A study of human performance in recognizing expressive hand movements

Ali Akbar Samadani, Brandon J. Dehart, Kirsten Robinson, Dana Kulic, Eric Kubica, Rob Gorbet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a study on human performance in recognizing affective expressions conveyed through movements of hand-like structures. One movement sequence, closing and opening the hand, was performed by a demonstrator in 3 sets of 5 repeated trials, each set intending to convey a different affective expression. Three different expressions, sadness, happiness and anger, were considered. Expressive movement animations were replicated with a human-like hand model, a stick hand model and with a model resembling a palm frond structure. The structures tested have identical kinematics but different physical appearance. The ability of a human to correctly identify the intended expressive movements performed on these different structures was tested with 66 users viewing videos of the animated structures and reporting via an online questionnaire. Results show that anger is reliably perceived by observers from animated movements on different structures, while the other emotions are easily misperceived. The physical appearance of the structure has some impact on perception performance, but was not found to be statistically significant in this study. Furthermore, analyzing the participants' responses in the context of the valence-arousal model of emotion shows that the subjects were able to recognize the arousal component of the affective hand movements across all structures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2011 RO-MAN - 20th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Symposium Digest
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781457715716
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE/RSJ International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication 2011 - Atlanta, United States of America
Duration: 31 Jul 20113 Aug 2011
Conference number: 20th
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/conhome/5992813/proceeding (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication


ConferenceIEEE/RSJ International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication 2011
Abbreviated titleRO-MAN 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address

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