Imitation and Social Learning in Robots, Humans and Animals: Behavioural, Social and Communicative Dimensions
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Mechanisms of imitation and social matching play a fundamental role in development, communication, interaction, learning and culture. Their investigation in different agents (animals, humans and robots) has significantly influenced our understanding of the nature and origins of social intelligence. Whilst such issues have traditionally been studied in areas such as psychology, biology and ethnology, it has become increasingly recognised that a 'constructive approach' towards imitation and social learning via the synthesis of artificial agents can provide important insights into mechanisms and create artefacts that can be instructed and taught by imitation, demonstration, and social interaction rather than by explicit programming. This book studies increasingly sophisticated models and mechanisms of social matching behaviour and marks an important step towards the development of an interdisciplinary research field, consolidating and providing a valuable reference for the increasing number of researchers in the field of imitation and social learning in robots, humans and animals.
embodiments ( ) (see Alissandrakis et al., 2002, 2003a). This has even been shown in examples to be robust to changes in the learner’s embodiment, such as growth or damage (Chapter 12, this volume). Social transmission of skills (horizontally and vertically) through a homogeneous or heterogeneous community is cultural transmission. The type of cultural transmission might by classified according to which of the 24 classes of correspondence problems is being solved, and on whether
simulation theory of mind, a particular theory proposed in the literature trying to explain the mechanisms underlying mind-reading. The simulation theory of mind assumes that ‘one puts oneself into the shoes of another person’, trying to simulate another person’s behaviour by using one’s own cognitive mechanisms underlying behaviour generation. In this way, using our own mind as a model of others’ minds, other people’s intentions and future actions can be inferred in an off-line mode (simulating
circular reactions.) In the second model, self-recognition occurs initially because the organism: (1) understands mirror correspondence (as in the first model); (2) objectifies body parts, such that it perceives appendages (its own and others’) as distinct yet continuous parts of bodies and also recognizes that these appendages (e.g. its own and others’ hands) are similar looking (abilities usually developed and exhibited by naming, or understanding the names of, body parts); and (3) understands
permanence, Introduction 9 such that it recognizes that parts of things are indicative of the whole and has low-level deductive abilities. From these abilities, the organism recognizes (via understanding mirror-correspondence) that the hand (e.g.) in the mirror is a contingent accurate image of its hand, and then recognizes (via its understanding of object permanence) that what is continuous with the hand in the mirror (i.e. the body-image) must be a contingent accurate image of what is
generalize, recognize and reproduce gestures, with representation of the data in visual and motor coordinates. The model has been tested and validated in a humanoid robot, using kinematics data of human motion. The framework offers a stochastic method to model the process underlying gesture imitation. It makes a link between theoretical concepts and practical applications. In particular, it stresses the fact that the observed elements of a demonstration, and the organization of these elements,