Humanoid Robots Disturb The Human Brain

July 21, 2011


According to a recent series of experiments conducted at the University of San Diego, humanoid robots that are designed to look lifelike make the human brain spaz out when seeing one. Of course, I didn't have to conduct an experiment to tell you that because I have a seizure and piss myself anytime I see one and I'm just like everybody else.

The..."[uncanny] valley" refers to a precipitous drop in "likeability" as onscreen characters and humanoid robots step too far towards being human-like. As in, we enjoy Pixar's Wall-E and Nintendo's Mario, but we get the heeby jeebies from the ultra-realistic faces of The Polar Express or the upcoming Tintin movie.

When viewing the android, the parietal cortex -- and specifically in the areas that connect the part of the brain's visual cortex that processes bodily movements with the section of the motor cortex thought to contain mirror (or empathy) neurons -- saw high levels of activity.

It suggests that the brain couldn't compute the incongruity between the android's human-like appearance and its robotic motion.

Interesting. But do you know what humanoid robots confuse even worse than the brain? The human wiener amirite?! *open-palms back of head* F*** no I'm not, what's the matter with you?

Exploring the uncanny valley of how brains react to humanoids [wired]

Thanks to Hannes, who allegedly knows a guy who went home with a humanoid lady from the bar but didn't realize it until she started sparking and her head caught fire after spilling a drink on herself.

Previous Post
Next Post