Narratives and emotions in seniors affected by dementia: a comparative study using a robot and a toy

P. Marti, I. Iacono

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

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper describes a study conducted in a Care Home with six women affected by dementia. The study focused on storytelling and compared the effect of the seal robot PARO with Sugar, a toy looking like a baby seal, in stimulating the creation of stories either based on personal memories or invented by the person. Narrative is a primitive function of human psychology, lying at the heart of human thought. The representation of experience in narratives provides a frame which enables humans to interpret their experiences. Through storytelling we learn to communicate and make sense of the external world. As Bruner [1] points out, narrative is a fundamental aspect of meaning construction, which is a developmental activity that starts in early childhood and characterizes our entire lives. It is therefore fundamental to maintain narrative competence throughout life, even when the cognitive competencies are impaired, as in the case of dementia. The stories collected during the experimental sessions were evaluated from different points of view: length, terminology, emotional content and coherence. The results show that interacting with Paro, unlike Sugar, stimulates storytelling, encouraging interaction among participants and supporting the construction of more emotionally intense content.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2016 25th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN)
    Place of PublicationPiscataway
    PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
    Pages318-323
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-3929-6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event25th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2016) - Columbia University, Teachers College, New York, United States
    Duration: 26 Aug 201631 Aug 2016
    Conference number: 25
    http://ro-man2016.org/

    Conference

    Conference25th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2016)
    Abbreviated title(RO-MAN2016)
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityNew York
    Period26/08/1631/08/16
    Internet address

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