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Investigating the uncanny valley for prosthetic hands

POLIAKOFF E; O'KANE S; CAREFOOT O; KYBERD P; GOWEN E
PROSTHET ORTHOT INT , 2018, vol. 42, n° 1, p. 21-27
Doc n°: 187050
Localisation : Documentation IRR

D.O.I. : http://dx.doi.org/DOI:10.1177/0309364617744083
Descripteurs : EC153 - PROTHESE ESTHETIQUE - MEMBRE SUPERIEUR

In 1970, Mori hypothesised the existence of an 'uncanny valley',
whereby stimuli falling short of being fully human are found to be creepy or
eerie. OBJECTIVES: To investigate how eerie people find different prosthetic
hands and whether perceptions of eeriness can be accounted for by categorical
ambiguity. STUDY DESIGN: Students participated in computerised experiments during
which photographic images of hands were presented. METHODS: We compared
photographs of prosthetic hands pre-selected as more (H+) or less human-like
(H-), as well as mechanical and real hands. Participants rated the hands for
eeriness and human-likeness, as well as performing a speeded classification
(human/non-human) and location judgment (control) task. RESULTS: The H-
prosthetic hands were rated as more eerie than the H+ prosthetic, mechanical and
real hands, and this was unaffected by hand orientation. Participants were
significantly slower to categorise the H+ prosthetic hands compared to the H-
prosthetic and real hands, which was not due to generally slower responses to the
H+ prosthetic hands (control task). CONCLUSION: People find prosthetic hands to
be eerie, most consistently for less human-like prosthetic hands. This effect is
not driven by ambiguity about whether to categorise the prosthetic hand as human
or artificial. Clinical relevance More obviously artificial, less-realistic,
prosthetic hands consistently generate a sense of eeriness, while more realistic
prosthetic hands avoid the uncanny valley, at least on initial viewing. Thus,
greater realism in prosthetic design may not always incur a cost, although the
role of movement and cutaneous input requires further investigation.

Langue : ANGLAIS

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