ruud_hortensius Researcher_In_Social_and_Affective_Neuroscience

About my research

In my research I investigate the neural mechanisms of social interactions with humans and artificial agents. To that goal, I use neuroimaging, brain stimulation, behavioral measures, and virtual reality. You can find information on my dissertation here. Click on the images to read a short  description of past and present research projects:

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Interactions with artificial agents

The Bystander Effect

Threat Reactivity

Amygdala Damage

The Frontal Cortex and Aggression

Brain Stimulation

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Contact me @ruudhortensius


Visit my Google Citations page


Visit the Social Brain in Action Lab and Social Robots website


Last update: April 11 2018 (news, publications)


---News---

*Our review paper on the attribution of socialness to artificial agents has been accepted for publication in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences as part of the Year in Cognitive Neuroscience issue. In this review we discuss how the cognitive reconstruction within the human observer shapes human-robot interaction at the brain and behavioural level. Read the the article here.


*A review on the perception of emotion in artificial agents has been accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems. In the review we integrate recent findings from social robotics, virtual reality, psychology, and neuroscience to examine how people recognize and respond to emotions displayed by robotic and virtual agents, and provide guiding principles for future development and research. Read the PsychArXiv pre-print here (official article to follow) and see the poster for the CERE conference here.


*A paper has been accepted in PLoS ONE in which we assess the relation between bystanders' behavioral reactivity to distress and later helping behavior during a violent conflict in virtual reality. This is work that is part of a collaboration with Solène Neyret and Mel Slater from the EVENT lab (Barcelona) and Beatrice de Gelder from the Brain and Emotion Lab (Maastricht).


---Recent highlights---

*The  workshop on “Cognitive and Social Neuroscience Methods for HRI” held at the 13th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction was a blast! Thanks to all the speakers and attendees, check the website for the slides of the talks! The main HRI 2018 conference was very interesting and motivating.


*A popularity contest in the robotic petting zoo! Together with artist-in-residency Merel Bekking, we created an interactive public art performance. In this robotic petting zoo, a small group of vacuuming robots, all with unique characters, competed in a popularity contest. So much fun! Please check this page, the website or this BBC piece for more information.


*Very proud on a forthcoming publication in Current Directions in Psychological Science. Together, with Beatrice de Gelder I propose a new theoretical perspective on bystander apathy that integrates emotional, motivational and dispositional aspects.


*I played a minor role in a project that used immersive virtual reality to induce a full body ownership illusion that allows offenders to become the victim of domestic abuse. The goal is to use this to decrease domestic abuse. Read it here! Check out the press coverage here.