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Neuromodulation as a robot controller

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2 Author(s)
Cox, B. ; Dept. of Cognitive Sci., Univ. of California, Irvine, CA, USA ; Krichmar, J.L.

This article presents a strategy for controlling autonomous robots, which is based on the principles of neuromodulation in the mammalian brain. Neuromodulatory systems signal important environmental events to the rest of the brain causing the organism to focus its attention on the appropriate object, ignore irrelevant distractions, and respond quickly and appropriately to the event . There are separate neuromodulators that alter responses to risks, rewards, novelty, effort, and social cooperation. Moreover, the neuromodulatory systems provide a foundation for cognitive function in higher organisms; attention, emotion, goal directed behavior, and decision making derive from the interaction between the neuromodulatory systems and brain areas, such as the amygdala, frontal cortex, and hippocampus. Therefore, understanding neuromodulatory function may provide control and action selection algorithms for autonomous robots that effectively interact with the environment.

Published in:

Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

September 2009

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