Social, affective virtual humans

Our goal is to develop realistic, intelligent artificial humans (computer-generated virtual humans, or humanoid robots).
On the one hand, we are using these agents to help humans with cognitive and emotionally demanding tasks e.g. in caregiving and training, and on the other hand, we are developing them for the embodiment of psychological and neurobiological models of human cognition, affect personality and behaviour regulation.


Empirical research on human cognition in HCI

Designing meaningful and rich HCI systems requires an in-depth understanding of the users' cognitive processes.
Work on cognitive mechanisms that are of core relevance for HCI include the investigation of Flow (Bernardet, Aleixandri, & Verschure, 2017), the subjective sense of presence (Bernardet et al., 2011), the attribution of agency (Bernardet et al., 2017), expression of emotion (Betella, Inderbitzin, Bernardet, & Verschure, 2013), and the social saliency (Inderbitzin et al., 2013).
Mixed-reality systems can overcome the limitation of conventional empirical paradigms because they allow measuring behaviour in real-world settings while maintaining the necessary experimental control (Bernardet & Verschure, 2009). Hence, our goal is to establish real-time interactive mixed reality system as a generic platform for the evaluation of interaction paradigms, as well as for the investigation of general cognitive mechanisms.