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Research Themes

Research themes to discuss related to anticipation, goal orientedness, intentionality, etc.

We are discussing a number of themes related to anticipations and anticipatory behavior. For each theme we will organize one group meeting in which one participant introduces the theme (also referring to the relevant literature) and moderates the discussion.

Here is a list of the current topics:

  • what are anticipations?

Expectation is an ambiguous word. Sometimes it coincides with hope (or fear), sometimes with forecast, and sometimes it implies both. NOT just a simple forecast or prediction that can be defined as a belief that a certain future event p is (more or less) probable, and it involves no necessary personal concern or goal about p. By expectation we mean an internally represented wish or goal about a future event together with the belief that the (un)desired outcome is possible or (more or less) probable.

  • the kinds and roles of anticipations; implicit and explicit anticipations 

Any purposive behavior (in strict sense), any goal-directed system is necessarily anticipatory, since it is driven by the representation of the goal-state (set-point) and activated by its mismatch with the current state of the world. But not any anticipatory behavior, and even not necessarily any behavior based on anticipatory representations is goal-directed. Not any anticipatory behavior is based on explicit cognitive representations of future relevant/concerning events, that is on expectations.

  • epistemic actions, monitoring and control

[...] the project will show the role of action in perception by focusing on the general notion of Epistemic Action and its specification Epistemic Control. Epistemic Actions are actions aimed at acquiring new information from the environment usually through the shift of the attentional focus and its fixation which determines what the cognitive system will perceive. Epistemic Controls are specific actions aimed at checking whether the expected events or results are already realized [...]

  • goal orientedness: from intentions to actions

How it is possible to pass from intentional deliberation of action to its realization? which are the mechanisms involved?

  • constructive perception and abduction

Constructive perception is focused on high-level perception where the sensorial stimulation is structured or organized through the application of schemas (recognition). The percepts are constructed through the schematization of the sensorial stimulation (sensations). The schemes are seen as procedures to construct and interpret the percepts. The sensorial stimulation is seen as a "sign" of the percept that the cognitive system has the goal to construct. The cognitive system sees the sensorial stimulation as a token of a specific type (or schema) and in this sense guesses what there is out there, makes hypothesis (to be verified) about the reality. The interpretation of the sensorial stimuli is then oriented by the already available schemas for interpretation that influences the way in which new information is gathered and actively pursued (epistemic actions) to fill such schemas. Besides the schema activates more knowledge of the object than what is present in the current stimulation. In front of an apple, the cognitive system sees it as an apple beginning from a particular stimulation i.e. by focusing on its shape and color. Emphasis is given also to the influence of top-down influences in perception (background assumptions, active pragmatic goals, external context).

  • structure and evolution of anticipatory representations and mechanisms

there are many kinds of anticipatory representations and mechanisms, having multiple roles and features. we want to focus on how it is possible to pass from the less complex to the more complex ones in biological and simulated systems; and on the relationships between anticipatory representations and mechanisms

  • surprise

'Surprise' is the automatic reaction to a mismatch. It is: 1) a (felt) reaction/response; 2) of alert and arousal; 3) due to an inconsistency (mismatch, non-assimilation, lack of integration) between incoming information and our previous knowledge, in particular an actual prediction or a potential prediction; 4) invoking and mobilizing resources at disposal of an activity for a better epistemic processing of this 'strange' information (attention, search, belief revision, etc.), but also for coping with the potential 'threat'; 5) aimed at solving the inconsistency; 6) and at preventing possible dangers (the reason for the alarm) due to a lack of predictability and to a wrong anticipation.

  • anticipatory emotions

[...] embodied systems receive information also from their body and can use this input for an emotional control of their autonomous behaviour. The project will focus on the role of anticipatory emotions such as fear, hope, anxiety in integration with other domains of functioning (Motivation, Cognition, Behaviour) and more generally on the anticipatory character of the emotional response [...]

Created by pezzulo
Last modified 2006-05-22 04:20 PM
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Anticipatory Cognitive Science is a research field that ensembles artificial intelligence, biology, psychology, neurology, engineering and philosophy in order to build anticipatory cognitive systems that are able to face human tasks with the same anticipatory capabilities and performance. In deep: Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence, embracing philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology. Its intellectual origins are in the mid-1950s when researchers in several fields began to develop theories of mind based on complex representations and computational procedures. Its organizational origins are in the mid-1970s when the Cognitive Science Society was formed and the journal Cognitive Science began. Since then, more than sixty universities in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia have established cognitive science programs, and many others have instituted courses in cognitive science.