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Daniel is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Communication Science and the Network Institute at the VU, and is part of the Media Psychology group researching the impact and potential applications of social robots. He obtained his PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the Department of Experimental and Appplied Psychology at the VU, investigating the perceptual and attentional effects of stimuli associated with threats and rewards.

Research

My current research focuses on investigating the psychological and physiological (brain function, hormonal levels, etc.) effects of social robots and similar artificial agents, and the possible applications of this kind of social technologies in settings such as (mental) healthcare and education. I investigate this subject employing a variety of methods, including self-report, experimental studies, and psychophyiological methods (for instance EEG, cardiovascular activity,  eye-tracking), and I collaborate closely with peers with a more technologically-oriented background in order to better understand human-computer interaction considering both the human's and the computer's perspective.

My main research project seeks to determine if Alice (a social robot delevoped in collaboraiton with Deloitte and featured in the documentary Alice cares, in which elderly women meet, talk, end eventually befriend  the robot) can help to reduce loneliness and improve physical and mental health on healthy elderly participants. In this study, we employ subjective (self-report) and objective (hormonal measures) measures to investigate the effects of multiple interactions with the social robot.

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