The brain's different responses, when viewing the stripped android (top), the human model, or the lifelike android (Image: Ayse Pinar Saygin, UC San Diego)
The Repliee Q2 android, used in the study on the 'uncanny valley' response (Photo: Brad Beattie)
A recent study offers a suggestion as to the cause of our unease when seeing realistic, human-like robots (Photo: Streevithak, via Flickr)
People seem to enjoy watching robots and cartoon characters move about, and usually don't mind seeing other humans going through their daily motions, but when it comes to artificial creations that are made to look very human ... they're not always so popular. Although we tend to like animated objects or images that look kind of like real people, once they reach a certain level of realism, they just become spooky. This threshold is known as the "uncanny valley," and an international team of researchers recently set out to determine just what it is about our brains that causes it to occur.
Other Images from this Gallery