Validating a cortisol-induced framework for human-robot interaction

Unlike robots, people interact favorably with others: they instinctively change actions, intonations, and speech according to the perceived needs of their peers. Furthermore, people interact with partners who share the same desire for closeness and intimacy. Can this principle be used to improve interactions between humans and robots?

A humanoid robot.

A humanoid robot. Image credits: Nicolas-Halodi, CC-BY-SA-4.0 via Wikimedia

A paper recently published on notes that these observations could be a turning point in human-robot interactions.

The researchers propose to endow the robot with an intrinsic cortisol framework where the robot’s cortisol levels will change as a result of its own attachment style and the way its partner behaves. The robot understands the attachment style of a human partner by the effect it has on its cortisol levels. Then, the robot adapts its behavior accordingly.

The first findings confirm that the framework mimics the hormonal dynamics of human–human interaction when modulated by specific social stimuli.

When interacting with others in our daily lives, we prefer the company of people who share with us the same desire for closeness and intimacy (or lack thereof), as it determines whether our interactions are more or less Will be pleasant This type of compatibility can be inferred from our innate attachment style. The attachment style represents our distinctive way of thinking, feeling and behaving in our close relationships, and in addition to behavior, it can also affect us biologically through our hormonal dynamics. While we are looking at how to enrich human-robot interaction (HRI), one possible solution could be enabling robots to understand the attachment style of their partners, which can then improve their partners’ perception and Can help them behave in an adaptive manner during conversations. , We propose to use the relationship between attachment style and the cortisol hormone to endow the humanoid robot iCub with an intrinsic cortisol-induced framework, which allows it to infer a participant’s attachment style from the interaction effect on their cortisol levels. Allows (referred to as R-cortisol). In this work, we present our cognitive framework and its recognition during replication of a well-known paradigm on hormonal modulation in human–human interaction (HHI) – the static face paradigm.

Research Article: Mongile, S., Tanevska, A., Rea, F., and Sciutti, A., “Validating a Cortisol-Inspired Framework for Human-Robot Interaction with a Replication of the Still Face Paradigm”, 2022. Link:

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