An Emotional Agent for Moral Impairment Rehabilitation in TBI Patients

The ability to identify the emotions of others is a key component of what is known as social cognition. Narratives exploit this mechanism to create an emotional bond with the characters and to maintain the engagement of the audience throughout the story. In this paper, we illustrate a case study in emotion understanding in stories that exploits a computational agent to explore emotion impairment in a group of traumatic brain injured people. The study focuses on moral emotions, aiming to investigate the differences in moral functioning that characterize traumatic brain injured patients. After comparing the understanding of the moral and emotional facets of the agent’s behavior in traumatic brain injured patients and in neurologically intact controls, slight–yet meaningful–differences were observed between the two groups. We describe the test methodology and results, highlighting their implications for the design of rehabilitation applications based on virtual agents.

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