When humanoid robots become human-like interaction partners: corepresentation of robotic actions

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Anna Stenzel
  • Eris Chinellato
  • Maria A Tirado Bou
  • Ángel P del Pobil
  • Markus Lappe
  • Roman Liepelt

Research units


In human-human interactions, corepresenting a partner's actions is crucial to successfully adjust and coordinate actions with others. Current research suggests that action corepresentation is restricted to interactions between human agents facilitating social interaction with conspecifics. In this study, we investigated whether action corepresentation, as measured by the social Simon effect (SSE), is present when we share a task with a real humanoid robot. Further, we tested whether the believed humanness of the robot's functional principle modulates the extent to which robotic actions are corepresented. We described the robot to participants either as functioning in a biologically inspired human-like way or in a purely deterministic machine-like manner. The SSE was present in the human-like but not in the machine-like robot condition. These findings suggest that humans corepresent the actions of nonbiological robotic agents when they start to attribute human-like cognitive processes to the robot. Our findings provide novel evidence for top-down modulation effects on action corepresentation in human-robot interaction situations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1073-7
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ID: 2752239


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