Brain Scans Reveal 'Uncanny Valley'

In 1970, Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori remarked in 1970 that, as robots become more humanlike in appearance, people will respond more positively. However, a point will be reached where people will be strongly repulsed; acceptance will fall. This uncanny valley (seen if you plot acceptance versus increasingly humanoid appearance), is of great concern to those who would like to see humanoid robots play a greater role in our daily lives.

In a recent study conducted by Ayse Pinar Saygin, an assistant professor of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego, twenty test subjects were shown videos of the Repliee Q2 android.

As they did so, their brains were scanned using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner, which revealed significant differences in the way they viewed the android, a metallic robot and a person.


(Brain response revealed)

When viewed through a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner, the activity of the subjects' brains suggested that a conflict arose when they were viewing the footage of the lifelike version of the android. More specifically, activity was noted in their parietal cortex, which connects the part of the brain that processes body movements with a section of the motor cortex that is believed to help us relate to such movements. In short, Saygin believed that there was a disconcerting difference between the way in which the test subjects expected the android to move, and the way in which it did move.

"The brain doesn't seem tuned to care about either biological appearance or biological motion per se," she said. "What it seems to be doing is looking for its expectations to be met - for appearance and motion to be congruent." She added that perhaps androids and lifelike animated film characters should be run past human volunteers while still in development, to see what kind of response they elicit.

Take a look at this video showing the HRP-4C robot dancing to encounter the uncanny valley yourself. (Find out more at Dancing HRP-4C Robot Uncanny Valley Girl.)


( HRP-4C Female cybernetic humanoid dancer)

Via Gizmag.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/20/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Fuli Bad Dog Robot Is 'Auspicious Raccoon Dog' Bot
Bad dog, Fuli. Bad dog.

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.' - John Twelve Hawks, 2014.

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.' Robert Heinlein, 1956.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Ontario Starts Guaranteed Minimum Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Is There Life In Outer Space? Will We Recognize It?
'The antennae of the Life Detector atop the OP swept back and forth...'

Space Traumapod For Surgery In Spacecraft
' It was a ... coffin, form-fitted to Nessus himself...'

Tesla Augmented Reality Hypercard
'The hypercard is an avatar of sorts.'

A Space Ship On My Back
''Darn clever, these suits,' he murmured.'

Biomind AI Doctor Mops Floor With Human Doctors
'My aim was just not to lose by too much.' - Human Physician participant.

Fuli Bad Dog Robot Is 'Auspicious Raccoon Dog' Bot
Bad dog, Fuli. Bad dog.

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.