SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
Robotics and metaverse: the less biased models to investigate the circuits underlying human pheromone perception 
Sara Invitto1, Andrea Schito1,2, Vincenzo Ciccarese2, Andrea Mazzatenta3, Luca Raggioli 4, Angelo Cangelosi4
1INSPIRE Lab, Laboratory on cognitive and psychophysiological olfactory processes, DiSTeBA, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy
2Istituto Santa Chiara, Lecce, Italy
3University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
4Manchester Centre for Robotics and AI University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) and metaverse use models of augmented perception: AI and a human-like morphic aspect. This led us to understand that the greater the similarity with humans, the more ‘ecological’ will be the HRI and the metaverse. In these augmented sensory integrations, the olfactory interaction (i.e, social odor  SO), seems to be missing, which is a fundamental sensory model in the relational and evolutionary process. Starting from this basis will be described two studies carried out by integrating SO (i.e., putative pheromones Androsten and Estratetraenol) and a control odor (i.e., Vaseline oil) in communication mediums (CM) and in HRI investigated in a clinical sample (i.e., developmental pervasive disorders) and in healthy subjects. These studies propose a model that analyzes the relationship connected to gender-related differences, and the effect of putative human pheromones (HPP), evaluated both through behavioral data (i.e., sense of co-presence and trust) and through electrophysiological responses (i.e., transfer entropy analysis in EEG). The main results show how the integration of the SO aspect can modulate the response of the interaction with the CM and how this response is not conscious, which is directly related to smell but is mediated by an implicit pattern elicited by the HPP. The HRI can be extremely useful for evaluating the effect of pheromones in interaction because it contains a component of social interaction and allows to modulate and measure the effect of HPP in relational responses in a controlled and bias-free manner. Moreover, in the metaverse, the SO component must have its own space, either neuroprosthetic or augmented. This will allow a more ecological interaction in HRI and in the metaverse and will facilitate the therapeutic effect of the relationship.