Seminar of the Dept. of Psychology


Francesca Ciardo, PhD, Researcher-Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Are robots social agents? Using robots to explore cognitive mechanisms during social interactions

Social interactions are supported by a complex plethora of cognitive mechanisms. However, studying cognition in the context of social interactions is challenging given the complexity of dealing with experimental control within an ecologically valid setting. Robots can be a perfect tool to overcome such limitations. Thanks to their embodied nature they allow to examine human cognition during interactive protocols allowing for excellent experimental control and, at the same time, ecological validity. Robots allow for systematic manipulation of behavioural parameters in a controlled and modular way. They also allow for a high ecological validity; as their agentic nature allows for investigating cognitive mechanisms during a real-time interaction. The seminar will illustrate how an interdisciplinary approach that combines cognitive neuroscience with robotics can help researchers to overcome the challenges of embodied experimental settings extending knowledge on cognitive mechanisms. At the same time, it helps to understand how artificial agents and robots should be designed and developed to be well-tuned to human beings.


Mon, Mar 7th 2022, 2 PM

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