Touching Brains: the virtual Midas Touch

Lecturer : 
Michiel Sovijärvi-Spapé, HIIT
Event type: 
HIIT seminar
Event time: 
2013-05-27 13:15 to 14:00
Aalto University, Computer Science Building, lecture hall T2

Touching Brains: the virtual Midas Touch
Modern technology increasingly allows interpersonal communication to take
place in rich, interactive settings that allow a sense of social presence,
even if there is no physical presence. I will discuss a recent study in
which we used vibrations to simulate the presence of the other with a type
of virtual "touch". Previous research on the "Midas Touch" showed that
touching someone can elicit a type of generosity in the recipient: a
waitress touching a customer resulted in bigger tips; a traveller touching a
bus-driver, a free ride, and so on. However, such sensational studies have
generally suffered from a failure to provide adequate control conditions. We
disentangled the touch from the actual proximity of the "toucher" and used a
well-known experimental setup from behavioural economics, known as the
"Ultimatum" decision making game in combination with psychophysiological
measurements. I will discuss how our EEG results shed new light on the
complicated interplay between touch, interaction and emotion.

Michiel M. Sovijärvi-Spapé obtained his Msc in Psychology and PhD in
Cognitive Psychology from Leiden University (NL), continued for a while as a
post-doc at the University of Nottingham (UK) and has been here at HIIT for
about a year now. His publication record shows he has mainly published in
the areas of cognitive psychology and neuroscience, but is currently trying
to reposition himself somewhere in the disputed borderlands between the
areas of psychology, neuroscience and HCI. As such, he is happy to announce
that his first book, recently accepted for publication, is actually on the
art of programming experiments in psychological science. More info:

Last updated on 22 May 2013 by Antti Ukkonen - Page created on 22 May 2013 by Antti Ukkonen