Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Agnieszka Wykowska

Agnieszka Wykowska is PI of the Social Cognition in Human-Robot Interaction (S4HRI) research line at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). She is also affiliated with the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden as adjunct professor in Engineering Psychology.

Her research focuses on social cognitive neuroscience and human-robot interaction. She uses behavioral measures (eyetracking, psychophysics) and EEG in HRI research. In 2016 she has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant “Intentional Stance for Social Attunement” which will be carried out at the Italian Institute of Technology.

Giorgio Metta

Giorgio Metta is Vice Scientific Director at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) and Director of the iCub Facility Department at the same institute. He coordinates the development of the iCub robotic project.

Giorgio Metta research activities are in the fields of biologically motivated and humanoid robotics and, in particular, in developing humanoid robots that can adapt and learn from experience. Giorgio Metta is author of more than 250 scientific publications. He has been working as principal investigator and research scientist in about a dozen international as well as national funded projects.

Cristina Becchio

Cristina Becchio is Senior Researcher at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia(IIT) (C’MON – Cognition, Motion and Neuroscience Unit), Genoa, and Professor at the Psychology Department, University of Turin. After studying philosophy at the University of Turin, in 2001 she joined a PhD Program in Cognitive Science. In 2004 she moved on to a post-doctoral work on cognitive neuroscience and has since then been working on motor cognition.

Her research focuses on the control and perception of complex body motion during human social interaction, specifically upon the ability to decode others’ mental states from movement observation. In 2013 she started as Principal Investigator a five-year project on “Intention-from-movement understanding” (I.Move.U) funded by the ERC, ERC-St-2012.

Bangor University

Emily Cross

Emily Cross is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Bangor University and Professor of Social Robotics at University of Glasgow, co-director of Social Brain in Action Laboratory ( and PI on the ERC-funded Social Robots project ( Through her work in the SoBA lab, she addresses how experience shapes perception and is especially interested in observational learning, motor expertise and how we interact with artificial agents.

Her team uses brain imaging, brain stimulation, training paradigms, experts in motor control (like dancers, gymnasts and acrobats) and robotics to explore how experience-dependent plasticity is manifest in brain and behaviour.

Ruud Hortensius

Ruud is postdoctoral researcher in the Social Brain in Action Laboratory within the School of Psychology, Bangor University, Wales. His research is advised by Professor Emily Cross and part of the Social Robots project in which they study how humans perceive and interact with robots.

Specifically, he investigates social interactions with humans and artificial agents using neuroimaging, virtual reality, brain stimulation and behavioural measures. (Personal webpage)