New project studies Machine Understanding of Mother-Infant Interaction

Staff Scientist Pasi Pertilä and University Instructor Mervi Vänskä have received funding from Emil Aaltosen Säätiö for a new project that studies the utilization of new technologies in the assessment of early interaction between mothers and babies.

Mother and baby interactingMachine Understanding of Mother-Infant Interaction project examines the early dyadic parent-infant interaction that forms the genesis for human development. The interaction between parents and infants consists of different types of information including social-behavioral signals with multimodal sensory, vocal and emotional processes. The main goal of the project is to explore the use of high-fidelity audio-visual and three-dimensional material to help identify and develop the analysis of relevant features in dyadic interaction.

Traditionally, trained psychology professionals observe and manually code the interaction using a standardized coding system, which is an accurate and reliable method, but it can also be time-consuming and expensive. In this project, the aim is to automate the process by utilizing state-of-the-art technologies and equipment. The parent-infant play sessions are recorded at Tampere University’s CIVIT laboratory, where technologies such as 3D motion capture, eye-tracking, spatial audio and multiple camera views are utilized. After that, behavioural analysis is conducted.

Machine Understanding of Mother-Infant Interaction is a multidisciplinary project in which two faculties are involved: Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences and the Faculty of Social Sciences. The project combines 3D Media Group’s expertise on immersive technologies and the psychology unit’s expertise on early mother-infant interaction.

If you are interested in finding out more about the project, please contact Sari Peltonen or Mervi Vänskä.

Emil Aaltosen säätiö: Projects that received funding in 2020

Invitation to take part in the study (in Finnish)

Mervi Vänskä

  • University Instructor
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Tampere University
  • +358505099235
  • Available by appointment 

More information