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The Uncanny Valley Hypothesis and beyond.

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About this Research Topic

A field of theory and research is evolving around the question highlighted in the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis: How does high realism in anthropomorphic design influence human experience and behaviour? The Uncanny Valley hypothesis posits that a very humanlike character or object (e.g., robot, prosthetic limb, ...

A field of theory and research is evolving around the question highlighted in the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis: How does high realism in anthropomorphic design influence human experience and behaviour? The Uncanny Valley hypothesis posits that a very humanlike character or object (e.g., robot, prosthetic limb, avatar, doll) can evoke a negative (i.e. uncanny) effect. Recent advances in robotic and computer-graphic technologies in simulating aspects of human appearance, behaviour and interaction have been accompanied therefore by theorising and research on the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis. Our understanding of this phenomenon is still fragmentary and further original research is needed. However, the emerging picture indicates that the relationship between humanlike realism and subjective experience may not be as straightforward as the hypothesis suggests. Adding to this complexity, little is understood about the impact of these advancing technologies on human experience and behaviour in diverse contexts such as learning and education, psychotherapy, rehabilitation, marketing, communication, entertainment and in psychological experimentation. The general aim of this Research Topic is to bring together researchers from traditionally separate domains (including but not limited to robotics, computer graphics and animation, artistic design, cognitive science, psychology and neuroscience) toward advancing knowledge in the understanding of the relationship between anthropomorphic realism and human experience. The primary challenge of this Topic is to contribute to this understanding by inviting original research, reviews, opinions, method and theory papers that address the diversity of questions relevant to the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis. The participation of researchers from different disciplines is especially encouraged.


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