Poster C93, Sunday, March 25, 1:00-3:00 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Comparing Sensorimotor Oscillations during a Motor Task with a Robot or Human Partner
Nathan Smyk1, Staci Meredith Weiss1, Jebediah Taylor1, Peter Marshall1; 1Temple University
Robots provide an opportunity to extend research on the cognitive, perceptual, and neural processes involved in social interaction. Our study examined how sensorimotor oscillatory EEG activity is influenced by the nature of a task partner: human or robot. Twenty participants gained experience with a semi-humanoid robot that could “perceive” incoming tactile stimulation through a haptic sensor on its hand; the robot responded to touch by moving a finger, indicating that it had received tactile stimulation. During EEG collection, participants sat behind a barrier and saw a cue indicating when they were able to press a button with their left hand, which then triggered a brief tactile stimulation to their partner’s right hand via an inflatable membrane; tactile stimulation occurred 1500 ms after the button press. We analyzed alpha and beta oscillations before, during, and after execution of the button press, comparing oscillatory activity when participants sent tactile stimulation to a robot or a human (counterbalanced). The extent of beta (14-20 hz) rebound at frontocentral electrode sites following the button press differed significantly between conditions, F(1, 19) = 12.15, p = .002, with a larger increase in beta power when participants were sending tactile stimulation to a robot partner compared to the human partner. Alpha and beta activity prior to the button press did not differ between conditions. Increases in beta power have been related to greater predictably in event outcomes, and may reflect decreased cortical excitability. This new paradigm and novel findings advance the neuroscientific study of human-machine interaction.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Motor control