Special Media Lab Talk: Nadia Berthouze
'Body Movement and Touch Behaviour As Means to Recognize and Enhance Affective Experience"
Date and time: 
Dec 06 12 10:00am - 12:00pm
Rosalind W. Picard

Recent years have seen the emergence of technology that involves and requires its users to be engaged through their body and touch. This has opened the possibility to better understand and exploit these modalities to capture, respond to and regulate users' affective experience. Indeed, various studies in psychology have shown that our posture and body movement affect our emotional state, our cognitive abilities and our attitude towards the environment around us. In the first part of my talk, I will report on our studies aimed at understanding posture, body movement and touch behaviour as a means for recognizing affective states, including laughter, in whole-body games and in clinical contexts. Then, I’ll discuss how tactile experience can be measured, supported and communicated to enrich the digital affective communication channels. Finally, I will report on our studies aimed at investigating how body movement qualities can be used to steer the user experience providing a principled approach to the design of multi-modal affective technology.


Dr. Nadia Berthouze is associate professor at the University College London Interaction Centre. She received her PhD in computer science from the University of Milano. From 1996 to 2000 she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Electrotechnical Laboratory in Japan, working in the area of Kansei Engineering. From 2000 to 2006, she was a lecturer in computer science at the University of Aizu in Japan. Her main area of expertise is the study of body posture/movement as a modality for recognizing, modulating, and measuring human affective states in HCI. She has published more than 140 papers in affective computing, HCI, and pattern recognition. She was awarded the 2003 Technical Prize from the Japanese Society of Kansei Engineering and she was invited to give a TEDxStMartin talk (2012). She is PI on the Emo & Pain project (EP/H007083/1, 2010-2014) to design affective technology to support rehabilitation in chronic pain; co-investigator on the Digital Sensoria project (EP/H007083/1, 2009-2012) investigating the use of biosensors to measure subjective responses to tactile experiences; and co-investigator on the ILHAIRE project (FET-EU-FP7, 2011-2014) researching laughter in human-avatar interaction.