Robots can be perceived as goal-oriented agents

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Understanding the goals of others is fundamental for any kind of interpersonal interaction and collaboration. From a neurocognitive perspective, intention understanding has been proposed to depend on an involvement of the observer&#8217;s motor system in the prediction of the observed actions (Nystr&#246;m et al. 2011; Rizzolatti &#38; Sinigaglia 2010; Southgate et al. 2009). An open question is if a similar understanding of the goal mediated by <i>motor resonance</i> can occur not only between humans, but also for humanoid robots. In this study we investigated whether goal-oriented robotic actions can induce motor resonance by measuring the appearance of anticipatory gaze shifts to the goal during action observation. Our results indicate a similar implicit processing of humans&#8217; and robots&#8217; actions and propose to use anticipatory gaze behaviour as a tool for the evaluation of human-robot interactions.


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