Human-Computer Interaction

Interpersonal Synchronization in Virtual Realities

The bandwidth of human communication largely exceeds auditive channels, both on the perspective of the sender and receiver (Nørretranders, 2000). Humans can convey nonverbal information trough through pose and gesture as well as finegrained, partly unnoticed changes in muscular activity such as in human facial expression. These actions lead to impression formation and interpersonal understanding, rapport and synchrony (Tschacher et al., 2015, Yun et al., 2012, Ramseyer, 2011,). Transported to the vision of future online connectivity in virtual worlds and realities (Blascovich & Bailenson, 2011, Schroeder, 2002), the behaviors that lead to interpersonal synchronization are available to mediating systems. Mediated through avatars, virtual characters driven by human movements (Bailenson & Blascovich, 2004) realism and appropriateness of these behaviors may impact the way we communicate and couple. To this regard both intrapersonel as well as interpersonal aspects play an important role in mediations. Augmentation of human behaviors by a social artificial intelligence may enhance our communication and modify the way we interact (Roth et al., 2015). This project aims at exploring these phenomena by building a framework of hierarchies of nonverbal channels as well as analyzing patterns of communication in order to construct hybrid avatar-agent systems that allow for the modification of behaviors during interpersonal interactions in social virtual realities.

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Daniel Roth, M.Eng.
Human-Computer Interaction
Universität Würzburg
Am Hubland
D-97074 Würzburg

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