The impact of participants' beliefs on motor interference and motor coordination in human-humanoid interactions

Qiming Shen*, Hatice Kose-Bagci, Joe Saunders, Kerstin Dautenhahn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This study compared the responses of human participants studying motor interference and motor coordination when they were interacting with three different types of visual stimuli: a humanoid robot, a pendulum, and a virtual moving dot. Participants' responses indicated that participants' beliefs about the engagement of the robot affected the elicitation of the motor interference effects. Together with research supporting the importance of other elements of robot appearance and behavior, such as bottomup effects and biological motion profile, we hypothesize that it may be the overall perception (in this study, by the term overall perception, we mean the human observer's overall perception of the robot in terms of appearance, motion, and observer's beliefs) of a robot as a social entity instead of any individual appearance or motion feature that is critical to elicit the interference effect in human-humanoid interaction. Moreover, motor coordination responses indicated that the participants tended to synchronize with agents with better overall perception, which were generally in-line with the above hypothesis. Based on all the results from this experimental study, the authors suggest that a humanoid robot with good overall perception as a social entity may facilitate engaging interactions with a human.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5611578
Pages (from-to)6-16
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


Manuscript received December 16, 2009; revised April 29, 2010 and August 13, 2010; accepted August 25, 2010. Date of publication October 28, 2010; date of current version March 16, 2011. This work was partially supported by the EU Integrated Project RobotCub “Robotic Open-Architecture Technology for Cognition, Understanding, and Behaviors,” funded by the EC through the E5 Unit (Cognition) of FP6-IST under Contract FP6-004370.

FundersFunder number
European Commission


    • Human-Humanoid interaction
    • humanoid robot
    • interference effect
    • mirror neurons
    • motor coordination
    • motor interference


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