cognitive science

Joint Workshop on Cognitive Robotics and Cognitive Science

This workshop will be held at IIMAS, UNAM, Mexico City

Date: June 26, 2019

For further information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/481838489227218/

Abstracts:

Relevancia del Contexto y la Tarea para la Flexibilidad Conductual: una Arquitectura Computacional para la Robótica Cognitiva

Speaker: Diana Valenzo Macías

El presente proyecto busca inspirarse en el marco explicativo del procesamiento predictivo (PP) para modelar una arquitectura computacional cognitiva que codifique el contexto y la tarea para la ejecución de acciones en un agente artificial. El proyecto ha sido motivado por el PP debido a su interesante propuesta de la inversión del sentido en el que se pensaba que la información sensorial es procesada y a sus estrategias basadas en conocimiento estructurado dependiente del contexto y la tarea a realizar. Esta teoría propone que el cerebro se encuentra constantemente anticipándose a las entradas sensoriales que recibe mediante la generación de predicciones, enfatizando la importancia del flujo de información descendente o top-down de la percepción y la acción. El PP implica la minimización del error predictivo, mismo que se genera de la comparación de las predicciones con las entradas sensoriales y que se procesa vía ascendente o bottom-up (Clark, 2015). Este proyecto está enmarcado dentro de la robótica cognitiva, un área de investigación que se inspira en teorıas y modelos de disciplinas como la psicología y las neurociencias para investigar modelos computacionales biológicamente plausibles en agentes artificiales. Para realizar esta investigación se tomará como base el aprendizaje de máquina, en especial el aprendizaje profundo. Además, se retomarán los principios propuestos por la arquitectura cognitiva computacional denominada SOIMA (Self-Organized Internal Models Architecture, por sus siglas en inglés). La SOIMA integra los modelos internos -inverso y directo- en una sola arquitectura mediante el uso de mapas autoorganizables (SOMs, por sus siglas en inglés Self-Organizing Maps) que generan clusters o grupos de información de distintas modalidades sensoriales (visual, propioceptiva, táctil) o motoras. De esta forma, esta arquitectura permite modelar esquemas sensorimotrices multimodales en agentes (Escobar-Juárez et al., 2016). Mediante este proyecto se desea investigar e implementar el contexto y la tarea en un agente artificial. Esto se logrará basándose en la SOIMA y otras herramientas de aprendizaje profundo, buscando estudiar la importancia del contexto y la tarea en la planeación y ejecución de una acción.

Self-optimization in a Hopfield neural network based on the C. elegans connectome

Authors: Alejandro Morales and Tom Froese Speaker: Alejandro Morales

It has recently been demonstrated that a Hopfield neural network that learns its own attractor configurations, for instance by repeatedly resetting the network to an arbitrary state and applying Hebbian learning after convergence, is able to form an associative memory of its attractors and thereby facilitate future convergences on better attractors. This process of structural self-optimization has so far only been demonstrated on relatively small artificial neural networks with random or highly regular and constrained topologies, and it remains an open question to what extent it can be generalized to more biologically realistic topologies. In this work, we therefore test this process by running it on the connectome of the widely studied nematode worm, C. elegans, the only living being whose neural system has been mapped in its entirety. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that the self-optimization process can be generalized to bigger and biologically plausible networks. We conclude by speculating that the reset-convergence mechanism could find a biological equivalent in the sleep-wake cycle in C. elegans.

Análisis de la temporalidad en modelos internos

Speaker: Eduardo Raymundo Rojas Salazar

Durante los últimos 50 años, numerosas investigaciones realizadas principalmente en el campo de las neurociencias (Wolpert y Ghahramani, 2000; Jordan y Rumelhart, 1992; Flanagan y Wing, 1997) han sustentado la hipótesis de que el sistema nervioso central (SNC) genera modelos internos, estos se construyen a través de la realización de asociaciones entre información sensorial y motora. Dichos modelos dotan al SNC con la capacidad para ensamblar y ejecutar planes motores prediciendo las consecuencias sensoriales de una acción incluso sin la ejecución de esta. Dentro de la robótica cognitiva, los modelos internos han cobrado relevancia debido que representan una alternativa para lograr que los agentes artificiales se adapten a un medio no controlado y cambiante, generando conductas motoras satisfactorias ante situaciones novedosas. Sin embargo, aún quedan preguntas pendientes fundamentales acerca de funcionamiento de los modelos internos relacionadas principalmente con las características temporales del procesamiento, las cuales podrían estar determinadas por diferencias de procesamiento entre las distintas modalidades, la interacción entre estas, así como la magnitud del error en el control motor. El presente trabajo busca profundizar en los aspectos temporales de las predicciones mediante la implementación de una tarea de levantamiento de objetos con la intención de proponer un modelo más amplio sobre el funcionamiento de los modelos internos que permita mejorar las implementaciones en agentes artificiales.

From embodied interaction to compositional referential communication: A minimal agent-based model without dedicated communication channels

Authors: Jorge I. Campos and Tom Froese

Speaker: Jorge I. Campos

Referential communication is a “representation-hungry” behavior, and the bee waggle dance is a classical example of referential communication in nature. We used an evolutionary robotics approach to create a simulation model of a minimalist example of this situation. Two structurally identical agents engage in embodied interaction such that one of them can find a distant target in 2D space that only the other could perceive. This is a challenging task: during their interaction the agents must disambiguate translational and communicative movements, allocate distinct behavioral roles (sender versus receiver), and switch behaviors from communicative to target seeking behavior. We found an evolutionary convention with compositionality akin to the waggle dance, correlating duration and angle of interaction with distance and angle to target, respectively. We propose that this behavior is more appropriately described as interactive mindshaping, rather than as the transfer of informational content.

El Sentido de Agencia en el marco de los Modelos Internos

Speaker: Dadaí Alejandra Astorga Méndez

Bajo la premisa que tener un cuerpo es necesario para la cognición y, por lo tanto, un requisito previo para el comportamiento inteligente (Pfeifer y Bongard, 2006; Smith y Gasser, 2005), la Robótica Cognitiva Corporizada, centra su atención en el diseño de agentes artificiales capaces de realizar tareas cognitivas de forma autónoma. Un tema central en ello, consiste en estudiar, inspirados en modelos provenientes de las ciencias cognitivas, el proceso mediante el cual los agentes aprenden a través de la interacción con su entorno, (Lara, Astorga, Mendoza-Bock, Pardo, Escobar y Ciria, 2018). Tomando en cuenta lo anterior, posiblemente, uno de los principales retos a resolver, es lograr que un agente artificial pueda interactuar de manera efectiva con el ambiente, de modo que, logre construir conexiones causales entre su sistema y procesos internos y el mundo externo (Ziemke, 2001), que le permitan tener la capacidad de diferenciar entre las consecuencias que tienen sus acciones en el mundo de aquellas que son producidas por alguna causa externa, es decir, agentes artificiales que presenten formas básicas de autoconciencia corporal, como lo es el Sentido de Agencia (SoA). El SoA es un componente clave de la autoconciencia corporal y refiere a la experiencia que informa a un agente sobre su influencia causal en el mundo (Braun, 2017). Permitiéndole separar los movimientos propios de los inducidos por el entorno o por otros agentes (Kannape y Blanke, 2012). Se ha establecido que el SoA se deriva de la coherencia entre nuestra intención de actuar, la ejecución voluntaria de comandos motrices específicos y los efectos derivados de ello en el mundo. La presente investigación tiene como objetivo, mediante la realización de experimentos con agentes naturales, la construcción de un modelo coherente que permita comprender la contribución de las señales motrices, perceptuales y contextuales en la emergencia del SoA.

Self-optimization in networks using unsupervised learning

Speaker: Raúl González-Cruz

Many natural dynamical systems have behaviors that can be understood, for example, as the local minimization of energy. If a dynamical system with multiple point attractors is released from an arbitrary initial condition, it will relax into a configuration that locally resolves the constraints of interdependent state variables. However, when there are many conflicting interdependencies between variables, this method will take many attempts for finding a configuration that globally optimizes these constraints. In this article, we show that a simple distributed mechanism can alter a dynamical system such that it finds lower energy configurations, more reliably and more quickly, applying an unsupervised learning technique known as Hebbian learning. If it is applied to the connections of a simple dynamical system undergoing repeated relaxation, the system will develop an associative memory that modifies the dynamics of the system such that its ability to find configurations that minimize total system energy and globally resolve conflicts between interdependent variables. We investigate the interaction of two well-known properties of complex systems that have each been independently well studied in the Hopfield network: The energy minimization behavior of dynamical systems, which can be interpreted as a local optimization of constraints; and Hebbian learning with its capacity to implement associative memory. The model is analogous in some circumstances to the behavior of multiple autonomous agents in a complex system, such as servers in a grid computing system or people in a social network, so we propose the idea of implementing associative memory in different distributed complex adaptive systems and discuss its effects on system behavior.

Evolución de señalización y altruismo en agentes artificiales Evolution of signaling and altruism in artificial agents

Speaker: José Manuel Pardo Cruz

En este trabajo intentaremos mostrar si la robótica evolutiva se presenta como una herramienta eficaz, para el estudio de los procesos evolutivos que conducen al surgimiento de habilidades cognitivas en organismos biológicos, para ello modelaremos dichos procesos utilizando algoritmos evolutivos y redes neuronales artificiales en agentes autónomos simulados.

Nos centraremos en casos que han resultado particularmente difíciles de tratar para la robótica evolutiva, como lo son el surgimiento del altruismo y la comunicación; intentaremos encontrar las condiciones mínimas necesarias para que las conductas de señalización y altruismo surjan, modelando procesos propios de la evolución en agentes artificiales simulados, lo cual podría a largo plazo permitirnos plantear una analogía con su surgimiento en agentes biológicos.

Applying Social Network Analysis to Agent-Based Models: A Case Study of Task Allocation in Swarm Robotics Inspired by Ant Foraging Behavior

Authors: Georgina Montserrat Reséndiz-Benhumea, Tom Froese, Gabriel Ramos- Fernández and Sandra E. Smith-Aguilar

Speaker: Georgina Montserrat Reséndiz-Benhumea

Social network analysis and agent-based modeling are two approaches used to study biological and artificial multi-agent systems. However, so far there is little work integrating these two approaches. Here we present a first step toward integration. We developed a novel approach that allows the creation of a social network on the basis of measures of interactions in an agent-based model for purposes of social network analysis. We illustrate this approach by applying it to a minimalist case study in swarm robotics loosely inspired by ant foraging behavior. For simplicity, we measured a network’s inter-agent connection weights as the total number of interactions between mobile agents. This measure allowed us to construct weighted directed networks from the simulation results. We then applied standard methods from social network analysis, specifically focusing on node centralities, to find out which are the most influential nodes in the network. This revealed that task allocation emerges and induces two classes of agents, namely foragers and loafers, and that their relative frequency depends on food availability. This finding is consistent with the behavioral analysis, thereby showing the compatibility of these two approaches.

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5º Coloquio Internacional de Ciencias Cognitivas

El Centro de Investigación de Ciencias Cognitivas (CINCCO) invita al 5º Coloquio Internacional de Ciencias Cognitivas, que tiene por objetivos:

  • Ser un encuentro académico entre diversos actores, disciplinas e instituciones involucradas en las CC, tanto del país como del ámbito internacional;
  • Fomentar el diálogo transdisciplinar e intercambio conceptual desde las diferentes perspectivas involucradas (teórica, experimental, fenomenológica, aplicada, etc.);
  • Actualizar el conocimiento y difundir los avances de investigación en torno a la Cognición, con una derrama en distintos sectores de la sociedad;
  • Consolidar progresivamente este campo de conocimiento en la región, el país y Latinoamérica.

Visita el sitio web del evento para conocer el programa y registrar tu asistencia.

¡Te esperamos!

March 2019 ENSO seminar

Dear ENSO community

We are delighted to announce that our March 2019 ENSO seminar will be given by Hanne De Jaegher, of the University of the Basque Country, on “Loving and knowing. Reflections for an engaged epistemology.”

The live event will be next week, on the 7th March, at 10.00 UTC.

Details of the talk, including the time in your own timezone, can be found on the ENSO webpage. The abstract is below.

As ever, if you would like to join us in the live session to participate in the discussion you would be welcome to do so. If you are interested in doing so, please send an email to mde@matthewegbert.com or marek.mcgann@gmail.com and we will send an invitation link to the YouTube Live session when things kick off. We welcome all researchers with an interest in participating.

The opportunity for discussion will continue on the ENSO webpage after the talk also.

If you or your research group have any news and announcements you would like brought to the attention of the ENSO community, please send details to either of us in advance of the talk. The simplest way to do this would be to share a a google-slides presentation with either of us (please limit yourself to a single slide). (more…)

CFP: SITUATED MINDS AND FLEXIBLE COGNITION EuroCogSci 2019

Call for Papers, Posters and Contributed Symposia

The conference EuroCogSci 2019 aims at providing a platform for discussing the most recent developments in Cognitive Science. It will feature contributed papers, symposia, and posters covering all subfields of cognitive science, bringing together a large number of experts from Europe and overseas.

Venue: Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Start: Monday, September 2nd, 2019
End: Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Keynote Speakers
Lawrence Barsalou (University of Glasgow), Julia Fischer (Universität Göttingen), Patrick Haggard (UCL, London), Asifa Majid (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics), Brian McLaughlin (Rutgers University), Natalie Sebanz (CEU, Hungary), John Spencer (University of East Anglia)

Invited Symposium I: Situated Robotics and its Applications Minoru Asada (Osaka University) and Etienne Burdet (Imperial College London)

Invited Symposium II: Evolutionary Robotics Dario Floreano (EPFL) and Partica A. Vargas (Heriot-Watt University)

Invited Symposium III: Theory of Mind and Its Developments Ágnes M. Kovács (CEU), Beate Priewasser (Salzburg), and Albert Newen (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)

Local organizing team
Albert Newen (main organizer), Sabrina Coninx, Onur Güntürkün, Dorothea Kolossa, Beate Krickel, Jonas Rose, Tobias Schlicht, Gregor Schöner, Alfredo Vernazzani, Markus Werning, Pascale Willemsen
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[EUCog News] 11 PhD / 12 Postdoc positions, Science of Intelligence research, Berlin

Science of Intelligence Berlin – Cluster of Excellence

11 PhD/ 12 Postdoc positions; with principal investigators at six participating institutions.

Cross interdisciplinary research in artificial intelligence, machine learning, control, robotics, computer vision, behavioral psychology, cognitive science, psychology, educational science, neuroscience, and philosophy.

Starting dates:  Summer/Fall 2019

Duration of postion: 3 years

Salary level: TV-L 13, 100% for all positions

What are the principles of intelligence, shared by all forms of intelligence, no matter whether artificial or biological, whether robot, computer program, human, or animal? And how can we apply these principles to create intelligent technology? Answering these questions – in an ethically responsible way – is the central scientific objective of the new Cluster of Excellence Science of Intelligence: www.scioi.de

Researchers from a large number of analytic and synthetic disciplines – artificial intelligence, machine learning, control, robotics, computer vision, behavioral biology, cognitive science, psychology, educational science, neuroscience, and philosophy – join forces to create a multi-disciplinary research program across universities and research institutes in Berlin. Our approach is driven by the insight that any method, concept, and theory must demonstrate its merits by contributing to the intelligent behavior of a synthetic artifact, such as a robot or a computer program. These artifacts represent the shared “language” across disciplines, enabling the validation, combination, transfer, and extension of research results. Thus we expect to attain cohesion among disciplines, which currently produce their own theories and empirical findings about aspects of intelligence.

Interdisciplinary research projects have been defined which combine analytic and synthetic research and which address key aspects of individual, social, and collective intelligence. In addition the Science of Intelligence graduate program promotes the cross-disciplinary education of young scientists on a Master, PhD, and postdoctoral level. All PhD students associated with the cluster are expected to join the Science of Intelligence doctoral program: www.scioi.de/education/doctoral-program (more…)

CFP: Andy Clark and Critics Conference

Andy Clark and Critics

May 31, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Bayes Centre, University of Edinburgh

47 Potterrow, Edinburgh EH8 9BT, UK

Andy Clark is a leading philosopher and cognitive scientist. The fruits of his work have been diverse and lasting. They have had an extraordinary impact throughout philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, and robotics. The extended mind hypothesis, the power of parallel distributed processing, the role of language in opening up novel paths for thinking, the flexible interface between biological minds and artificial technologies, the significance of representation in explanations of intelligent behaviour, the promise of the predictive processing framework to unify the cognitive sciences: these are just some of the ideas explored in Clark’s work that have been picked up by many researchers, and that have been contributing to intense debate across the sciences of mind and brain.

In occasion of the launch of the book “Andy Clark and his Critics” (OUP), a free one-day conference will be held at the University of Edinburgh on May the 31st 2019. The aim of the conference is to take an interdisciplinary, critical and forward-looking approach to Andy Clark’s work, bringing together researchers working in various fields of philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Keynote talks will be given by Professors Barbara Webb (University of Edinburgh, Biorobotics), Jesse Prinz (CUNY, Philosophy), and Andy Clark (University of Edinburgh/Sussex, Philosophy). Three additional slots will be available for contributed papers.

Contributions from any area of philosophy or cognitive science related to Clark’s are welcome. Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:

    • The extended mind
    • 4E cognition
    • “Natural born cyborgs”, mind and technology
    • Language and “magic words”
    • Neurocomputational approaches to the mind
    • Relationships between these topics across Clark’s work

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TRENDS IN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 4th Avant Conference 2019

Fragmentation of Cognition: troubles of interdisciplinary explanations

25 – 27 X 2019

Porto, Portugal

#avantconference2019

This conference is devoted to current interdisciplinary research on cognition and science, as well as to reflection on interdisciplinarity itself. This year, we would like to focus on the very issue of interdisciplinarity, which is usually tacitly accepted as valuable, and explanatory problems in interdisciplinary research, with some emphasis on cognitive sciences. There is a lack of such systematic analyzes and reflexes. We suggest taking on such problems (but without being limited to them) as:

  • (1) What kind of interdisciplinarity, methodological or institutional, is at stake for a given problem domain?
  • (2) What are explanatory difficulties in interdisciplinary research?
  • (3) Is integration (theoretical, problematic, methodological, or institutional) desirable in such research?
  • (4) Should interdisciplinary approach be pluralistic?
  • (5) Could–and if so, to what extent–participants in non-scientific fields (such as artists, industry, commercial entities) be involved in such research?
  • (6) What kind of interdisciplinary character does have research on cognition?
  • (7) Are cognitive science problems typical for all interdisciplinary studies?

Relevant areas: interdisciplinarity; multidisciplinarity; transdisciplinarity; philosophy of science; social studies of science; cognitive science; neuroscience; psychology; sociology; linguistics; anthropology; cognitive ecology; ethics; feminism in science; research on art; theories of explanation; research practice; human-technology interaction; models

Invited speakers: Mieke Boon (University of Twente), Sabina Leonelli (University of Exeter, Uskali Mäki (Universuty of Helsinki), and Paul Thagard (University of Waterloo)

Important dates: January 25 – Registration and Abstract Submission start; May 31 – Deadline for abstracts submission; June 22 – Notification of acceptance; September 30 – Registration fee (more…)

CALL FOR PAPERS – Adaptive Behavior Special issue on “Post-cognitivist approaches to perceptual learning”

The classical cognitivist theory in cognitive science depicts perception as the result of information processing of sense data, which is transformed into a representation of the original information to be useful for the human mind. In the same vein, perceptual learning has been understood as an enrichment of sensations by representational mechanisms. In this view, the improvement in performance must be understood as the effect of a sophistication of computational algorithms entailing a better interpretation of sensory stimuli.

At the end of the 20th century, criticism against the cognitivist framework and its ideas of perception, cognition, and representation started to arise. Some of these arguments crystallized in alternative theories of cognition that offers an innovative way to understand perception and, consequently, perceptual learning.

The aim of this special issue is to document the theories and research that highlight a “4E cognition” approach to perceptual learning. The issue is focused on contributions from the current panorama of post-cognitivism with an emphasis on theories from the ecological, enactive and sensorimotor accounts.

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21st ENSO Seminar: TONY CHEMERO. Radical Embodiment and Real Cognition

The 21st ENSO Seminar will be presented by Tony Chemero!

Next week, Thursday 8th March @ 3pm UTC, Tony will present on Radical Embodiment and Real Cognition. The details of the talk, including the time in your own timezone, can be found on the ENSO webpage.

Abstract

A persistent criticism of radical embodied cognitive science is that it will be impossible to explain “real cognition” without invoking mental representations. This talk will provide an account of explicit, real-time thinking of the kind we engage in when we imagine counter-factual situations, remember the past, and plan for the future. We will first present a very general non-representational account of explicit thinking, based on pragmatist philosophy of science. Then we will present a more detailed instantiation of this general account drawing on nonlinear dynamics and ecological psychology. This talk is based on a paper co-authored with Gui Sanches de Oliveira and Vicente Raja.

 

 

CALL FOR PAPERS – Adaptive Behavior Special issue: “Spotlight on 4E Cognition research in Colombia”

The last couple of decades in cognitive science have seen an increasing interest in the philosophical and scientific study of embodied, embedded, extended, and enactive cognition – so-called “4E cognition.” By now theories of 4E cognition have matured and a lot of evidence has been collected, which consequently has reshaped our understanding of the relationship between an agent’s brain, body, and its material and sociocultural world. Despite their differences in emphasis, the various strands of 4E cognition research are united in proposing that an agent’s cognitive activity is bodily mediated, especially by the context-sensitive deployment of sensorimotor capacities.

While these interdisciplinary approaches have largely been developed in Europe, the United States, and Australia, other regions have also been influenced by this growing movement and have started to advance their own original contributions. The aim of this special issue is, therefore, to put a spotlight on 4E cognition research from one such region, Colombia. It intends to do so in two respects: first, to explore the current state and breadth of the field in Colombia; second, to critically examine questions and problems elicited by this Colombian research, focusing on open challenges, with the aim to articulate more precise arguments for and against key claims advanced by 4E cognition research.

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