Title: A social interaction field model predicts human perception of others' social interaction

Speaker: Prof. Shuguang Kuai, The School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University

Time: 13:00-14:30, May 25, 2021

Location: Room 1113, Wang Kezhen Building, PKU


Previous studies showed that humans use various cues (e.g., interpersonal angle and distance, gesture) in the identification of others’ interactions. Few studies quantify the contribution of these cues due to the technical difficulty of manipulating social environments. Here we used virtual reality technology to vary the interpersonal distance or angle of two virtual humans and asked a human participant to judge whether the two virtual humans were interacting or not. Based on that, we developed a social interaction field model which successfully predicts participants’ perception of social grouping in complex social scenes. Moreover, we used fMRI to detect human brain activations to others’ social interaction in the early visual cortex (EVC), extrastriate body area (EBA), and fusiform face area (FFA), and posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). In particular, the EVC decodes the distance information, and then the EBA and FFA further analyze the facing orientation of virtual humans. The pSTS integrates information from the EVC, EBA, and FFA to judge the status of others' social interactions. Our results reveal that the human brain processes multiple cues in a hierarchical framework and generate brain representations of others’ social interactions in pSTS.

Host: Prof. Shihui Han