Why Brains Get Creeped Out by Androids
It’s good to know there’s a scientific reason. Too bad knowing doesn’t make them any less creepy. This one is even creepier than the one below. *shudder*
We’ve all found ourselves in the uncanny valley before. It’s that uneasy feeling you get when viewing a realistic humanoid or CGI person that’s so close to looking human that it seems almost spooky.
The actual “valley” refers to a precipitous drop in “likeability” as onscreen characters and humanoid robots step too far towards being human-like. As in, we enjoy Pixar’s Wall-E and Nintendo’s Mario, but we get the heeby jeebies from the ultra-realistic faces of The Polar Express or the upcoming Tintin movie.
So far, the phenomenon has been described entirely anecdotally, but an international team of researchers, led by Ayse Pinar Saygin of the University of California, San Diego, wanted to find out if the sensation was actually caused by something deep within our brains.