Faculty researcher Dr Emma Gowen has collaborated with members of the School of Psychological Science on a project which will help to improve the design of prosthetic limbs. 43 participants took part in a study in which they viewed images of human, robotic, and prosthetic hands and graded them on a nine-point scale in terms of eeriness and human-likeness.
Prosthetic hands generally received the highest eeriness ratings and were rated as more human-like than the mechanical hands. But prosthetic hands which looked more human-like were rated as less eerie. Dr Emma Gowen said:
“We hope this and further research will allow us to learn more about social perception and what is special about perceiving another human being. Determining these factors can help us to understand how we interpret and respond to other people.”