in 2D textbooks and images; our app lets you explore these structures in a 3D way to gain better understanding.

Media 101

Learn to speak to reporters!

Staying on message and speaking coherently can be difficult with a microphone in your face—use this app to practice in three engaging scenarios!

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Have a question, or want us to help your project? Let us know!


Coming to see us in person? Let's get you here.

Our Address

Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy 2-545
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta  T6G 1C9