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This book carries forward recent work on visual patterns and structures in digital images and introduces a near set-based a topology of digital images. Visual patterns arise naturally in digital images viewed as sets of non-abstract points endowed with some form of proximity (nearness) relation. Proximity relations make it possible to construct uniform topologies on the sets of points that constitute a digital image. In keeping with an interest in gaining an understanding of digital images themselves as a rich source of patterns, this book introduces the basics of digital images from a computer vision perspective. In parallel with a computer vision perspective on digital images, this book also introduces the basics of proximity spaces. Not only the traditional view of spatial proximity relations but also the more recent descriptive proximity relations are considered. The beauty of the descriptive proximity approach is that it is possible to discover visual set patterns among sets that are non-overlapping and non-adjacent spatially. By combining the spatial proximity and descriptive proximity approaches, the search for salient visual patterns in digital images is enriched, deepened and broadened. A generous provision of Matlab and Mathematica scripts are used in this book to lay bare the fabric and essential features of digital images for those who are interested in finding visual patterns in images. The combination of computer vision techniques and topological methods lead to a deep understanding of images.
There is a tremendous interest among researchers for the development of virtual, augmented reality and games technologies due to their widespread applications in medicine and healthcare. To date the major applications of these technologies include medical simulation, telemedicine, medical and healthcare training, pain control, visualisation aid for surgery, rehabilitation in cases such as stroke, phobia and trauma therapies. Many recent studies have identified the benefits of using Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or serious games in a variety of medical applications.

This research volume on Virtual, Augmented Reality and Serious Games for Healthcare 1 offers an insightful introduction to the theories, development and applications of virtual, augmented reality and digital games technologies in medical and clinical settings and healthcare in general. It is divided into six sections: section one presents a selection of applications in medical education and healthcare management; Section two relates to the nursing training, health literacy and healthy behaviour; Section three presents the applications of Virtual Reality in neuropsychology; Section four includes a number of applications in motor rehabilitation; Section five aimed at therapeutic games for various diseases; and the final section presents the applications of Virtual Reality in healing and restoration.

This book is directed to the healthcare professionals, scientists, researchers, professors and the students who wish to explore the applications of virtual, augmented reality and serious games in healthcare further.

The book expresses the conviction that the art of creating tools – Greek techne – changes its character together with the change of civilization epochs and co-determines such changes. This does not mean that tools typical for a civilization epoch determine it completely, but they change our way of perceiving and interpreting the world. There might have been many such epochs in the history of human civilization (much more than the three waves of agricultural, industrial and information civilization). This is expressed by the title Technen of the book, where n denotes a subsequent civilization epoch.

During last fifty years we observed a decomposition of the old episteme (understood as a way of creating and interpreting knowledge characteristic for a given civilization epoch) of modernism, which was an episteme typical for industrial civilization. Today, the world is differently understood by the representatives of three different cultural spheres: of strict and natural sciences; of human and social sciences (especially by their part inclined towards postmodernism) and technical sciences that have a different episteme than even that of strict and natural sciences. Thus, we observe today not two cultures, but three different episteme.

The book consists of four parts. First contains basic epistemological observations, second is devoted to selected elements of recent history of information technologies, third contains more detailed epistemological and general discussions, fourth specifies conclusions. The book is written from the cognitive perspective of technical sciences, with a full awareness – and discussion – of its differences from the cognitive perspective of strict sciences or human and social sciences. The main thesis of the book is that informational revolution will probably lead to a formation of a new episteme.

The book includes discussions of many issues related to such general perspective, such as what is technology proper; what is intuition from a perspective of technology and of evolutionary naturalism; what are the reasons for and how large are the delays between a fundamental invention and its broad social utilization; what is the fundamental logical error (using paradoxes that are not real, only apparent) of the tradition of sceptical philosophy; what are rational foundations and examples of emergence of order out of chaos; whether civilization development based on two positive feedbacks between science, technology and the market might lead inevitably to a self-destruction of human civilization; etc.

This book is devoted to the Metacognition arena. It highlights works that show relevant analysis, reviews, theoretical, and methodological proposals, as well as studies, approaches, applications, and tools that shape current state, define trends and inspire future research. As a result of the revision process fourteen manuscripts were accepted and organized into five parts as follows:

· Conceptual: contains conceptual works oriented to: (1) review models of strategy instruction and tailor a hybrid strategy; (2) unveil second-order judgments and define a method to assess metacognitive judgments; (3) introduces a conceptual model to describe the metacognitive activity as an autopoietic system.

· Framework: offers three works concerned with: (4) stimulate metacognitive skills and self-regulatory functions; (5) evaluate metacognitive skills and self-regulated learning at problem solving; (6) deal with executive management metacognition and strategic knowledge metacognition.

· Studies: reports research related to: (7) uncover how metacognitive awareness of listening strategies bias listening proficiency; (8) unveil how metacognitive skills and motivation are achieved in science informal learning; (9) tackle stress at learning by means of coping strategies.

· Approaches: focus on the following targets: (10) social metacognition to support collaborative problem solving; (11) metacognitive skills to be stimulated in computer supported collaborative learning; (12) metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive experiences are essential for teaching practices.

· Tools: promotes the use of intelligent tutoring systems such as: (13) BioWorld allows learners to practice medical diagnostic by providing virtual patient cases; (14) MetaHistoReasoning provides examples to learners and inquiries about the causes of historical events.

This volume will be a source of interest for researchers, practitioners, professors, and postgraduate students aimed at updating their knowledge and finding targets for future work in the metacognition arena.

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