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Neural correlates of empathy towards robots

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8 Author(s)

We conducted an fMRI study to investigate emotionality in human-robot interaction. Subjects (N=14) were presented videos showing a human, a robot and an unanimated object, being treated in either an affectionate or a violent way. Violent interaction towards both the robot and the human resulted in similar neural activation patterns in classic limbic structures indicating that both the robot and the human elicit similar emotional reactions. However, differences in neural activity suggest that participants show more negative empathetic concern for the human in a negative situation.

Published in:

Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2013 8th ACM/IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

3-6 March 2013