The University of Arizona

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Cog Sci Brown Bag Seminar

DateFriday, November 13, 2009
Time12:00 pm
LocationGS 906
SpeakerRandall Beer
TitleProfessor of Informatics - Cognitive Science, Computer Science
AffiliationSchool of Informatics and Computing Indiana University-Bloomington

Evolution and Analysis of Minimally-Cognitive Behavior in Model Agents

ABSTRACT: Interest in a situated, embodied, and dynamical perspective on behavior and cognition is steadily growing. However, the conceptual foundations of this approach, as well as the theoretical tools necessary to understand the resulting brain-body-environment systems, are in their infancy. For this reason, we have been exploring the evolution and analysis of model agents exhibiting minimally cognitive behavior. In this talk, I will briefly describe a series of experiments on the evolution of visually-guided behavior, including orientation, catching, perception of passability, object categorization, relational categorization, short-term memory, and selective attention. Then I will describe in more detail recent work on the evolution of relational communication. Our model is loosely based on the waggle dance of honey bees, through which a returning forager bee communicates the direction and distance to a resource to its hive mates. Finally, if time permits, I will also provide a brief overview of our efforts to understand the model brain-body-environment systems that we evolve using the tools of dynamical systems theory.