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UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

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Prof Nadia Berthouze

Prof Nadia Berthouze

Professor of Affective Interaction and Computing

UCL Interaction Centre

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Feb 2006

Research summary

The premise of my research is that affect, emotion, and subjective experience should be factored into the design of interactive technology. Indeed, for technology to be truly effective in our social network, it should be able to adapt to the affective needs of each user group or even each individual. The aim of my research is to create systems/software that can sense the affective state of their users and use that information to tailor the interaction process. Body movement appears to be a promising medium for this goal: it supports cognitive processes, regulates emotions, and mediates affective and social communication. I am currently pursuing three lines of research looking at body movement as a medium to induce, recognize and measure the quality of experience of humans and in particularly of humans interacting and engaging through/with technology. I am trying to identify the various factors that affect the recognition process, including cross-cultural differences and task context. Finally, I am looking onto the existence of dialects in affective body movement communication, including avatar-specific dialects. I was awarded a 2 years International Marie Curie Reintegration Grant started in 2006 to investigate these issues in the clinical context and in the gaming industry . More information on the project AffectME supported by this grant can be found here .

Teaching summary

Affective Interaction The lectures will aims at : 1) giving a basic introduction to the theory of emotion from psychology and neuroscience viewpoints and to understand its importance in human decision and communication processes; 2) addressing the challenges in designing and evaluating systems that are capable of affectively interacting with humans. Methods to design, measure and influence the affective experience will be taught. Examples of current applications (e.g. in entertainment, education, health, therapy, rehabilitation, service robotics) will be used to identify problems and design solutions. Finally, the ethical implications (e.g., privacy) of affective interactive systems will be discussed.

Affective Computing and HRI

The module targets students who have no previous knowledge in cognitive science and emotion theory and therefore the aim of Part 1 of the module is to give a basic introduction to the theory of emotion from psychology and neuroscience viewpoints and to understand its importance in human decision and communication processes. Part 2 will concentrate on the application of machine learning techniques to emotion recognition by looking at current applications in entertainment, education, and health. Part 3 will focus on the challenges in designing robots that are capable of socially interacting with humans. Examples of current applications in entertainment, education, health, therapy, rehabilitation, service robotics, rescue robots will be used to identify problems and discuss machine learning solutions for the topics taught in Parts 2 and 3.

Education

Universita degli Studi di Milano
, | 1995
Universita degli Studi di Milano
, | 1991
Publications