The Importance of Mutual Gaze in Human-Robot Interaction

  • Kyveli KompatsiariEmail author
  • Vadim Tikhanoff
  • Francesca Ciardo
  • Giorgio Metta
  • Agnieszka Wykowska
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10652)


Mutual gaze is a key element of human development, and constitutes an important factor in human interactions. In this study, we examined –through analysis of subjective reports– the influence of an online eye-contact of a humanoid robot on humans’ reception of the robot. To this end, we manipulated the robot gaze, i.e., mutual (social) gaze and neutral (non-social) gaze, throughout an experiment involving letter identification. Our results suggest that people are sensitive to the mutual gaze of an artificial agent, they feel more engaged with the robot when a mutual gaze is established, and eye-contact supports attributing human-like characteristics to the robot. These findings are relevant both to the human-robot interaction (HRI) research - enhancing social behavior of robots, and also for cognitive neuroscience - studying mechanisms of social cognition in relatively realistic social interactive scenarios.


Social human-robot interaction iCub Mutual gaze 



This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant awarded to A. Wykowska, titled “InStance: Intentional Stance for Social Attunement. Grant agreement No: 715058).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyveli Kompatsiari
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Vadim Tikhanoff
    • 3
  • Francesca Ciardo
    • 1
  • Giorgio Metta
    • 3
    • 4
  • Agnieszka Wykowska
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Social Cognition in Human-Robot InteractionIstituto Italiano di TecnologiaGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Ludwig Maximilian UniversityPlaneggGermany
  3. 3.iCub FacilityIstituto Italiano di TecnologiaGenoaItaly
  4. 4.University of PlymouthPlymouthUK
  5. 5.Luleå University of TechnologyLuleåSweden

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