Building a Cyborg: A Brain Based Architecture for Perception, Cognition and Action. By Paul Verschure
09/16/2008 - 11:30
09/16/2008 - 12:30
The biggest scientific challenge humans face is to understand the mind
and brain. This quest is also of great practical relevance. Already the
1 mm3 brain of the bee shows feats of navigation, learning and
communication that is beyond the current state of the art in robotics.
In our work we take the view, derived from the 17th century philosopher
Vico, that we should validate our theories of the mind/brain in
practical construction. Hence, from this perspective we should be able
to construct artificial mind/brain systems and repair existing -
biological - ones or, in other words, build a cyborg. In order to
construct a cyborg such as Ghost in the Shell's Motoko Kusanagi or
Robocop, we will need at least three core ingredients: 1) hybrid
electronic-biological interface systems, 2) methods to define and shape
the functional properties of neuronal systems and 3) a theory on how
the components of the system should be integrated into one consistent
architecture. In this talk I will describe current efforts to develop
these three core concepts and technologies required to construct a
cyborg. Specifically, I will define the Distributed Adaptive Control
(DAC) neuromorphic architecture (1,2) that proposes how different
levels of the neuraxis - from the brainstem to the cerebral cortex -
interact to give rise to perception, cognition and action. DAC in turn
has given rise to novel hypotheses on perception (3) and action. In
particular, I will discuss a neuroprosthetic device, or silicon
cerebellum (4), for the replacement of discrete learning functions of
the brain. Lastly I will discuss novel approaches for cognitive
neurorehabilitation that show how we can induce functional
reorganization of the central nervous system through multi-modal
Laboratory for Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems - SPECS
Institute of Audiovisual Studies/Technology Dept.
ICREA & Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Verschure, P.F.M.J., Voegtlin, T. & Douglas, R.J. (2003)
Environmentally mediated synergy between perception and behaviour in
mobile robots. Nature, 425: 620-624.
& Althaus, P. (2003) A real-world rational agent: Unifying old and
new AI. Cognitive Science. 27: 561-590.
Wyss, R, König P,
Verschure, P.F.M.J. (2006) A model of the ventral visual system based
on temporal stability and local memory. Public library of Science
(PLoS) Biology. 4:5, 836-43
Hofstoetter, C., Mintz, M.
& Verschure, P.F.M.J. (2002) The Cerebellum in Action: A Simulation
and Robotics Study. European Journal of Neuroscience. 16:1361-1376.