The SCI Lab examines how humans interact with human and nonhuman agents, such as robots or avatars. We use neurophysiological measures like EEG and fMRI to examine the behavioral and neuronal bases of human-human and human-machine interactions and try to understand how interacting with humans differs from interacting with machines, both socially and cognitively.
The main research focus is on investigating the causes and effects of mind perception in the context of human-robot interactions. The goal is to unravel what physical and behavioral features robotic agents need to have in order to being perceived as having a mind, and what effects ‘having a mind’ has on affect, behavior and cognitive processing in social interactions. The second research focus is on examining embodied cognition, in particular to what extent humans incorporate their environment when solving problems together with others. The goal is to investigate whether humans make effective use of their internal and external resources, and to identify under which conditions humans benefit from incorporating their social and nonsocial environment into cognitive processing.