@inproceedings { leite10, abstract = {Empathy is a very important capability in human social relationships. If we aim to build artificial companions (agents or robots) capable of establishing long-term relationships with users, they should be able to understand the user’s affective state and react accordingly, that is, behave in an empathic manner. Recent advances in affect recognition research show that it is possible to automatically analyse and interpret affective expressions displayed by humans. However, affect recognition in naturalistic environments is still a challenging issue and there are many unanswered questions related to how a virtual agent or a social robot should react to those states, and how that improves the interaction. We have developed a scenario in which a social robot recognises the user’s affective state and displays empathic behaviours. In this paper, we present part of the results of a study assessing the influence of the robot’s empathic behaviour on the user’s understanding of the interaction.}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Affect Interaction in Natural Environments (AFFINE'10), ACM Multimedia 2010, Florence, Italy}, keywords = {Affect recognition, empathy, artificial companions;Affective Computing;Social Robotic Companions;}, month = {October}, publisher = {ACM}, title = {Closing the Loop: from Affect Recognition to Empathic Interaction}, year = {2010}, author = {Iolanda Leite and André Pereira and Samuel Mascarenhas and Ginevra Castellano and Carlos Martinho and Rui Prada and Ana Paiva} }