Navigation Links
UM researchers are studying child-mother interactions to design robots with social skills
Date:10/28/2010

CORAL GABLES, FL (October 28, 2010)To help unravel the mysteries of human cognitive development and reach new the frontiers in robotics, University of Miami (UM) developmental psychologists and computer scientists from the University of California in San Diego (UC San Diego) are studying infant-mother interactions and working to implement their findings in a baby robot capable of learning social skills.

The first phase of the project was studying face-to-face interactions between mother and child, to learn how predictable early communication is, and to understand what babies need to act intentionally. The findings are published in the current issue of the journal Neural Networks in a study titled "Applying machine learning to infant interaction: The development is in the details."

The scientists examined 13 mothers and babies between 1 and 6 months of age, while they played during five minute intervals weekly. There were approximately 14 sessions per dyad. The laboratory sessions were videotaped and the researchers applied an interdisciplinary approach to understanding their behavior.

The researchers found that in the first six months of life, babies develop turn- taking skills, the first step to more complex human interactions. According to the study, babies and mothers find a pattern in their play, and that pattern becomes more stable and predictable with age,explains Daniel Messinger, associate professor of Psychology in the UM College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator of the study.

"As babies get older, they develop a pattern with their moms," says Messinger. "When the baby smiles, the mom smiles; then the baby stops smiling and the mom stops smiling, and the babies learn to expect that someone will respond to them in a particular manner," he says. "Eventually the baby also learns to respond to the mom."

The next phase of the project is to use the findings to program a baby robot, with basic social skills and with the ability to learn more complicated interactions. The robot's name is Diego-San. He is 1.3 meters tall and modeled after a 1-year-old child. The construction of the robot was a joint venture between Kokoro Dreams and the Machine Perception Laboratory at UC San Diego.

The robot will need to shift its gaze from people to objects based on the same principles babies seem to use as they play and develop. "One important finding here is that infants are most likely to shift their gaze, if they are the last ones to do so during the interaction," says Messinger. "What matters most is how long a baby looks at something, not what they are looking at."

The process comes full circle. The babies teach the researchers how to program the robot, and in training the robot the researchers get insight into the process of human behavior development, explains Paul Ruvolo, six year graduate student in the Computer Science Department at UC San Diego and co-author of the study.

"A unique aspect of this project is that we have state-of-the-art tools to study development on both the robotics and developmental psychology side," says Ruvolo. "On the robotics side we have a robot that mechanically closely approximates the complexity of the human motor system and on the developmental psychology side we have a fine-grained motion capture and video recording that shows the mother infant action in great detail," he says. "It is the interplay of these two methods for studying the process of development that has us so excited."

Ultimately, the baby robot will give scientists understanding on what motivates a baby to communicate and will help answer questions about the development of human learning. This study is funded by National Science Foundation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marie Guma-Diaz
m.gumadiaz@umiami.edu
305-284-1601
University of Miami
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. U of M researchers identify possible key to treating, understanding post-traumatic stress disorder
2. Tumor suppressor acts as oncogene in some cancers, say Mayo Clinic researchers
3. EMBO recognizes 63 researchers for advances in life sciences
4. Newfoundland researchers crack the genetic code of a sudden death cardiac killer
5. Researchers find pathway that drives spread of pediatric bone cancer in preclinical studies
6. Quebec City researchers pave the way for novel treatment of pulmonary hypertension
7. Mount Sinai researchers discover origin of immune cells in the brain
8. UC San Diego researchers identify factor boosting leukemias aggressiveness
9. UCI stem cell researchers to receive $9.35 million in state funding
10. Researchers find better method to help mothers cope with childs cancer and related stress
11. Researchers advocate for more education and attention regarding rare breast cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Qualitative ... seeks to add a deeper understanding of the program, policy or intervention being ... answers different yet important questions. , In a new brief released today, Reading ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... NCPDP ... conference opened on Tuesday with Frank Luntz, sharing a dynamic, bi-partisan environmental scan ... a deep dive on NCPDP’s model solution to help stem the tide of ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... 04, 2016 , ... The RIDER Institute announces an IndieGoGo ... broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutics. DRACOs have proven effective against all 18 viruses tested in ... http://igg.me/at/EndTheVirus and runs for 60 days, we are raising new funding ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society™ and Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy (CAET) ... promotion, time saving and planning tools to attendees and exhibitors for the 2016 ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... May ... awareness in people across the United States. Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Turner is encouraging her ... dermatology experts’ advice and focus on skin safety and health now and in the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... DUBLIN , May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the  "Global Acute Myeloid ... 2016"  report to their offering.  ... ,Global Acute Myeloid Leukemia Market and Competitive ... Acute Myeloid Leukemia pipeline products, Acute Myeloid ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 4, 2016 Global ... pages, profiling 09 key companies and supported with ... and in-depth study on the current state of ... of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and ... is provided for the international market including development ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... -- Axiogenesis has acquired a major investment from Sino-German High-Tech Fund to further expand product development, strengthen its disease modeling ... ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: