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Abstract
Eye behaviour is one of the main modalities used to regulate face-to-face conversation. Gaze aversion and mutual gaze, for example, serve to signal cognitive load, interest or turns during a conversation. While eye blinking is mainly thought to have a physiological function, the rate of blinking is known to increase during conversation suggesting a communicative function for the eye. Recently, it has been shown that a virtual avatar, acting as the receiver in a conversation, could use blinking as a kind of conversational marker influencing the speaker's communicative behaviour. In particular, it has been demonstrated that long eye blinks resulted in shorter answers by the speaker compared with short ones. Here, we set out to investigate this effect when using a humanoid robot as interaction partner, given that robots have both a physical and social presence. Interestingly, however, we could not replicate the result: short or long blinks did not modulate the length of the responses by the human interactant.
Keywords
human-robot interaction, nonverbal behaviour, blinking, replication, ROBOTS

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MLA
Oetringer, Djamari, et al. “Communicative Function of Eye Blinks of Virtual Avatars May Not Translate onto Physical Platforms.” HRI ’21 Companion: Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2021, pp. 94–98, doi:10.1145/3434074.3447136.
APA
Oetringer, D., Wolfert, P., Deschuyteneer, J., Thill, S., & Belpaeme, T. (2021). Communicative function of eye blinks of virtual avatars may not translate onto physical platforms. HRI ’21 Companion: Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 94–98. https://doi.org/10.1145/3434074.3447136
Chicago author-date
Oetringer, Djamari, Pieter Wolfert, Jorre Deschuyteneer, Serge Thill, and Tony Belpaeme. 2021. “Communicative Function of Eye Blinks of Virtual Avatars May Not Translate onto Physical Platforms.” In HRI ’21 Companion: Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 94–98. New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). https://doi.org/10.1145/3434074.3447136.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Oetringer, Djamari, Pieter Wolfert, Jorre Deschuyteneer, Serge Thill, and Tony Belpaeme. 2021. “Communicative Function of Eye Blinks of Virtual Avatars May Not Translate onto Physical Platforms.” In HRI ’21 Companion: Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 94–98. New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). doi:10.1145/3434074.3447136.
Vancouver
1.
Oetringer D, Wolfert P, Deschuyteneer J, Thill S, Belpaeme T. Communicative function of eye blinks of virtual avatars may not translate onto physical platforms. In: HRI ’21 Companion: Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM); 2021. p. 94–8.
IEEE
[1]
D. Oetringer, P. Wolfert, J. Deschuyteneer, S. Thill, and T. Belpaeme, “Communicative function of eye blinks of virtual avatars may not translate onto physical platforms,” in HRI ’21 Companion: Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Boulder, USA, 2021, pp. 94–98.
@inproceedings{8699784,
  abstract     = {{Eye behaviour is one of the main modalities used to regulate face-to-face conversation. Gaze aversion and mutual gaze, for example, serve to signal cognitive load, interest or turns during a conversation. While eye blinking is mainly thought to have a physiological function, the rate of blinking is known to increase during conversation suggesting a communicative function for the eye. Recently, it has been shown that a virtual avatar, acting as the receiver in a conversation, could use blinking as a kind of conversational marker influencing the speaker's communicative behaviour. In particular, it has been demonstrated that long eye blinks resulted in shorter answers by the speaker compared with short ones.

Here, we set out to investigate this effect when using a humanoid robot as interaction partner, given that robots have both a physical and social presence. Interestingly, however, we could not replicate the result: short or long blinks did not modulate the length of the responses by the human interactant.}},
  author       = {{Oetringer, Djamari and Wolfert, Pieter and Deschuyteneer, Jorre and Thill, Serge and Belpaeme, Tony}},
  booktitle    = {{HRI '21 Companion: Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction}},
  isbn         = {{9781450382908}},
  issn         = {{2167-2121}},
  keywords     = {{human-robot interaction,nonverbal behaviour,blinking,replication,ROBOTS}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Boulder, USA}},
  pages        = {{94--98}},
  publisher    = {{Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)}},
  title        = {{Communicative function of eye blinks of virtual avatars may not translate onto physical platforms}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1145/3434074.3447136}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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