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Perceptual and category processing of the uncanny valley hypothesis' dimension of human likeness: some methodological issues


Cheetham, Marcus; Jäncke, Lutz (2013). Perceptual and category processing of the uncanny valley hypothesis' dimension of human likeness: some methodological issues. Journal of Visualized Experiments, (76):e4375.

Abstract

Mori's Uncanny Valley Hypothesis(1,2) proposes that the perception of humanlike characters such as robots and, by extension, avatars (computer-generated characters) can evoke negative or positive affect (valence) depending on the object's degree of visual and behavioral realism along a dimension of human likeness (DHL) (Figure 1). But studies of affective valence of subjective responses to variously realistic non-human characters have produced inconsistent findings (3, 4, 5, 6). One of a number of reasons for this is that human likeness is not perceived as the hypothesis assumes. While the DHL can be defined following Mori's description as a smooth linear change in the degree of physical humanlike similarity, subjective perception of objects along the DHL can be understood in terms of the psychological effects of categorical perception (CP) (7). Further behavioral and neuroimaging investigations of category processing and CP along the DHL and of the potential influence of the dimension's underlying category structure on affective experience are needed. This protocol therefore focuses on the DHL and allows examination of CP. Based on the protocol presented in the video as an example, issues surrounding the methodology in the protocol and the use in "uncanny" research of stimuli drawn from morph continua to represent the DHL are discussed in the article that accompanies the video. The use of neuroimaging and morph stimuli to represent the DHL in order to disentangle brain regions neurally responsive to physical human-like similarity from those responsive to category change and category processing is briefly illustrated.

Abstract

Mori's Uncanny Valley Hypothesis(1,2) proposes that the perception of humanlike characters such as robots and, by extension, avatars (computer-generated characters) can evoke negative or positive affect (valence) depending on the object's degree of visual and behavioral realism along a dimension of human likeness (DHL) (Figure 1). But studies of affective valence of subjective responses to variously realistic non-human characters have produced inconsistent findings (3, 4, 5, 6). One of a number of reasons for this is that human likeness is not perceived as the hypothesis assumes. While the DHL can be defined following Mori's description as a smooth linear change in the degree of physical humanlike similarity, subjective perception of objects along the DHL can be understood in terms of the psychological effects of categorical perception (CP) (7). Further behavioral and neuroimaging investigations of category processing and CP along the DHL and of the potential influence of the dimension's underlying category structure on affective experience are needed. This protocol therefore focuses on the DHL and allows examination of CP. Based on the protocol presented in the video as an example, issues surrounding the methodology in the protocol and the use in "uncanny" research of stimuli drawn from morph continua to represent the DHL are discussed in the article that accompanies the video. The use of neuroimaging and morph stimuli to represent the DHL in order to disentangle brain regions neurally responsive to physical human-like similarity from those responsive to category change and category processing is briefly illustrated.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:15 Jul 2013 14:37
Last Modified:05 Sep 2017 11:51
Publisher:Journal of Visualized Experiments
ISSN:1940-087X
Additional Information:Video article
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3791/4375
Official URL:http://www.jove.com/video/4375/perceptual-category-processing-uncanny-valley-hypothesis-dimension
PubMed ID:23770728

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