04838935 - 86 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTONOMOUS MENTAL...

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Unformatted text preview: 86 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTONOMOUS MENTAL DEVELOPMENT, VOL. 1, NO. 1, MAY 2009 Contingency Perception and Agency Measure in Visuo-Motor Spiking Neural Networks Alexandre Pitti, Hiroki Mori, Shingo Kouzuma, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi , Member, IEEE Abstract— Agency is the sense that I am the cause or author of a movement. Babies develop early this feeling by perceiving the contingency between afferent (sensor) and efferent (motor) infor- mation. A comparator model is hypothesized to be associated with many brain regions to monitor and simulate the concordance be- tween self-produced actions and their consequences. In this paper, we propose that the biological mechanism of spike timing-depen- dent plasticity, that synchronizes the neural dynamics almost ev- erywhere in the central nervous system, constitutes the perfect al- gorithm to detect contingency in sensorimotor networks. The co- herence or the dissonance in the sensorimotor information flow im- parts then the agency level. In a head-neck-eyes robot, we replicate three developmental experiments illustrating how particular per- ceptual experiences can modulate the overall level of agency inside the system; i.e., 1) by adding a delay between proprioceptive and visual feedback information, 2) by facing a mirror, and 3) a person. We show that the system learns to discriminate animated objects (self-image and other persons) from other type of stimuli. This sug- gests a basic stage representing the self in relation to others from low-level sensorimotor processes. We discuss then the relevance of our findings with neurobiological evidences and development psy- chological observations for developmental robots. Index Terms— Contingency detection, self-agency, sensorimotor integration, spiking neural networks. I. INTRODUCTION T HE arising of self-agency and body-ownership constitutes undoubtedly one of the most important stage of infants development. The sense of agency corresponds to the prere- flective experience or sense that I am the cause or author of a movement (e.g., an experience that I am in control of my ac- tion [1]–[3]). Babies, early in their first months, acquire rapidly this sense of self distinct from others that allows them to de- velop later on higher cognitive skills such as social interactions and imitation. For many developmental roboticists, this issue is considered to be central for replicating infants developmental stages in robots and to permit them to apprehend themselves as distinct entities (e.g., for interacting with people); see [4]–[7]. To this aim, computational models should be confronted to bi- ological and psychological data. Many evidences suggest that ownership and agency are perceptual experiences that are likely Manuscript received April 19, 2005; revised January 11, 2007. First published April 21, 2009; current version published May 29, 2009. This work was sup- ported by the JST Asada ERATO Synergistic project....
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04838935 - 86 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTONOMOUS MENTAL...

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