In the last decades, the introduction of robotic devices in fields such as industries, dangerous environments, and medicine has notably improved working practices. The availability of a new generation of humanoid robots for everyday's activities in human populated environments can entail an even wider revolution. Indeed, not only domestic activities but also social behaviors will adapt to a continuous interaction with a completely new kind of social agents. In the light of this scenario, it becomes crucial to design robots suited to natural cooperation with humans, and contextually to develop quantitative methods to measure human-robot interaction (HRI). Motor resonance, i. e. the activation of the observer's motor control system during action perception, has been suggested to be a key component of human social behavior, and as such is thought to play a central role for HRI. In the literature there are reports of robots that have been used as tools to understand the human brain. The aim of this review is to offer a different perspective in suggesting that human responses can become a tool to measure and improve robot interactional attitudes. In the first part of the paper the notion of motor resonance and its neurophysiological correlates are introduced. Subsequently we describe motor resonance studies on the perception of robotic agents' behavior. Finally we introduce proactive gaze and automatic imitation, two techniques adopted in human motor resonance studies, and we present the advantages which would follow their application to HRI
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