Project B2
Brain Mechanisms of Information Processing in Dialogs


Communication in dialogs is strongly influenced by prosodies. During learning, motivational prosodies can be used as positive and negative reinforcement to enhance the endurance and performance of subjects in new tasks as well as to motivate a subject to select a different, more adequate strategy to solve a given problem. One goal of this project is to characterize the impact of motivational feedback of technical systems on the brain activity of subjects as measured with fMRI and interpret this in correlation to changes in performance in cognitive tasks. Besides information on optimal dialog strategies, the studies will shed light on brain mechanisms involved in interactions of humans with technical systems. A more basal, but fundamental aspect of such dialog situations is the temporal contingency of feedbacks. Behavioral experiments have shown that small delays of feedbacks impacts on the performance in certain tasks. Therefore, a second goal is to identify brain activity that characterizes that the timing of feedback of a technical system is inadequate and thus potentially disturbing for subjects.