Intention detection and movement analysis in joint human-human action

Supervisors: Ouriel GRYNSZPAN, Professor; Jules FRANÇOISE, CNRS Researcher
Dates: 01/03/2019 – 31/07/2019, full time
Location: laboratory LIMSI-CNRS, Plateau du Moulon, ORSAY
Research team: Architecture and Models for Interaction (AMI).
Salary: Legal compensation.
Follow-up as PhD: wished
Keywords: social cognition; sense of agency; human-computer interaction; inertial sensors; gesture analysis

Cognitive sciences have expressed increasing interest in joint action for the last two decades. Yet, researchers still lack a clear understanding of how co-actors coordinate their movements during joint action and form common goals. These issues are of great importance in a large set of domains such as dancing and playing music, neurosciences and philosophy of mind, motor and cognitive rehabilitation, and more recently human-computer interaction and robotics.
Recent research has shown that group interaction can yield performances that are superior to the summation of individual performances. Neuroimaging studies have reported inter-brain synchronization during joint imitation tasks. These findings have led philosophers to posit the existence of a specific mode of functioning that emerges during joint action. According to this view, individual agencies would merge into a joint “we-agency”. Preliminary experimental studies have provided evidence in favor of this hypothesis and our group has shown that co-actors can acquire a sense of agency over the actions of their partner. However, our results also showed that this mode of functioning did not transpose to joint action with a robot. In other words, the “we-agency” fails to occur during human-machine interaction.
The goal of the training period is to investigate how the “we-agency” emerges during joint actions performed by two human co-actors. Pairs of participants wearing inertial sensors will perform simple gestures under different conditions in order to produce various levels of “we-agency”. The degree of “we-agency” will be evaluated with behavioral measures and gesture analysis will be conducted on data from the inertial sensors.

Overview of the work
The work will include the following steps:
1. Literature review and state of the art
2. Design and implementation of an experiment with human participants
3. Analysis of data and interpretation of results

Candidate Profile
Requirements: Fluent reading and writing skills in English.
Additional desirable skills: Python or Java programming experience; knowledge on inferential statistics; knowledge in human experimental studies.

How to apply
Required documents: Resume/CV, 1 cover letter in French or in English, 2 contacts for referees.
To be sent to:

Ouriel Grynszpan
Jules Françoise
Référent Universitaire: 
Ouriel Grynszpan
2 019

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