The emergence of action sequences from spatial attention: Insight from rodent-like robots

Mitchinson, B., Pearson, M., Pipe, A. G. and Prescott, T. J. (2012) The emergence of action sequences from spatial attention: Insight from rodent-like robots. In: Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Barcelona, Spain, July, 2012. Available from:

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Animal behaviour is rich, varied, and smoothly integrated. One plausible model of its generation is that behavioural sub-systems compete to command effectors. In small terrestrial mammals, many behaviours are underpinned by foveation, since important effectors (teeth, tongue) are co-located with foveal sensors (microvibrissae, lips, nose), suggesting a central role for foveal selection and foveation in generating behaviour. This, along with research on primate visual attention, inspires an alternative hypothesis, that integrated behaviour can be understood as sequences of foveations with selection being amongst foveation targets based on their salience. Here, we investigate control architectures for a biomimetic robot equipped with a rodent-like vibrissal tactile sensing system, explicitly comparing a salience map model for action guidance with an earlier model implementing behaviour selection. Both architectures generate life-like action sequences, but in the salience map version higher-level behaviours are an emergent consequence of following a shifting focus of attention.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:brain-based robotics, action selection, tactile sensing, be- havioural integration, saliency map
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics
ID Code:18387
Deposited By: Dr M. Pearson
Deposited On:21 Jan 2013 10:18
Last Modified:22 Feb 2017 11:43

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