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Embodied cognitive science

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Embodied Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary field of research whose aim is to explain the mechanisms underlying intelligent behavior. It is comprised of three main methodological thrusts:

1. The building of robotic agents capable of engaging in tasks that require realtime adaptive behavior (as opposed to engineered solutions seen in industrial machines.)

2. The formation of general principles of intelligent behavior.

3. The modeling of psychological and biological systems in a holistic manner that includes both the brain and the body as a single entity.

Embodied Cog Sci borrows heavily from the philosophy of Embodiment and research fields related to this philosophy, namely Psychology, Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence. Researchers in Embodied Cog Sci occasionally do talk about issues of free will and anthropomorphism.

An introductory account of embodied cognitive science is given by Rolf Pfeifer, in his book Understanding Intelligence, co-authored by Christian Scheier. The embodied approach to the study of cognition is exemplified by the research and work of the late Francisco Varela of CNRS. The character of Varela's work demonstrates the interdisciplinary nature of the embodied approach.

From the perspective of neuroscience, research in this field was led by Gerald Edelman of the Neurosciences Institute at La Jolla, and J. A. Scott Kelso of FAU. From the perspective of psychology, research by Michael Turvey and Eleanor Rosch. From the perspective of language acquisition, Eric Lenneberg and Philip Rubin at Haskins Laboratories. From the perspective of autonomous agent design, early work is sometimes attributed to Rodney Brooks or Valentino Braitenberg.

General Principles of Intelligent Behavior Edit

In the formation of general principles of intelligent behavior, Pfeifer intended to be contrary to older principles given in Traditional Artificial Intelligence. The most dramatic difference is that the principles are applicable only to situated robotic agents in the real world, a domain where Traditional Artificial Intelligence showed the least promise.

Principle of Parallel, Loosely-coupled Processes :: An alternative to hierarchical methods of knowledge and action selection. This design principle differs most importantly from the Sense-Think-Act cycle of traditional AI. Since it does not involve this famous cycle, it is not affected by the Frame problem.

Principle of Sensory-Motor Coordination :: Ideally, internal mechanisms in an agent should give rise to things like memory and choice-making in an emergent fashion, rather than being prescriptively programmed from the beginning. These kinds of things are allowed to emerge as the agent interacts with the environment. The motto is, build less assumptions into the agent's controller now, so that learning can be more robust and idiosyncratic in the future.

Principle of Cheap Design and Redundancy :: Cheap design is a wink to the mass production of robots, and also a reference to the fact that an agent can still exhibit surprising behavior without a lot of internal processing.

Principle of Ecological Balance :: This is more a theory than a principle, but its implications are widespread. Its claim is that the internal processing of an agent cannot be made more complex unless there is a corresponding increase in complexity of the motors, limbs, and sensors of the agent. In other words, the extra complexity added to the brain of a simple robot will not create any discernable change in its behavior. The robot's morphology must already contain the complexity in itself to allow enough "breathing room" for more internal processing to develop.

The Value Principle :: This was the architecture developed in the Darwin III robot of Gerald Edelman. It relies heavily on connectionism.

References Edit

  • Braitenberg, Valentino (1986). Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. ISBN 0262521121
  • Brooks, Rodney A. (1999). Cambrian Intelligence: The Early History of the New AI. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. ISBN 0262522632
  • Clark, Andy. (1998). Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. ISBN 0262531569
  • Clark, Andy. (2004). Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195177517
  • Edelman, G. Wider than the Sky (Yale University Press, 2004) ISBN 0-300-10229-1
  • Fowler, C., Rubin, P. E., Remez, R. E., & Turvey, M. T. (1980). Implications for speech production of a general theory of action. In B. Butterworth (Ed.), Language Production, Vol. I: Speech and Talk (pp. 373-420). New York: Academic Press. ISBN 0121475018
  • Gibbs, Raymond W. Jr. (2005). Embodiment and Cognitive Science. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521010497
  • Johnson, Mark and Rohrer, Tim. (2006). We Are Live Creatures: Embodiment, American Pragmatism, and the Cognitive Organism. In Body, Language, and Mind, vol. 1. Zlatev, Jordan; Ziemke, Tom; Frank, Roz; Dirven, René (eds.). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Kelso, J. A. Scott. (1995). Dynamic Patterns: The Self-Organization of Brain and Behavior. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. ISBN 0262611317
  • Ladefoged, Peter. (1980). Preliminaries to Linguistic Phonetics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226467872
  • Lakoff, George and Nuñez, Rafael. (2001). Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into Being. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0465037712
  • Lenneberg, Eric H. (1967). Biological Foundations of Language. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471526266
  • Liberman, A. M., Cooper, F. S., Shankweiler, D. P., & M. Studdert-Kennedy. (1967). Perception of the speech code. Psychological Review, 74, 431-461.
  • Liberman, Alvin M. (1996). Speech: A Special Code. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. ISBN 0262121921
  • McNeill, David. (2005). Gesture and Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226514625
  • McNeill, David. (1996). Hand and Mind: What Gestures Reveal About Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226561348
  • Port, Robert F. and vanGelder, Tim. (1995). Mind as Motion: Explorations in the Dynamics of Cognition. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. ISBN 0262161508
  • Pfeifer, R., Scheier, C., Understanding Intelligence (MIT Press, 2001) ISBN 0-262-66125-X
  • Rohrer, Tim. (2005). Image Schemata in the Brain In From Perception to Meaning: Image Schemas in Cognitive Linguistics, Beate Hampe and Joe Grady, eds., Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 165-196.
  • Rohrer, Tim. (2006). The Body in Space: Dimensions of embodiment In Body, Language and Mind, vol. 2. Zlatev, Jordan; Ziemke, Tom; Frank, Roz; Dirven, René (eds.). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Rubin, P., Baer, T., & Mermelstein, P. (1981). An articulatory synthesizer for perceptual research. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 70, 321-328.
  • Varela, Francisco J., Thompson, Evan T., and Rosch, Eleanor. (1992). The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. ISBN

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