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Neuroconstructivism Volume TwoPerspectives and Prospects$
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Denis Mareschal, Sylvain Sirois, Gert Westermann, and Mark H. Johnson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198529934

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529934.001.0001

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Using robots to study the mechanisms of imitation

Using robots to study the mechanisms of imitation

Chapter:
(p.159) Chapter 7 Using robots to study the mechanisms of imitation
Source:
Neuroconstructivism Volume Two
Author(s):

Yiannis Demiris

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529934.003.0007

This chapter describes work on explaining the emergence of imitation in infants using neurally plausible mechanisms embodied within a series of progressively more complex robots that learn to imitate. The model is designed to implement and test Meltzoff and Moore's active intermodal matching account of imitations. The first example given illustrates how knowledge about the spatial organization of the environment in which the robots navigate can be communicated between robots using imitation. The second example illustrates how the intermodal matching hypothesis can be made more specific by implementing it in a functional computational system. Finally, the third example discusses how physiological data on the functional properties of mirror neurons can be used to constrain the kinds of mechanisms that operate within a robot learning imitation.

Keywords:   robots, imitation mechanisms, robotics research, mirror neurons, intermodal matching

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