Research Topic

Embodiment and Co-Adaptation through Human-Machine Interfaces: at the border of Robotics, Neuroscience and Psychology

About this Research Topic

Bidirectional human-machine interfaces (bHMIs) are powerful tools for applications that demand a tight interaction of user and machine. Such advanced interfaces turn virtual avatars and robotic devices into instruments applicable to fundamental research of human cognition. As they become neuroscientific ...

Bidirectional human-machine interfaces (bHMIs) are powerful tools for applications that demand a tight interaction of user and machine. Such advanced interfaces turn virtual avatars and robotic devices into instruments applicable to fundamental research of human cognition. As they become neuroscientific tools, bHMI-equipped robots and VR avatars allow for intensive investigation of mutual adaptation between human and robot as well as how this adaptation modulates human embodiment and embodied cognition.

This Research Topic aims at gathering pioneering and interdisciplinary research of bHMIs in both fundamental and applied domains. The emphasis is on their impact on human sensorimotor control and learning as well as on the embodiment of assistive robotic devices and mutual interaction between a device and its user.
How much can a well-designed bHMI influence human perception and cognition?
Can healthy participants embody virtual limbs and to what extent can prosthetic limbs replace lost physical limbs? Can the feeling of agency be transferred to artificial tools and how might that alter the user's bodily self and the sense of ownership?
Can humans be made to feel that they “own” someone else's limbs?
What neural and phenomenological changes are induced by regular use of bHMIs and how do they develop over time?

We welcome, among others, constructivist approaches and investigations supported by cognitive models that help to improve our understanding of embodiment and co-adaptation in the framework of bHMIs. We aim to understand if and how constructivist psychology theories might inform co-adaptation and how such theoretical framing could improve the design of bHMIs. To this end, we envision that cognitive models, as well as knowledge of human motor control, multisensory fusion and processing, optimal control and internal models, could deepen our understanding of the underpinning psychological and control mechanisms, and might guide bHMI control design and adaptation.
The submission of experimental human or human-in-the-loop studies shedding light on bHMI functionality and experience, e.g., regarding the embodiment or acceptability of such devices is also strongly encouraged. Studies might for example investigate and pinpoint factors, which improve bHMI by making them acceptable, intuitive, easy, and exciting for the users or identify design flaws.

This Research Topic collects interdisciplinary contributions concerning bHMI technologies, providing fundamental psychological insights, theoretical works as well as practical applications, and focusses on, but is not limited to:

· Bidirectional interface technology and design
· Human sensorimotor control and learning
· Brain plasticity and incorporation of robotic devices
· Human-machine interfaces as constructivist tools
· Cognitive models of human body experience, e.g., embodiment
· Applications in assistive robotics and neurorehabilitation


This Research Topic is supported by the COST Action CA16116 “Wearable Robots for Augmentation, Assistance or Substitution of Human Motor Functions” https://wearablerobots.eu/.


Keywords: Human-machine interfaces, sensorimotor control and learning, brain plasticity, constructivist psychology, cognitive models


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 October 2020 Manuscript

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Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 October 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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