CS Special Seminar: Michiel Spapé "From action-perception to brain-interaction: Neuroadaptivity as the interface between perception and action"

This talk is arranged at the Department of Computer Science.

From action-perception to brain-interaction: Neuroadaptivity as the interface between perception and action

Michiel Spapé
University of Helsinki

Friday, 25 March at 11:15
via Zoom: request the link by email [email protected]
Note! the link will be sent by email to CS staff.

Abstract: How we interact with computers provides fundamental information about us as human beings and can enable computers to respond to our subjective experiences. Using brain imaging, I show how knowledge from cognitive science may be used to adapt the environment to emotions, cognition, and subjective perception in a paradigm I call ‘neuroadaptivity’. In this talk, I will explain the paradigm as I answer two seemingly unrelated questions. 1) Why does time sometimes seem to drag and sometimes fly? I will give a very different answer from what you might expect, centred on action-perception/interaction, and show how using brain-based machine-learning can adapt a virtual environment to alter time perception. 2) How do you know - and how can you show - what someone is thinking of? I will demonstrate our novel brain-computer-interaction methodology, which relates brain-activity to stimulus models in order to infer subjective perception and intention. Using the generative capabilities of modern neural network models (e.g. GANs), I show how this novel approach can visualize who a person is thinking of, presenting a useful tool for affective computing, human-computer interaction, and information retrieval, as well enabling deep insights into human perception and cognition. These two projects show how a neuroadaptive research programme provides novel tools for investigating cognition and infusing computer interaction with human subjectivity.

Bio: Michiel Spapé is a senior researcher and Docent in Cognitive Neuroscience whose research centres on the interface between perception and action, as a psychologist might say, or human-computer interaction, as a computer scientist would. Originally trained in Leiden (NL, PhD) as a cognitive psychologist, he held a research fellowship in Nottingham (UK), was postdoc at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT (mainly located at Aalto), a Psychology lecturer in Liverpool (UK), and is now back as a Helsinki University senior researcher. He has about 60 peer-reviewed publications in Psychology and HCI-related areas with subjects as diverse as attention and memory, motor control, action perception, emotion and decision-making, touch and mediated interaction. These topics he typically approaches using a combination of interaction technologies (kinesthetics, virtual reality, haptics) and bio-psychological measures (EEG, EMG, EDA, fNIRS), which has generally meant that he is either seen as the computer scientist amongst psychologists or the psychologist amongst computer scientists. 

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