Social Robots for Interbrain Synchronized Intergenerational Connectedness to Reduce Ageism

This project represents a collaborative effort of researchers from three different disciplines (Prof. Gordon -engineering, Prof Shamay-Tsoori-brain science, and Prof. Ayalon-social work) to advance their own respective fields of knowledge, while addressing wider social issues of high pertinence to society at large. The present study will develop an innovative social robot to tackle ageism, defined as a bias in the way we think, feel and act towards people because of their age. This will be done through an increase in intergenerational connectedness. To foster intergenerational connectedness, we will rely on inter brain-connectivity as a signal that feeds into the social robot, which will refine its activities based on this feedback. The project will result in a novel experimental setup, in which brain-to-brain synchronization measurements serve as inputs to the social robot’s behavior, thus enabling a socio-neurofeedback and promoting advances in robotics for social change. In total, 40 pairs of older people (65>) and teenagers (16-18) will participate in this task. Our multi-disciplinary, collaborative product is expected to result in social, theoretical, and methodological innovations and impacts that are greater than the sum of its parts.