Let's cooperate: The interdisciplinary investigation of social interaction

September 18 - 19, 297

Venue:

Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg
Lehmkuhlenbusch 4
27753 Delmenhorst
Germany

Organizers:

  • Dr. Martin Bleichner
    Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
  • Jun. Prof. Dr. Stefan Scherbaum
    Technical University Dresden

Let's cooperate: The interdisciplinary investigation of social interaction

September 18 - 19, 297

Venue:

Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg
Lehmkuhlenbusch 4
27753 Delmenhorst
Germany

Organizers:

  • Dr. Martin Bleichner
    Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
  • Jun. Prof. Dr. Stefan Scherbaum
    Technical University Dresden

“No man is an island, Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.”


Everything we do, think, feel or perceive is embedded in a social context. In the interactions with others we can behave in ways that are impossible in isolation. The interactions are indeed what makes us human. Understanding how human interactions work is therefore a fundamental aspect of understanding ourselves. “Human interaction lies in an interdisciplinary noman’s land: It belongs equally to anthropology, sociology, biology, psychology, and ethiology but is owned by none of them.“
Steven Levinson

Within the interdisciplinary project IMPACT funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, we started to explore social interaction from three perspectives: The performing arts contribute a deep understanding of how to achieve a maximum of human-human interaction; music, dance or theatre are the pivot of coordinated actions. Improvisational theatre, for example, is a form of performing arts depending on the spontaneous social interactions of several actors on stage. Stories emerge from successful social interactions, the give-andtake of each actor — flawed social interactions will lead directly to a failing of the story. The coordinated performance of a jazz combo are another example that depends on successful social interactions. From a scientific perspective the social interactions that take place during the coordinated actions of performers can be used as a model system to understand human interactions in general. The cognitive sciences have a long tradition in understanding and modeling individual brains in the cycle of actions and perception. Different non-invasive brain activity monitoring techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provide insight into the relationship between neural processes and behavior. But when it comes to understanding social interactions most studies have been limited to often very artificial and unnatural situations. The technology perspective, finally, addresses the fact that social interactions are not only face-to-face but that our interactions are mediated instantaneously through artificial systems or that we directly interact with the technical systems, be it a smartphone or a robot. To make these systems interact successfully with us we have to explicitly teach them how humans approach interaction. The necessity to make the human interactions explicit, so that machines can act accordingly, provides yet another perspective.

The symposium aims to bring together researchers from these three fields and to foster exchange and collaboration. We all can learn from the other fields and their different approaches.

“No man is an island, Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.”


Everything we do, think, feel or perceive is embedded in a social context. In the interactions with others we can behave in ways that are impossible in isolation. The interactions are indeed what makes us human. Understanding how human interactions work is therefore a fundamental aspect of understanding ourselves. “Human interaction lies in an interdisciplinary noman’s land: It belongs equally to anthropology, sociology, biology, psychology, and ethiology but is owned by none of them.“
Steven Levinson

Within the interdisciplinary project IMPACT funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, we started to explore social interaction from three perspectives: The performing arts contribute a deep understanding of how to achieve a maximum of human-human interaction; music, dance or theatre are the pivot of coordinated actions. Improvisational theatre, for example, is a form of performing arts depending on the spontaneous social interactions of several actors on stage. Stories emerge from successful social interactions, the give-andtake of each actor — flawed social interactions will lead directly to a failing of the story. The coordinated performance of a jazz combo are another example that depends on successful social interactions. From a scientific perspective the social interactions that take place during the coordinated actions of performers can be used as a model system to understand human interactions in general. The cognitive sciences have a long tradition in understanding and modeling individual brains in the cycle of actions and perception. Different non-invasive brain activity monitoring techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provide insight into the relationship between neural processes and behavior. But when it comes to understanding social interactions most studies have been limited to often very artificial and unnatural situations. The technology perspective, finally, addresses the fact that social interactions are not only face-to-face but that our interactions are mediated instantaneously through artificial systems or that we directly interact with the technical systems, be it a smartphone or a robot. To make these systems interact successfully with us we have to explicitly teach them how humans approach interaction. The necessity to make the human interactions explicit, so that machines can act accordingly, provides yet another perspective.

The symposium aims to bring together researchers from these three fields and to foster exchange and collaboration. We all can learn from the other fields and their different approaches.

Program

September 18, 2019

09:00                 Start of the day – arrival of participants
09:30 - 10:00    Introduction round Welcome by the organizers and introduction
                            of the topics
10:00 - 10:30    Stefan Scherbaum
                            From cognition and decision-making to social interaction
10:30 - 11:00    Martin Bleichner
                            How to study social interaction using wireless EEG
11:00 - 11:30    Coffee Break
11:30 - 12:00    Gunter Lösel
                            The lazy brain of the improviser: Cognition in improvisational acting
12:00 - 12:30    Lior Noy
                           
  Entering and exiting from group flow in joint improvisation
12:30 - 13:00    Cordula Vesper
                            Cognitive mechanisms supporting joint action
13:00 - 14:00    Lunch Break
14:00 - 14:30    Estela Bicho
                           
Towards robots as socially intelligent assistants/co-workers: From the
                             neurocognitive basis of joint action in humans to human-robot
                             collaboration

14:30 - 15:00    Hendrik Buschmeier
                             Modelling interactional intelligence for artificial conversational agents
15:00 - 15:30    Sara Bögels
                             Approaches to the study of conversation using neuroimaging:
                            Turn-taking, common ground, and alignment

15:30 - 16:15    Coffee Break
16:15 - 16:45    Anna Kuhlen
                            Simulation processes during human spoken interaction
16:45 - 17:15    Kristian Tylèn
                            Building interpersonal synergies – from low-level coordination to
                            higher-order reasoning

17:15 - 18:00    General Discussion
18:00 - 19:00    Dinner
19.00                  Evening Activity

September 19, 297

On day two we have structured discussions to dig deeper into the topics and issues that have were raised on day one. The goal is to generate research questions, and to work towards joint projects and potential grant applications.

09:00 - 10:00    Recap day one
10:00 - 11:20    Project generation I
11:20 - 11:40    Coffee Break
11:40 - 13:00    Project generation II
13:00 - 14:00    Lunch Break
14:00 - 15:30    Project Presentations
15:30 - 16:30    Special Issue discussion
16:30                  Wrap up

Program

September 18, 2019

09:00                  tart of the day – arrival of participants
09:30 - 10:00    Introduction round Welcome by the organizers and introduction
                            of the topics
10:00 - 10:30    Stefan Scherbaum
                             From cognition and decision-making to social interaction
10:30 - 11:00    Martin Bleichner
                            How to study social interaction using wireless EEG
11:00 - 11:30    Coffee Break
11:30 - 12:00    Gunter Lösel
                            The lazy brain of the improviser: Cognition in improvisational acting
12:00 - 12:30    Lior Noy
                          
Entering and exiting from group flow in joint improvisation
12:30 - 13:00    Cordula Vesper
                            Cognitive mechanisms supporting joint action
13:00 - 14:00    Lunch Break
14:00 - 14:30    Estela Bicho
                           
Towards robots as socially intelligent assistants/co-workers: From the
                            neurocognitive basis of joint action in humans to human-robot
                            collaboration

14:30 - 15:00    Hendrik Buschmeier
                            Modelling interactional intelligence for artificial conversational agents
15:00 - 15:30    Sara Bögels
                             Approaches to the study of conversation using neuroimaging:
                            Turn-taking, common ground, and alignment

15:30 - 16:15    Coffee Break
16:15 - 16:45    Anna Kuhlen
                            Simulation processes during human spoken interaction
16:45 - 17:15    Kristian Tylèn
                            Building interpersonal synergies – from low-level coordination to
                            higher-order reasoning

17:15 - 18:00    General Discussion
18:00 - 19:00    Dinner
19:00 - 20:00    Evening Activity

September 19, 297

On day two we have structured discussions to dig deeper into the topics and issues that have were raised on day one. The goal is to generate research questions, and to work towards joint projects and potential grant applications.

09:00 - 10:00    Recap day one
10:00 - 11:20    Project generation I
11:20 - 11:40    Coffee Break
11:40 - 13:00    Project generation II
13:00 - 14:00    Lunch Break
14:00 - 15:30    Project Presentations
15:30 - 16:30    Special Issue discussion
16:30                  Wrap up