Cognitive and Neural Correlates of Interaction Processes

Acronym: 
CONEURIP
Term: 
2008-10 till 2011-09
Research Areas: 
B
C
Abstract: 

CONEURIP aims to transfer cognitive and neural correlates established in human-human interaction to the context of human-machine interaction. This includes for example the analysis of neural processes involved in joint action measured by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) as well as the investigation of attention processes.

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Methods and Research Questions: 

It is suggested that humans represent the actions of others with the same neural mechanisms which are involved when they execute this action. This is considered an important prerequisite for successful interaction is the anticipation of events and actions. Our first aim is to explore the prerequisites for successful interaction. Which cognitive processes are involved in human-human interaction? And which of these processes could be implemented in cognitive interactive technical systems to enhance the success of human-machine interaction? In this context we also aim to specify behavioral and neurophysiologic markers for successful interaction to provide criteria for evaluating the functionality of cognitive interactive systems in human-machine interaction. This includes for example the analysis of brain activation by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) as well as the investigation of attention processes.

Outcomes: 

We developed a new paradigm for assessing the brain basis of human-human interaction in situations comparable to real-life (Egetemeir, Stenneken et. al., submitted). Therefore we applied functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), a non- invasive technique which enables imaging brain activation of interacting humans in unrestricted positions. Results obtained through this naturalistic joint action study have identified crucial processes for the online-adaptation of movements to ongoing movement sequences of an interaction partner. These investigations present the first fNIRS-study that simultaneously investigates brain activation of two interacting persons and provide the basis for new analyses methods that are currently developed for temporal analyses of simultaneously assessed fNIRS-Data of two interacting partners.

Moreover, we applied the framework of the “Theory of Visual Attention” (TVA, C. Bundesen) to assess attentional parameters for studying developmental deficiencies (e.g. dyslexia) affecting the capability to interact (Egetemeir, Finke, & Stenneken, 2010; 2011). These studies on special populations of children and adults have demonstrated a sensitive tool for specifying even milder forms of impaired interactive capabilities.

Publications: