Project Details

Layman's description

Ever wondered how we can interact with others seamlessly? Be it a one to one conversation or a group discussion, with people whom we know well or strangers we just met a few minutes ago. We are able to form connections and understand each other’s thoughts and emotions. That being said, we are not all equally good at it. Some are experts in “mind reading”, while some struggle to get their point across. Success of interactions hinges on our ability to recognise individual differences and adapt to each other accordingly. However, little is known about how exactly we are able to “put ourselves in the other perons’ shoes” and how this process evolves over time?

In this project, we aim to unveil the physiological and behavioral patterns that characterize successful and unsuccessful social interactions. Our analysis focuses on temporal dynamics, meaning how we change the way we coordinate with each other over time. We will experimentally manipulate the difficulty level for individuals to engage in smooth interaction, to simulate real world scenarios. Through extensive recording of multimodal signals, we want to model how quick, slow and variable people are when taking turns during the course of a free conversation; How do they signal each other with their head movements and gaze; How do they adjust their speech volume; Do their heart rhythms start to fall in and out of sync. Furthermore, we seek to explore the dynamics of interactions in more complex settings by involving three interacting partners instead of two. This expansion will allow us to analyze how coordination patterns would change when individuals must pay attention to more than one other person.

The ability to interact with our surroundings have a profound impact on our quality of life. Unfortunately it is extremely challenging for those with neurodevelopmental conditions like autism and ADHD, as well as people that experience decline in sensory functions such as hearing and sight. Therefore, the findings of the study hold significant implications for understanding and addressing the social challenges these individuals face, as well as improving technologies like hearing aids, which can significantly enhance their overall well-being.
Effective start/end date15/11/202314/11/2026


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