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J Physiol Paris. 2009 Sep-Dec;103(3-5):286-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2009.08.011. Epub 2009 Aug 7.

Social cognitive neuroscience and humanoid robotics.

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  • 1Mediterranean Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience, Aix-Marseille University-CNRS, 31 Chemin Joseph Aiguier, Marseille Cedex, France.


We believe that humanoid robots provide new tools to investigate human social cognition, the processes underlying everyday interactions between individuals. Resonance is an emerging framework to understand social interactions that is based on the finding that cognitive processes involved when experiencing a mental state and when perceiving another individual experiencing the same mental state overlap, both at the behavioral and neural levels. We will first review important aspects of his framework. In a second part, we will discuss how this framework is used to address questions pertaining to artificial agents' social competence. We will focus on two types of paradigm, one derived from experimental psychology and the other using neuroimaging, that have been used to investigate humans' responses to humanoid robots. Finally, we will speculate on the consequences of resonance in natural social interactions if humanoid robots are to become integral part of our societies.

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