Confirmed Speakers


Dr. Mariska Kret

Mariska Kret is an Assistant Professor in Cognitive Psychology at Leiden University, Netherlands. She leads the CoPAN Lab (Comparative Psychology and Affective Neuroscience). She started her PhD in 2007 in Tilburg during which she studied the perception of body language. In 2011, she moved to Japan to study similar phenomena in chimpanzees. From investigations on expressions in healthy people, her research has expanded to comparative studies in great apes and patients with mental disorders. She is particularly interested in expressions that are genuine, beyond control and automatic.

Dr. Rachel McDonnell

Rachel McDonnell is an Ussher Assistant Professor in Creative Technologies at the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin. She is also a member of the Graphics, Vision, and Visualisation Group. She received her PhD from Trinity College Dublin on the topic of crowd animation and perception in 2006. Her research interests include computer graphics, character animation, and perceptually-adaptive graphics. She particularly focuses on facial animation and perception.

Dr. Agnieszka Wykowska

Agnieszka Wykowska is the principal investigator of the Social Cognition in Human-Robot Interaction research line at the Italian Institute of Technology, Genova. She is also affiliated with the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden as Adjunct Professor in Engineering Psychology. She received her PhD in Psychology at the LMU in 2008. Her research focuses on social cognitive neuroscience and human-robot interaction. She uses behavioral measures (eyetracking, psychophysics) and EEG.

Prof. Justine Cassell

Justine Cassell is Associate Dean of the School of Computer Science for Technology Strategy and Impact at Carnegie Mellon University. Cassell was the founding director of the Center for Technology and Social Behavior joint PhD in Communication and Computer Science at Northwestern. Before Northwestern, Cassell was a tenured faculty member at the MIT Media Lab, where she headed the Gesture and Narrative Language research group. Cassell’s research focuses on understanding natural forms of communication, and then creating technological tools for those forms of communication and linguistic expression to flourish in the digital world. In particular, she is credited with developing the Embodied Conversational Agent, a virtual human capable of interacting with humans using both language and nonverbal behavior.