SATO Wataru Laboratory

The inversion effect on the cubic humanness-uncanniness relation in humanlike agents

(Diel, Sato, Hsu, & Minato: Front Psychol)

The uncanny valley describes the typically nonlinear relation between the esthetic appeal of artificial entities and their human likeness.
The effect has been attributed to specialized (configural) processing that increases sensitivity to deviations from human norms.

We investigated this effect in computer-generated, humanlike android and human faces using dynamic facial expressions.
Angry and happy expressions with varying degrees of synchrony were presented upright and inverted and rated on their eeriness, strangeness, and human likeness.

A sigmoidal function of human likeness and uncanniness (guncanny slopeh) was found for upright expressions and a linear relation for inverted faces.

While the function is not indicative of an uncanny valley, the results support the view that configural processing moderates the effect of human likeness on uncanniness and extend its role to dynamic facial expressions.

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