ruud_hortensius Researcher_In_Social_and_Affective_Neuroscience

About me

I'm a postdoctoral researcher in the Social Brain in Action Laboratory within the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow, Scotland. My research is advised by Professor Emily Cross and part of the Social Robots project in which we study how humans perceive and interact with robots. Specifically, I investigate social interactions with humans and artificial agents using neuroimaging,  virtual reality, brain stimulation and behavioural measures.


Prior to this I was a postdoc in the Brain and Emotion Laboratory, Maastricht University, The Netherlands and the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (2015-2016). In 2016, I defended my Ph.D.-thesis under supervision of Professor Beatrice de Gelder on the neural mechanisms of threat and distress reactivity at Tilburg University.


Before obtaining my MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience (2011), I received a BSc in Psychology (2008) and Social Work (2005). During my MSc I worked with dr. Dennis Schutter (Utrecht University) on the combination of electroencephalography and non-invasive brain stimulation in the study of neurophysiological and emotional processes. In 2010, I was a visiting graduate student in the Social Emotive Neuroscience lab of Professor Eddie Harmon-Jones (Texas A&M University, USA), and used non-invasive brain stimulation to investigate the role of the frontal cortex in aggression.

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Contact me @ruudhortensius


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Visit the Social Brain in Action Lab and Social Robots website


Last update: September 12 2018 (publications)


---News---

*A popularity contest in the robotic petting zoo will be part of the British Science Festival on September 14! 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.


*Our review paper on the attribution of socialness to artificial agents has been published 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 is in press 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, the accepted version here or see the poster for the CERE conference here.


*Why do we fail to help during an emergency in the presence of other people? Together, with Beatrice de Gelder I propose a new theoretical perspective on bystander apathy that integrates emotional, motivational and dispositional aspects. Out now in Current Directions in Psychological Science.


---Coming soon---

*A preprint entitled: “Socialising with a robot and the flexibility of empathy”.