Galileo’s Science Café - Dr. Frank Krueger & Kelsey Mitchell
Jan 26, 2023, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
You're invited to the Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 Galileo's Science Cafe-Dr. Frank Krueger and Kelsey Mitchell's fascinating research on Human-dog relationships as a framework exploring for human-robot affiliation
Title: Human–dog relationships as a working framework for exploring human-robot affiliation
Abstract: Social robots will be life-long companions of humans in the foreseeable future. Ethology suggests that human-animal behaviors provide a plausible solution in building social robots, avoiding the “uncanny valley” phenomenon of humanoid robots. In a series of studies, we investigate the psychoneurobiological mechanisms of human-robot affiliation (HRA) using human-dog relationships as a working framework. In a typical study, participants interact with a dog and/ or Sony's autonomous Artificial Intelligence RoBOt (AIBO) while completing several engagement sessions of structured play and performing trained commands with their companions. In addition to questionnaires to evaluate participants’ beliefs about their companions, pre- and post-session saliva and urine samples are taken from both participants and dogs to determine endogenous oxytocin levels as biomarkers of HRA. Further, both human participants and dogs undergo functional neuroimaging while completing face- and video-watching tasks to reveal the psychoneurobiological signatures behind the formation and the development of HRA. Our overall hypothesis is that the neuropeptide oxytocin is a causal factor in establishing HRA and the human affiliation system serves as the driver of HRA. Our findings will provide objective measures and procedures for a roadmap of future basic and translational HRA research —leading to societal impact and practical implications for related fields and broader social innovations.
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