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  • 1.
    Chersi, Fabian
    et al.
    Institute of Sciences and Technologies of Cognition, National Research Council, Rome, Italy.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Borghi, Anna M.
    Institute of Sciences and Technologies of Cognition, National Research Council, Rome, Italy / Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
    Sentence processing: linking language to motor chains2010In: Frontiers in Neurorobotics, ISSN 1662-5218, Vol. 4, article id Article 4Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A growing body of evidence in cognitive science and neuroscience points towards the existence of a deep interconnection between cognition, perception and action. According to this embodied perspective language is grounded in the sensorimotor system and language understanding is based on a mental simulation process (Jeannerod, 2007; Gallese, 2008; Barsalou, 2009). This means that during action words and sentence comprehension the same perception, action, and emotion mechanisms implied during interaction with objects are recruited. Among the neural underpinnings of this simulation process an important role is played by a sensorimotor matching system known as the mirror neuron system (Rizzolatti and Craighero, 2004). Despite a growing number of studies, the precise dynamics underlying the relation between language and action are not yet well understood. In fact, experimental studies are not always coherent as some report that language processing interferes with action execution while others find facilitation. In this work we present a detailed neural network model capable of reproducing experimentally observed influences of the processing of action-related sentences on the execution of motor sequences. The proposed model is based on three main points. The first is that the processing of action-related sentences causes the resonance of motor and mirror neurons encoding the corresponding actions. The second is that there exists a varying degree of crosstalk between neuronal populations depending on whether they encode the same motor act, the same effector or the same action-goal. The third is the fact that neuronal populations’ internal dynamics, which results from the combination of multiple processes taking place at different time scales, can facilitate or interfere with successive activations of the same or of partially overlapping pools.

  • 2.
    Da Lio, Mauro
    et al.
    Dept. of Industrial Engineering University of Trento, Trento, Italy.
    Mazzalai, Alessandro
    Dept. of Industrial Engineering University of Trento, Trento, Italy.
    Windridge, David
    Dept. of Computer Science Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom.
    Svensson, Henrik
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Yueksel, Mehmed
    Robotics Innovation Center - DFKI GmbH German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence Bremen, Germany.
    Gurney, Kevin
    Dept. of Psychology University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
    Saroldi, Andrea
    Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A. Orbassano (TO), Italy.
    Andreone, Luisa
    Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A. Orbassano (TO), Italy.
    Anderson, Sean R.
    Dept. of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
    Heich, Hermann-Josef
    Consulting – Research – Project Management Heich Consult GmbH, Hürth, Germany.
    Exploiting Dream-Like Simulation Mechanisms to Develop Safer Agents for Automated Driving The "Dreams4Cars" EU Research and Innovation Action2017In: 2017 IEEE 20th International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC), IEEE, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Automated driving needs unprecedented levels of reliably and safety before marked deployment. The average human driver fatal accident rate is 1 every 100 million miles. Automated vehicles will have to provably best these figures. This paper introduces the notion of dream-like mechanisms as a simulation technology to produce a large number of hypothetical design and test scenarios - especially focusing on variations of more frequent dangerous and near miss events. Grounded in the simulation hypothesis of cognition, we show here some principles for effective simulation mechanisms and an artificial cognitive system architecture that can learn from the simulated situations.

  • 3.
    Drejing, Karl
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Hemeren, Paul
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Engagement: A traceable motivational concept in human-robot interaction2015In: Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), 2015 International Conference on, IEEE Computer Society, 2015, p. 956-961Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Engagement is essential to meaningful social interaction between humans. Understanding the mechanisms by which we detect engagement of other humans can help us understand how we can build robots that interact socially with humans. However, there is currently a lack of measurable engagement constructs on which to build an artificial system that can reliably support social interaction between humans and robots. This paper proposes a definition, based on motivation theories, and outlines a framework to explore the idea that engagement can be seen as specific behaviors and their attached magnitude or intensity. This is done by the use of data from multiple sources such as observer ratings, kinematic data, audio and outcomes of interactions. We use the domain of human-robot interaction in order to illustrate the application of this approach. The framework further suggests a method to gather and aggregate this data. If certain behaviors and their attached intensities co-occur with various levels of judged engagement, then engagement could be assessed by this framework consequently making it accessible to a robotic platform. This framework could improve the social capabilities of interactive agents by adding the ability to notice when and why an agent becomes disengaged, thereby providing the interactive agent with an ability to reengage him or her. We illustrate and propose validation of our framework with an example from robot-assisted therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder. The framework also represents a general approach that can be applied to other social interactive settings between humans and robots, such as interactions with elderly people.

  • 4.
    Durán, Boris
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Modelling interaction in multi-modal affordance processing with neural dynamics2012In: From Animals to Animats 12: 12th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior, SAB 2012, Odense, Denmark, August 27-30, 2012. Proceedings / [ed] Tom Ziemke, Christian Balkenius, John Hallam, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2012, p. 75-84Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Behavioral studies on the activation of affordances by understanding observation and action sentences on graspable objects show a direct relationship between the canonical orientation of graspable objects, their dimension and the kind of grip required by those objects to be grasped. The present work introduces the concepts of Dynamic Field Theory for modeling the results observed in the behavioral studies previously mentioned. The model was not only able to replicate qualitatively similar results regarding reaction times, but also the identification of same versus different object and the distinction between observable versus action sentences. The model shows the potential of dynamic field theory for the design and implementation of brain inspired cognitive systems. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  • 5.
    Esteban, Pablo G.
    et al.
    Robotics and Multibody Mechanics Research Group, Agile & Human Centered Production and Robotic Systems Research Priority of Flanders Make, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
    Baxter, Paul
    Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
    Belpaeme, Tony
    Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
    Billing, Erik
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Cai, Haibin
    School of Computing, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
    Cao, Hoang-Long
    Robotics and Multibody Mechanics Research Group, Agile & Human Centered Production and Robotic Systems Research Priority of Flanders Make, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
    Coeckelbergh, Mark
    Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, Faculty of Technology, De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom.
    Costescu, Cristina
    Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
    David, Daniel
    Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
    De Beir, Albert
    Robotics and Multibody Mechanics Research Group, Agile & Human Centered Production and Robotic Systems Research Priority of Flanders Make, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
    Fang, Yinfeng
    School of Computing, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
    Ju, Zhaojie
    School of Computing, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
    Kennedy, James
    Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
    Liu, Honghai
    School of Computing, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
    Mazel, Alexandre
    Softbank Robotics Europe, Paris, France.
    Pandey, Amit
    Softbank Robotics Europe, Paris, France.
    Richardson, Kathleen
    Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, Faculty of Technology, De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom.
    Senft, Emmanuel
    Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Van de Perre, Greet
    Robotics and Multibody Mechanics Research Group, Agile & Human Centered Production and Robotic Systems Research Priority of Flanders Make, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
    Vanderborght, Bram
    Robotics and Multibody Mechanics Research Group, Agile & Human Centered Production and Robotic Systems Research Priority of Flanders Make, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
    Vernon, David
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Yu, Hui
    School of Computing, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    How to Build a Supervised Autonomous System for Robot-Enhanced Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder2017In: Paladyn - Journal of Behavioral Robotics, ISSN 2080-9778, E-ISSN 2081-4836, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 18-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Robot-Assisted Therapy (RAT) has successfully been used to improve social skills in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) through remote control of the robot in so-called Wizard of Oz (WoZ) paradigms.However, there is a need to increase the autonomy of the robot both to lighten the burden on human therapists (who have to remain in control and, importantly, supervise the robot) and to provide a consistent therapeutic experience. This paper seeks to provide insight into increasing the autonomy level of social robots in therapy to move beyond WoZ. With the final aim of improved human-human social interaction for the children, this multidisciplinary research seeks to facilitate the use of social robots as tools in clinical situations by addressing the challenge of increasing robot autonomy.We introduce the clinical framework in which the developments are tested, alongside initial data obtained from patients in a first phase of the project using a WoZ set-up mimicking the targeted supervised-autonomy behaviour. We further describe the implemented system architecture capable of providing the robot with supervised autonomy.

  • 6.
    Hemeren, Paul E.
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Deriving motor primitives through action segmentation2011In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 1, p. 1-11, article id 243Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of the present experiment is to further understand the effect of levels of processing (top-down vs. bottom-up) on the perception of movement kinematics and primitives for grasping actions in order to gain insight into possible primitives used by the mirror system. In the present study, we investigated the potential of identifying such primitives using an action segmentation task. Specifically, we investigated whether or not segmentation was driven primarily by the kinematics of the action, as opposed to high-level top-down information about the action and the object used in the action. Participants in the experiment were shown 12 point-light movies of object-centered hand/arm actions that were either presented in their canonical orientation together with the object in question (top-down condition) or upside down (inverted) without information about the object (bottom-up condition). The results show that (1) despite impaired high-level action recognition for the inverted actions participants were able to reliably segment the actions according to lower-level kinematic variables, (2) segmentation behavior in both groups was significantly related to the kinematic variables of change in direction, velocity, and acceleration of the wrist (thumb and finger tips) for most of the included actions. This indicates that top-down activation of an action representation leads to similar segmentation behavior for hand/arm actions compared to bottom-up, or local, visual processing when performing a fairly unconstrained segmentation task. Motor primitives as parts of more complex actions may therefore be reliably derived through visual segmentation based on movement kinematics.

  • 7.
    Kleinhans, Ashley
    et al.
    CSIR, Pretoria, South Africa.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Rosman, Benjamin
    CSIR, Pretoria, South Africa.
    Detry, Renaud
    University of Liège, Belgium.
    Tripp, Bryan
    University of Waterloo, Canada.
    Modelling primate control of grasping for robotics applications2015In: Computer Vision - ECCV 2014 Workshops: Zurich, Switzerland, September 6-7 and 12, 2014, Revised Selected Papers, Part II / [ed] Lourdes Agapito, Michael M. Bronstein & Carsten Rother, Springer, 2015, p. 438-447Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Lagerstedt, Erik
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Riveiro, Maria
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. Plymouth University, United Kingdom.
    Agent Autonomy and Locus of Responsibility for Team Situation Awareness2017In: HAI '17: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Human Agent Interaction, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2017, p. 261-269Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rapid technical advancements have led to dramatically improved abilities for artificial agents, and thus opened up for new ways of cooperation between humans and them, from disembodied agents such as Siris to virtual avatars, robot companions, and autonomous vehicles. It is therefore relevant to study not only how to maintain appropriate cooperation, but also where the responsibility for this resides and/or may be affected. While there are previous organisations and categorisations of agents and HAI research into taxonomies, situations with highly responsible artificial agents are rarely covered. Here, we propose a way to categorise agents in terms of such responsibility and agent autonomy, which covers the range of cooperation from humans getting help from agents to humans providing help for the agents. In the resulting diagram presented in this paper, it is possible to relate different kinds of agents with other taxonomies and typical properties. A particular advantage of this taxonomy is that it highlights under what conditions certain effects known to modulate the relationship between agents (such as the protégé effect or the "we"-feeling) arise.

  • 9.
    Lagerstedt, Erik
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Riveiro, Maria
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Interacting with Artificial Agents2015In: Thirteenth Scandinavian Conference on Artificial Intelligence / [ed] Sławomir Nowaczyk, IOS Press, 2015, Vol. 278, p. 184-185Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Lagerstedt, Erik
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Perception of Agent Properties in Humans and Machines2018Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Moore, Roger K.
    et al.
    University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.
    Marxer, Ricard
    University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Vocal interactivity in-and-between humans, animals and robots2016In: Frontiers in Robotics and AI, E-ISSN 2296-9144, Vol. 3, article id 61Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Almost all animals exploit vocal signals for a range of ecologically-motivated purposes: detecting predators/prey and marking territory, expressing emotions, establishing social relations and sharing information. Whether it is a bird raising an alarm, a whale calling to potential partners, a dog responding to human commands, a parent reading a story with a child, or a business-person accessing stock prices using \emph{Siri}, vocalisation provides a valuable communication channel through which behaviour may be coordinated and controlled, and information may be distributed and acquired. Indeed, the ubiquity of vocal interaction has led to research across an extremely diverse array of fields, from assessing animal welfare, to understanding the precursors of human language, to developing voice-based human-machine interaction. Opportunities for cross-fertilisation between these fields abound; for example, using artificial cognitive agents to investigate contemporary theories of language grounding, using machine learning to analyse different habitats or adding vocal expressivity to the next generation of language-enabled autonomous social agents. However, much of the research is conducted within well-defined disciplinary boundaries, and many fundamental issues remain. This paper attempts to redress the balance by presenting a comparative review of vocal interaction within-and-between humans, animals and artificial agents (such as robots), and it identifies a rich set of open research questions that may benefit from an inter-disciplinary analysis.

  • 12.
    Moore, Roger
    et al.
    University of Sheffield, GB.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Marxer, Ricard
    University of Sheffield, GB.
    Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals and Robots (VIHAR): (Dagstuhl Seminar 16442)2017In: Dagstuhl Reports, E-ISSN 2192-5283, Vol. 6, no 10, p. 154-194Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Nilsson, Maria
    et al.
    Viktoria Swedish ICT.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Action and intention recognition in human interaction with autonomous vehicles2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Pellicano, Antonello
    et al.
    Section of Neurological Cognition Research, Department of Neurology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Binkofski, Ferdinand
    Section of Neurological Cognition Research, Department of Neurology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
    Affordances, adaptive tool use and grounded cognition2011In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 2, p. 1-2, article id 53Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Sakreida, Katrin
    et al.
    Division for Clinical Cognitive Sciences, Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany / Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
    Effnert, Isabel
    Division for Clinical Cognitive Sciences, Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Menz, Mareike M.
    Department of Systems Neuroscience and Neuroimage Nord, University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
    Jirak, Doreen
    Knowledge Technology Group, Department of Informatics, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
    Eickhoff, Claudia R.
    Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Eickhoff, Simon B.
    Cognitive Neuroscience Group, Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Medical Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany / Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1), Research Centre Jülich, Jülich, Germany.
    Borghi, Anna M.
    Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy / Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, National Research Council, Rome, Italy.
    Binkofski, Ferdinand
    Division for Clinical Cognitive Sciences, Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany / Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-4), Research Centre Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany / JARA − Translational Brain Medicine, Germany.
    Affordance processing in segregated parieto-frontal dorsal stream sub-pathways2016In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, ISSN 0149-7634, E-ISSN 1873-7528, Vol. 69, p. 89-112Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Sakreida, Katrin
    et al.
    RWTH Aachen University, Germany.
    Menz, Mareike
    University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Rottschy, Claudia
    RWTH Aachen University, Germany.
    Eickhoff, Simon
    Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany / Research Centre Jülich, Germany.
    Borghi, Anna
    University of Bologna, Italy / National Research Council, Rome, Italy.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Binkofski, Ferdinand
    Neural pathways of stable and variable affordances: a coordinate-based meta-analysis2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 17.
    Svensson, Henrik
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Beyond bodily anticipation: Internal simulations in social interaction2016In: Cognitive Systems Research, ISSN 2214-4366, E-ISSN 1389-0417, Vol. 40, p. 161-171Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 18.
    Svensson, Henrik
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Should robots dream of electric sheep?2012In: Proceedings of Workshop on Artificial Mental Imagery in Cognitive Systems and Robotics / [ed] Alessandro G. Di Nuovo, Vivian M. De La Cruz & Davide Marocco, Plymouth: University of Plymouth Press, 2012, p. 11-14Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 19.
    Svensson, Henrik
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Dreaming of electric sheep?: Exploring the functions of dream-like mechanisms in the development of mental imagery simulations2013In: Adaptive Behavior, ISSN 1059-7123, E-ISSN 1741-2633, Vol. 21, no 4, p. 222-238Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    According to the simulation hypothesis, mental imagery can be explained in terms of predictive chains of simulated perceptions and actions, i.e., perceptions and actions are reactivated internally by our nervous system to be used in mental imagery and other cognitive phenomena. Our previous research shows that it is possible but not trivial to develop simulations in robots based on the simulation hypothesis. While there are several previous approaches to modelling mental imagery and related cognitive abilities, the origin of such internal simulations has hardly been addressed. The inception of simulation (InSim) hypothesis suggests that dreaming has a function in the development of simulations by forming associations between experienced, non-experienced but realistic, and even unrealistic perceptions. Here, we therefore develop an experimental set-up based on a simple simulated robot to test whether such dream-like mechanisms can be used to instruct research into the development of simulations and mental imagery-like abilities. Specifically, the hypothesis is that dreams' informing the construction of simulations lead to faster development of good simulations during waking behaviour. The paper presents initial results in favour of the hypothesis.

  • 20.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Considerations for a Neuroscience-Inspired Approach to the Design of Artificial Intelligent Systems2011In: Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Artificial General Intelligence / [ed] Schmidhuber, J. et al, Springer, 2011, p. 247-254Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When designing artificial intelligent systems, one could do worse, at first glance, than take inspiration from the system whose performance one tries to match: the human brain. The continuing failure to produce such an inspired system is usually blamed on the lack of computational power and/or a lack of understanding of the neuroscience itself. This does not, however, affect the fundamental interest in neuroscience as studying the only known mechanism to date to have produced an intelligent system.

    This paper adds another consideration (to the well-established observation that our knowledge of how the brain works is sketchy at best) which needs to be taken into account when taking inspiration from neuroscience: the human brain has evolved specifically to serve the human body under constraints imposed by both the body and biological limitations. This does not necessarily imply that it is futile to consider neuroscience in such endeavours; however, this paper argues that one has to view results of neuroscience from a somewhat different perspective to maximise their utility in the creation of artificial intelligent systems and proposes an explicit separation of neural processes into three categories.

  • 21.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Embodied neuro-cognitive integration2015In: Proceedings of the Workshop on “Neural-Cognitive Integration” (NCI @KI 2015) / [ed] Tarek R. Besold & Kai-Uwe Kühnberger, Osnabrück: Institute of Cognitive Science , 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 22.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. University of Plymouth, United Kingdom.
    What we need from an embodied cognitive architecture2019In: Cognitive Architectures / [ed] Maria Isabel Aldinhas Ferreira, João Silva Sequeira, Rodrigo Ventura, Cham: Springer, 2019, p. 43-57Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Given that original purpose of cognitive architectures was to lead to a unified theory of cognition, this chapter considers the possible contributions that cognitive architectures can make to embodied theories of cognition in particular. This is not a trivial question since the field remains very much divided about what embodied cognition actually means, and we will see some example positions in this chapter. It is then argued that a useful embodied cognitive architecture would be one that can demonstrate (a) what precisely the role of the body in cognition actually is, and (b) whether a body is constitutively needed at all for some (or all) cognitive processes. It is proposed that such questions can be investigated if the cognitive architecture is designed so that consequences of varying the precise embodiment on higher cognitive mechanisms can be explored. This is in contrast with, for example, those cognitive architectures in robotics that are designed for specific bodies first; or architectures in cognitive science that implement embodiment as an add-on to an existing framework (because then, that framework is by definition not constitutively shaped by the embodiment). The chapter concludes that the so-called semantic pointer architecture by Eliasmith and colleagues may be one framework that satisfies our desiderata and may be well-suited for studying theories of embodied cognition further.

  • 23.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Why model cognitive mechanisms in embodied cognitive science?2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 24.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Behr, Josef
    Institut für Kognitionswissenschaft, Neurokybernetik, University of Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Flexible sequence learning in a SOM model of the mirror system2012In: Building Bridges Across Cognitive Sciences Around the World: Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Sapporo, Japan, August 1-4, 2012 / [ed] Naomi Miyake, David Peebles & Richard P. Cooper, Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society, Inc., 2012, p. 2423-2428Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present initial work on a biologically and cognitively inspired model that may allow embodied agents to autonomously learn sequences of action primitives (forming an overall behaviour). Specifically, we combine a flexible model of sequence generation with a model  of parietal mirror neuron activity. The main  purpose is to illustrate that the approach is viable. Although further work is needed to improve the results sketched out here, the concept is sound and relevant both to efforts in modelling mirror neuron activity and enabling artificial embodied agents to autonomously learn sequences of action primitives.

  • 25.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Caligiore, Daniele
    Laboratory of Computational Embodied Neuroscience, Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (LOCEN-ISTC-CNR), 00185 Roma, Italy / Embodied Cognition Laboratory (EMCO-Lab), Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Bologna, 40127 Bologna, Italy.
    Borghi, Anna M.
    Embodied Cognition Laboratory (EMCO-Lab), Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Bologna, 40127 Bologna, Italy / Laboratory of Computational Embodied Neuroscience, Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (LOCEN-ISTC-CNR), 00185 Roma, Italy.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Baldassarre, Gianluca
    Laboratory of Computational Embodied Neuroscience, Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (LOCEN-ISTC-CNR), 00185 Roma, Italy.
    Theories and computational models of affordance and mirror systems: An integrative review2013In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, ISSN 0149-7634, E-ISSN 1873-7528, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 491-521Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Neuroscientific and psychological data suggest a close link between affordance and mirror systems in the brain. However, we still lack a full understanding of both the individual systems and their interactions. Here, we propose that the architecture and functioning of the two systems is best understood in terms of two challenges faced by complex organisms, namely: (a) the need to select among multiple affordances and possible actions dependent on context and high-level goals and (b) the exploitation of the advantages deriving from a hierarchical organisation of behaviour based on actions and action-goals. We first review and analyse the psychological and neuroscientific literature on the mechanisms and processes organisms use to deal with these challenges. We then analyse existing computational models thereof. Finally we present the design of a computational framework that integrates the reviewed knowledge. The framework can be used both as a theoretical guidance to interpret empirical data and design new experiments, and to design computational models addressing specific problems debated in the literature. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  • 26.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Duran, BorisUniversity of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.Hemeren, PaulUniversity of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Social signals in action recognition and intention understanding2013Collection (editor) (Refereed)
  • 27.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Hemeren, Paul E.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Durán, Boris
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Prediction of human action segmentation based on end-effector kinematics using linear models2011In: European Perspectives on Cognitive Science: Proceedings of the European Conference on Cognitive Science / [ed] Kokinov, B. et al., Sofia: New Bulgarian University Press , 2011, p. 6 sidor-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The work presented in this paper builds on previous research which analysed human action segmentation in the case of simple object manipulations with the hand (rather than larger-scale actions). When designing algorithms to segment observed actions, for instance to train robots by imitation, the typical approach involves non-linear models but it is less clear whether human action segmentation is also based on such analyses. In the present paper, we therefore explore (1) whether linear models built from observed kinematic variables of a human hand can accurately predict human action segmentation and (2) what kinematic variables are the most important in such a task. In previous work, we recorded speed, acceleration and change in direction for the wrist and the tip of each of the five fingers during the execution of actions as well as the segmentation of these actions into individual components by humans. Here, we use this data to train a large number of models based on every possible training set available and find that, amongst others, the speed of the wrist as well as the change in direction of the index finger were preferred in models with good performance. Overall, the best models achieved R2 values over 0.5 on novel test data but the average performance of trained models was modest. We suggest that this is due to a suboptimal training set (which was not specifically designed for the present task) and that further work be carried out to identify better training sets as our initial results indicate that linear models may indeed be a viable approach to predicting human action segmentation.

  • 28.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Hemeren, Paul
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Nilsson, Maria
    Cooperative Systems Group, Viktoria Swedish ICT, Göteborg, Sweden.
    The apparent intelligence of a system as a factor in situation awareness2014In: 2014 IEEE International Inter-Disciplinary Conference on Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support (CogSIMA), IEEE Communications Society, 2014, p. 52-58Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the context of interactive and automated vehicles, driver situation awareness becomes an increasingly important consideration for future traffic systems, whether it concerns the current status of the vehicle or the surrounding environment. Here, we present a simulator study investigating whether the apparent intelligence - i.e. intelligence as perceived by the driver, which is distinct from how intelligent a designer might think the system is - of a vehicle is a factor in the expectations and behaviour of the driver. We are specifically interested in perceived intelligence as a factor in situation awareness. To this end, the study modulates both traffic conditions and the type of navigational assistance given in a goal-navigation task to influence participant's perception of the system. Our result show two distinct effects relevant to situation awareness: 1) Participants who think the vehicle is highly intelligent spend more time glancing at the surrounding environment through the left door window than those who rank intelligence low and 2) participants prefer an awareness of why the navigation aid decided for specific directions but are sensitive to the manner it is presented. Our results have broader implications for the design of future automated systems in vehicles.

  • 29.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Lowe, Robert
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    A computational model of cognitive interference without neural inhibitory mechanisms2010In: Cognition in Flux: Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society / [ed] Stellan Ohlsson, Richard Catrambone, Austin: Cognitive Science Society, Inc., 2010, p. 1607-1612Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Interference between one cognitive behavior or sensory stimulus and subsequent behaviors is a commonly observed effect in the study of human cognition and Psychology. Traditional connectionist approaches explain this phenomenon by mutually inhibiting neural populations underlying those behaviors. Here, we present an alternative model, relying on a more detailed use of synaptic dynamics, in which populations of purely excitatory neurons can nonetheless interfere with each other, causing inhibition of activation for a varying amount of time. The fundamental, biologically motivated, mechanism in the model relies on current “spilling over” from an active neural population into another one, thereby depleting the latter population’s synaptic resources. The principles underlying the model may find applications even in the design of problemsolving artificial neural networks.

  • 30.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Lowe, Robert
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    On the functional contributions of emotion mechanisms to (artificial) cognition and intelligence2012In: Artificial General Intelligence: 5th International Conference, AGI 2012, Oxford, UK, December 8-11, 2012. Proceedings / [ed] Joscha Bach, Ben Goertzel, Matthew Iklé, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2012, p. 322-331Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We argue that emotions play a central role in human cognition. It is therefore of interest to researchers with an aim to create artificial systems with human-level intelligence (or indeed beyond) to consider the functions of emotions in the human cognition whose complexity they aim to recreate. To this end, we review here several functional roles of emotions in human cognition at different levels, for instance in behavioural regulation and reinforcement learning. We discuss some of the neuroscientific and bodily underpinnings of emotions and conclude with a discussion of possible approaches, including existing efforts, to endow artificial systems with mechanisms providing some of the functions of human emotions. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  • 31.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Nilsson, Maria
    Cooperative Systems Group, Viktoria Swedish ICT, Sweden.
    Hemeren, Paul
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    On the influence of a vehicle's apparent intelligence on driving behaviour and consequences for car UI design2013In: Adjunct Proceedings of Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications 2013 Oct 27 -- 30, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 2013, p. 91-92Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 32.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Padó, Sebastian
    Institute for Natural Language Processing, University of Stuttgart, Germany.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    On the Importance of a Rich Embodiment in the Grounding of Concepts: Perspectives From Embodied Cognitive Science and Computational Linguistics2014In: Topics in Cognitive Science, ISSN 1756-8757, E-ISSN 1756-8765, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 545-558Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 33.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    Centre for Bioengineering, Department of Engineering , University of Leicester, UK.
    Pearce, Tim
    Centre for Bioengineering, Department of Engineering , University of Leicester, UK.
    Understanding complex behaviors by analyzing optimized models: C. elegans gradient navigation2007In: HFSP Journal, ISSN 1955-2068, Vol. 1, no 4, p. 263-273Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We study how individual components of a complex behavior, so‐called behavioral units, should be sequentially arranged when the overall goal is energy efficiency. We apply an optimization scheme to an existing probabilistic model of C. elegans chemical gradient navigation and find a family of solutions that share common properties. This family is used to analyze general principles of behavioral unit organization, which give rise to search strategies that match qualitatively with those observed in the animal. Specifically, the reorientation behavior emerging in energy efficient virtual worm searchers mimics the pirouette strategy observed in C. elegans, and the virtual worms dwell at the peak of the gradient. Our model predicts that pirouettes are in part associated with the inability to evaluate the gradient during a turn and that the animal does not act upon gradient information while reversing. Together, our results indicate that energy efficiency is an important factor in determining C. elegans gradient navigation. Our framework for the analysis of complex behaviors may, in the future, be used as part of an integrated approach to studying the neural basis of these behaviors.

  • 34.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Pop, Cristina A.
    Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
    Belpaeme, Tony
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Vanderborght, Bram
    School of Computing, Communications and Electronics, University of Plymouth, UK.
    Robot-assisted therapy for autism spectrum disorders with (partially) autonomous control: Challenges and outlook2012In: Paladyn - Journal of Behavioral Robotics, ISSN 2080-9778, E-ISSN 2081-4836, Vol. 3, no 4, p. 209-217Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 35.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Riveiro, Maria
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Situation awareness in eco-driving2015In: Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support (CogSIMA), 2015 IEEE International Inter-Disciplinary Conference on, IEEE conference proceedings, 2015, p. 125-131Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An increasing number of vehicles provide feedbackon eco-driving; information whose purpose it is to increase fuel efficiency in driving. The development of this feedback is relatively novel and there are currently no standards or long-term insights into best design strategies (e.g. leading to a permanent improvement in driving style).

    In this paper, we discuss the unexplored relevance of situation awareness (SA) research for eco-driving feedback, highlighting in particular that eco-driving feedback has to be understood as intricately tied into SA. Specifically, we argue that, for the purpose of promoting eco-friendly driving behaviour, the relevant information needs to be part of a driver SA without interfering with safety-critical aspects. We show that this requires eco-feedback systems to possess, themselves, a SA of the traffic situation. This lends support to arguments that SA in a road traffic context is different from SA in the military or aviation domain and takes on a more distributed nature. We conclude by suggesting that head-up displays are a particularly promising interface technology with which to implement the suggestions provided here.

  • 36.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Riveiro, Maria
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Lagerstedt, Erik
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Lebram, Mikael
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Hemeren, Paul
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Habibovic, Azra
    Research Institutes of Sweden, RISE Viktoria, Lindholmen Science Park, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Klingegård, Maria
    Research Institutes of Sweden, RISE Viktoria, Lindholmen Science Park, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Driver adherence to recommendations from support systems improves if the systems explain why they are given: A simulator study2018In: Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, ISSN 1369-8478, E-ISSN 1873-5517, Vol. 56, p. 420-435Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents a large-scale simulator study on driver adherence to recommendationsgiven by driver support systems, specifically eco-driving support and navigation support.123 participants took part in this study, and drove a vehicle simulator through a pre-defined environment for a duration of approximately 10 min. Depending on the experi-mental condition, participants were either given no eco-driving recommendations, or asystem whose provided support was either basic (recommendations were given in theform of an icon displayed in a manner that simulates a heads-up display) or informative(the system additionally displayed a line of text justifying its recommendations). A naviga-tion system that likewise provided either basic or informative support, depending on thecondition, was also provided.

    Effects are measured in terms of estimated simulated fuel savings as well as engine brak-ing/coasting behaviour and gear change efficiency. Results indicate improvements in allvariables. In particular, participants who had the support of an eco-driving system spenta significantly higher proportion of the time coasting. Participants also changed gears atlower engine RPM when using an eco-driving support system, and significantly more sowhen the system provided justifications. Overall, the results support the notion that pro-viding reasons why a support system puts forward a certain recommendation improvesadherence to it over mere presentation of the recommendation.

    Finally, results indicate that participants’ driving style was less eco-friendly if the navi-gation system provided justifications but the eco-system did not. This may be due to par-ticipants considering the two systems as one whole rather than separate entities withindividual merits. This has implications for how to design and evaluate a given driver sup-port system since its effectiveness may depend on the performance of other systems in thevehicle.

  • 37.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Riveiro, Maria
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Nilsson, Maria
    Viktoria Swedish ICT.
    Perceived intelligence as a factor in (semi-) autonomous vehicle UX2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 38.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Svensson, Henrik
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    The inception of simulation: a hypothesis for the role of dreams in young children2011In: Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society / [ed] Carlson, L.. et al., Cognitive Science Society, Inc., 2011, p. 231-236Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the present paper, we present an argument and an initial model connecting research into the functional role of dreams with simulation theories. Traditionally, although theories that describe the refinement of simulations exist, the origin of these simulations is not considered in detail. Similarly, research into the functional role of dreams tends to focus on adults, with less regard to the dreams of young children.

    Here, we suggest that a functional role of dreams in infants through to early childhood may be the inception of these simulations. We show that the proposed model can present a unified explanation for functions of both the phenomenological experience of dreaming as well as other aspects of brain activity during sleeping, e.g. the processing of memories. Additionally, it explicitly provides an account for the development of simulations in early childhood, hypothesising that an initial function of dreams is the inception and development of simulations.

  • 39.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Svensson, Henrik
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Modeling the Development of Goal-Specificity in Mirror Neurons2011In: Cognitive Computation, ISSN 1866-9956, E-ISSN 1866-9964, Vol. 3, no 4, p. 525-538Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Neurophysiological studies have shown that parietal mirror neurons encode not only actions but also the goal of these actions. Although some mirror neurons will fire whenever a certain action is perceived (goal-independently), most will only fire if the motion is perceived as part of an action with a specific goal. This result is important for the action-understanding hypothesis as it provides a potential neurological basis for such a cognitive ability. It is also relevant for the design of artificial cognitive systems, in particular robotic systems that rely on computational models of the mirror system in their interaction with other agents. Yet, to date, no computational model has explicitly addressed the mechanisms that give rise to both goal-specific and goal-independent parietal mirror neurons. In the present paper, we present a computational model based on a self-organizing map, which receives artificial inputs representing information about both the observed or executed actions and the context in which they were executed. We show that the map develops a biologically plausible organization in which goal-specific mirror neurons emerge. We further show that the fundamental cause for both the appearance and the number of goal-specific neurons can be found in geometric relationships between the different inputs to the map. The results are important to the action-understanding hypothesis as they provide a mechanism for the emergence of goal-specific parietal mirror neurons and lead to a number of predictions: (1) Learning of new goals may mostly reassign existing goal-specific neurons rather than recruit new ones; (2) input differences between executed and observed actions can explain observed corresponding differences in the number of goal-specific neurons; and (3) the percentage of goal-specific neurons may differ between motion primitives.

  • 40.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Twomey, Katherine E.
    Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, United Kingdom.
    What's on the inside counts: A grounded account of concept acquisition and development2016In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, p. 1-11, article id 402Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 41.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Vernon, David
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    How to Design Emergent Models of Cognition for Application-Driven Artificial Agents2016In: Neurocomputational Models of Cognitive Development and Processing: Proceedings of the 14th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop / [ed] Katherine Twomey, Gert Westermann, Padraic Monaghan & Alastair Smith, Singapore: World Scientific, 2016, p. 115-129Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Emergent models of cognition are attractive for artificial cognitive agents because they overcome the brittleness of systems that are fully specified in axiomatic terms at design time, increasing, for example, the ability to deal with uncertainty and unforeseen events. When the agent is created to fulfil specific requirements defined by a given application, there is an apparent conflict between the emergent (i.e. self-defining) nature of the agent's behaviour and the pre-specified (i.e. axiomatically-defined) nature of the requirements.

    Here, we develop a framework for the design of emergent models of cognition whose behaviour can be shaped to fulfil application requirements while retaining the desired characteristics of emergence. We achieve this by viewing the artificial agent as forming an eco-system with the environment in which it is deployed. Consequently, the objective function that determines the agent's behaviour is cast in terms that factor in interaction with the environment (while not being controlled by it) and therefore implicitly includes the application requirements.

    This framework is particularly relevant to application driven research where artificial agents are designed to interact with humans in a certain manner. We illustrate this with the example of robot-enhanced therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder

  • 42.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Vernon, David
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    The relevance of emergent models in application-driven research2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 43.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. Human-Centered Systems, Department of Computer & Information Science, Linköping University, Sweden.
    Interaction as a bridge between cognition and robotics2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 44.
    Thill, Serge
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Learning New Motion Primitives in the Mirror Neuron System: A Self-organising Computational Model2010In: From Animals to Animats 11: 11th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior, SAB 2010, Paris - Clos Lucé, France, August 25-28, 2010. Proceedings / [ed] Stéphane Doncieux, Benoît Girard, Agnès Guillot, John Hallam, Jean-Arcady Meyer, Jean-Baptiste Mouret, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2010, p. 413-423Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Computational models of the mirror (neuron) system are attractive in robotics as they may inspire novel approaches to implemente.g. action understanding. Here, we present a simple self-organising map which forms the first part of larger ongoing work in building such amodel. We show that minor modifications to the standard implementation of such a map allows it to continuously learn new motor concepts.We find that this learning is facilitated by an initial motor babbling phase, which is in line with an embodied view of cognition. Interestingly,we also find that the map is capable of reproducing neurophysiologicaldata on goal-encoding mirror neurons. Overall, our model thus fulfils the crucial requirement of being able to learn new information throughout its lifetime. Further, although conceptually simple, its behaviour has interesting parallels to both cognitive and neuroscientific evidence.

  • 45.
    Vernon, David
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Billing, Erik
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Hemeren, Paul
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Sweden.
    An Architecture-oriented Approach to System Integration in Collaborative Robotics Research Projects: An Experience Report2015In: Journal of Software Engineering for Robotics, ISSN 2035-3928, E-ISSN 2035-3928, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 15-32Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Effective system integration requires strict adherence to strong software engineering standards, a practice not much favoured in many collaborative research projects. We argue that component-based software engineering (CBSE) provides a way to overcome this problem because it provides flexibility for developers while requiring the adoption of only a modest number of software engineering practices. This focus on integration complements software re-use, the more usual motivation for adopting CBSE. We illustrate our argument by showing how a large-scale system architecture for an application in the domain of robot-enhanced therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been implemented. We highlight the manner in which the integration process is facilitated by the architecture implementation of a set of placeholder components that comprise stubs for all functional primitives, as well as the complete implementation of all inter-component communications. We focus on the component-port-connector meta-model and show that the YARP robot platform is a well-matched middleware framework for the implementation of this model. To facilitate the validation of port-connector communication, we configure the initial placeholder implementation of the system architecture as a discrete event simulation and control the invocation of each component’s stub primitives probabilistically. This allows the system integrator to adjust the rate of inter-component communication while respecting its asynchronous and concurrent character. Also, individual ports and connectors can be periodically selected as the simulator cycles through each primitive in each sub-system component. This ability to control the rate of connector communication considerably eases the task of validating component-port-connector behaviour in a large system. Ultimately, over and above its well-accepted benefits for software re-use in robotics, CBSE strikes a good balance between software engineering best practice and the socio-technical problem of managing effective integration in collaborative robotics research projects. 

  • 46.
    Vernon, David
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Lowe, Robert
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. Division of Cognition and Communication, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Sweden.
    Embodied cognition and circular causality: On the role of constitutive autonomy in the reciprocal coupling of perception and action2015In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, article id 1660Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 47.
    Vernon, David
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Ziemke, Tom
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    The Role of Intention in Cognitive Robotics2016In: Toward Robotic Socially Believable Behaving Systems: Volume I / [ed] Anna Esposito & Lakhmi C. Jain, Switzerland: Springer, 2016, p. 15-27Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We argue that the development of robots that can interact effectively with people requires a special focus on building systems that can perceive and comprehend intentions in other agents. Such a capability is a prerequisite for all pro-social behaviour and in particular underpins the ability to engage in instrumental helping and mutual collaboration. We explore the prospective and intentional nature of action, highlighting the importance of joint action, shared goals, shared intentions, and joint attention in facilitating social interaction between two or more cognitive agents. We discuss the link between reading intentions and theory of mind, noting the role played by internal simulation, especially when inferring higher-level actionfocussed intentions. Finally, we highlight that pro-social behaviour in humans is the result of a developmental process and we note the implications of this for the challenge of creating cognitive robots that can read intentions.

  • 48.
    Veto, Peter
    et al.
    Department of Neurological, Neuropsychological, Morphological and Movement Sciences, Section of Physiology and Psychology, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie, 8, 37143 Verona – Italy.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Hemeren, Paul
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Incidental and non-incidental processing of biological motion: Orientation, attention and life detection2013In: Cooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics: Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society Berlin, Germany, July 31-August 3, 2013 / [ed] Markus Knauff, Michael Pauen, Natalie Sebanz & Ipke Wachsmuth, Cognitive Science Society, Inc., 2013, p. 1528-1533Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on the unique traits of biological motion perception, the existence of a “life detector”, a special sensitivity to perceiving motion patterns typical for animals, seems to be plausible (Johnson, 2006). Showing motion displays upside-down or with changes in global structure is known to disturb processing in different ways, but not much is known yet about how inversion affects attention and incidental processing. To examine the perception of upright and inverted point-light walkers regarding incidental processing, we used a flanker paradigm (Eriksen & Eriksen, 1974) adapted for biological motion (Thornton & Vuong, 2004), and extended it to include inverted and scrambled figures. Results show that inverted walkers do not evoke incidental processing and they allow high accuracy in performance only when attentional capacities are not diminished. An asymmetrical interaction between upright and inverted figures is found which alludes to qualitatively different pathways of processing.

  • 49.
    Windridge, David
    et al.
    Middlesex University, London, UK / University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. University of Plymouth, UK.
    Representational fluidity in embodied (artificial) cognition2018In: Biosystems (Amsterdam. Print), ISSN 0303-2647, E-ISSN 1872-8324, Vol. 172, p. 9-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Theories of embodied cognition agree that the body plays some role in human cognition, but disagree on the precise nature of this role. While it is (together with the environment) fundamentally engrained in the so-called 4E (or multi-E) cognition stance, there also exists interpretations wherein the body is merely an input/output interface for cognitive processes that are entirely computational.

    In the present paper, we show that even if one takes such a strong computationalist position, the role of the body must be more than an interface to the world. To achieve human cognition, the computational mechanisms of a cognitive agent must be capable not only of appropriate reasoning over a given set of symbolic representations; they must in addition be capable of updating the representational framework itself (leading to the titular representational fluidity). We demonstrate this by considering the necessary properties that an artificial agent with these abilities need to possess.

    The core of the argument is that these updates must be falsifiable in the Popperian sense while simultaneously directing representational shifts in a direction that benefits the agent. We show that this is achieved by the progressive, bottom-up symbolic abstraction of low-level sensorimotor connections followed by top-down instantiation of testable perception-action hypotheses.

    We then discuss the fundamental limits of this representational updating capacity, concluding that only fully embodied learners exhibiting such a priori perception-action linkages are able to sufficiently ground spontaneously-generated symbolic representations and exhibit the full range of human cognitive capabilities. The present paper therefore has consequences both for the theoretical understanding of human cognition, and for the design of autonomous artificial agents.

  • 50.
    Ziemke, Tom
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. Human-Centered Systems, Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Sweden.
    Thill, Serge
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Robots are not embodied!: Conceptions of embodiment and their implications for social human-robot interaction2014In: Sociable Robots and the Future of Social Relations: Proceedings of Robo-Philosophy 2014 / [ed] Johanna Seibt, Raul Hakli & Marco Nørskov, Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2014, p. 49-53Conference paper (Refereed)
12 1 - 50 of 51
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