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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2020

What neuro-robotic models can teach us about neural and cognitive development

What neuro-robotic models can teach us about neural and cognitive development

(p.179) Chapter 8 What neuro-robotic models can teach us about neural and cognitive development
Neuroconstructivism Volume Two

Olaf Sporns

Oxford University Press

This chapter highlights the importance of biologically plausible mechanisms in developing robot models. It also argues for the importance of robotic models that are controlled by artificial neural networks. Such models provide a tangible way of investigating how the body, the environment and the neurocontrol system of the brain co-determine a child's unfolding abilities. The chapter illustrates this with a robotic model that learns to navigate and interact with objects in the world. Building such systems underscores the importance of attributing differential ‘value’ to different objects or actions on the world for obtaining a realistic developmental profile. In terms of neural information, processing ‘value’ can be linked to differing levels of dopamine in the brain associated with particular events and tasks. Dopamine is a neuromodulator that effects the level of plasticity in a neural network.

Keywords:   neuro-robotic models, neural development, cognitive development, dopamine, synthetic modelling, neuromodulation, reward conditioning

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