Cognitive Science | Evolution and Analysis of Brain-Body-Environment Systems
Q700 | 15357 | Randy Beer


Evolution and Analysis of Brain-Body-Environment Systems

COGS Q700, Fall 2007

Lecture: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00 - 2:15, 821 Eigenmann


Instructor: Randall D. Beer


Office: 840 Eigenmann
Phone: 856-0873
Email: rdbeer [AT] indiana [DOT] edu

Course Description
Notions of embodiment, situatedness and dynamics are becoming
increasingly important in cognitive science, converging on a view in
which an agent's behavior and cognition are seen not merely as
products of its brain alone, but rather as arising from the
dynamical interaction between the agent's nervous system, body and
environment. In order to evaluate the significance of these ideas,
this course will examine the construction and analysis of models of
complete brain-body-environment systems. Specifically, we will
explore the use of evolutionary algorithms to evolve agents that can
accomplish given tasks in given environments and the use of tools
from dynamical systems theory to study how the evolved agents work.
Behaviors to be studied range from basic motor behavior and
sensorimotor learning to categorical perception and selective
attention. The course will combine reading and discussion of current
conceptual and modeling work in this area with the techniques
required for students to evolve and analyze their own model agents.