Meet Cordelia Horns

Cordelia Horns is a Master’s student working on a project with Eric Libby and Niclas Kaiser on human interaction

When did you start your Master’s project?

January 2021.

What led you to do your master’s in IceLab, with Eric Libby and Niclas Kaiser?

I wanted to try something new outside my comfort zone of photonics, so I asked Martin Rosvall if he knew of a topic. There had just been a lunch pitch by Niclas so we went along with that.

What are you researching?

I am looking for the essence of human interaction in experimental data of people in conversations.

Why is this important or interesting?

Most of us have a pretty good intuition for when we are in a well-working, natural interaction, but it is actually really hard to scientifically pinpoint what makes us feel that. If we were able to do that, we could for example help people with autism navigate life more easily or improve therapist-patient relationships. Or we could make humanoid robots react more convincingly, for all the sci-fi nerds out there.

What do you think the most interesting thing is that you have learned so far about your project, or a result from your work?

This is oversimplified but in one experiment, the participants’ bodies seemed to behave more similarly when distracted while talking. I suspect they were making up for the reduced attention. Another thing: synchrony in people behaves oddly and people get very, very complicated when you reduce them to their physiology.

Favorite part of working in IceLab?

The people. Seriously, everybody is so welcoming and supportive even about little things. And the gigantic aquarium of course.

What are you thinking of doing next?

Taking a deep breath and following my nose.

What do you nerd out on in your personal life?

The student big band Snösvänget, improvisation theatre and the dog that I will adopt once I am a grown-up.

Excited about IceLab and wish you could join us as a team member? Our researchers often have opportunities for Master’s students, PhD scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships.  Browse our currently open positions or contact a researcher directly and see what options we have for you.

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