On the interplay between morphological, neural and environmental dynamics

Lungarella, Max and Berthouze, Luc (2002) On the interplay between morphological, neural and environmental dynamics. Adaptive Behavior, 10 (3-4). pp. 223-241. ISSN 1059-7123

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Abstract

The robust and adaptive behavior exhibited by natural organisms is the result of a complex interaction between various plastic mechanisms acting at different time scales. So far, researchers have concentrated on one or another of these mechanisms, but little has been done toward integrating them into a unified framework and studying the result of their interplay in a real-world environment. In this article, we present experiments with a small humanoid robot that learns to swing. They illustrate that the exploitation of neural plasticity, entrainment to physical dynamics, and body growth (where each mechanism has a specific time scale) leads to a more efficient exploration of the sensorimotor space and eventually to a more adaptive behavior. Such a result is consistent with observations in developmental psychology.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Originality: First published study of a robotic system learning to swing (in contrast to being controlled for it). Rigour: Data obtained from a real robotic system, built in-house. Significance: Uses robots to investigate research questions from developmental psychology. Provides empirical evidence supporting the stabilizing role of freezing and freeing of the degrees of freedom on the learning of a complex motor skill as proposed by Bernstein in 1967. Impact: Total citations (Web of Science, Google Scholar) for this paper and its preceding conference papers are 11.
Keywords: developmental robotics; adaptive behavior; time scales; morphological changes; entrainment
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Luc Berthouze
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:04
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 07:56
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29398
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