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Food sharing among BaYaka

What hunter-gatherers can tell us about human social networks

Published: Jul 21, 2016 5:51:00 PM

Coordination and Collaboration

When two people collaborate, they become more like each other. They sway their bodies, chose their words, wave their hands and move their eyes in concert. This is termed this ‘behavioural coordination’, but there is no clear understanding of why it happens or what it produces. In this project, we intended to use state of the art technology, firstly, to quantify multiple channels of coordination in a natural social interaction, and secondly, to control the behavioural coordination experienced by people in virtual reality interaction.We will investigate participants of European, Asian and African origin to capture 'rules' during face to face interaction including eye contact, nodding, and amount of facial mimicry.

We will quantify how people of different cultures move their faces, and what effect this has on intercultural communication and the impressions people form of each other. By replaying and manipulating these recorded interactions in virtual reality, we can then test experimental predictions: for example we can generate an avatar representing a Chinese participant, but animate it in a more 'western' manner, thereby increasing or decreasing certain facial motions so that a speaker conforms to cultural norms of the listener. In this way, we can develop tools to foster intercultural communication.

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