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Hinz, Nina-Alisa; Ciardo, Francesca and Wykowska, Agnieszka (January 2021): ERP markers of action planning and outcome monitoring in human – robot interaction. In: Acta Psychologica, Vol. 212, 103216: pp. 1-12 [PDF, 3MB]


The present study aimed to examine event-related potentials (ERPs) of action planning and outcome monitoring in human-robot interaction. To this end, participants were instructed to perform costly actions (i.e. losing points) to stop a balloon from inflating and to prevent its explosion. They performed the task alone (individual condition) or with a robot (joint condition). Similar to findings from human-human interactions, results showed that action planning was affected by the presence of another agent, robot in this case. Specifically, the early readiness potential (eRP) amplitude was larger in the joint, than in the individual, condition. The presence of the robot affected also outcome perception and monitoring. Our results showed that the P1/N1 complex was suppressed in the joint, compared to the individual condition when the worst outcome was expected, suggesting that the presence of the robot affects attention allocation to negative outcomes of one's own actions. Similarly, results also showed that larger losses elicited smaller feedback-related negativity (FRN) in the joint than in the individual condition. Taken together, our results indicate that the social presence of a robot may influence the way we plan our actions and also the way we monitor their consequences. Implications of the study for the human-robot interaction field are discussed.

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