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The HPB Flagship Project has been Approved
Written by Ricardo Sanz   
Sunday, 03 February 2013
The Human Brain Project (HPB) has been approved. The proposal won the top European Science Funding as a FET Flagship Project. The project, in which UPM ASLab takes part, tries to reconstruct the brain, piece by piece, in supercomputer-based models and simulations and use them to create health and ICT technology.

The "Human Brain Project" (HBP) will build a large, multiobjective experimental facility to develop a detailed, running model of the human brain.

This model will be used to study how the human brain works and to develop technologies of applicability to humans -e.g. personalized treatment of neurological diseases- and artifacts -e.g. control systems for robots. This research lays the scientific and technical basis for neuro-inspired ICT technology that has the potential to improve enormously the quality of life of many people. Image

Visit the Human Brain Project website.
Get the Human Brain Project report for Europe.

UPM ASLab work is focused in the construction and operation of the Neurorobotics Facility. This is an experimental platform for the evaluation of robot control architectures that have been reverse-engineerned from the brain. The purpose of this work is the creation of bodies where to exploit the computer-based, simulated brains. The robot bodies will be both virtual and physical, offering tools (the HBP Virtual Robot Designer) to researchers to customize the bodies according to their needs to perform neuroscience or cognitive science experiments. Our specific work is mostly related to the real-time computing infrastructures that are needed to couple the brains with the bodies (the HBP Closed Loop Engine) and the support of HBP researchers in the use of the neurorobotics platform for their experiments.

Last Updated ( Monday, 04 February 2013 )
Emotion and the expression of action readiness
Written by Ricardo Sanz   
Saturday, 05 July 2008

Title: Emotion and the expression of action readiness

Authors: Carlos Herrera and Ricardo Sanz

Abstract: In this talk we introduce the morphofunctional approach to emotion modelling, using the issue of emotion expression as the entry point. We consider the notion of expressive behaviour and the function of emotion expression. Based on Frijda's theory, emotions are changes in the relationship with the environment through a change in action readiness mediated by autonomic arousal. This is the basis for the morphofunctional approach, which considers systems whose morphology can be changed or modulated to provide different functionality, and the effect of such modification are changes to the dynamics of interaction. Emotion emerges from the control of bodies which can not only perform actions, but also change their readiness and the dynamic space of interaction. In this context, the expressive nature of emotion is explained by the dynamic-relational aspects of emotional behaviour. .

Where: ReteCog 2013 Workshop on Interaction, January 17-18, 2013. Zaragoza, Spain..

Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 January 2013 )
Models as Architectural Foundations for Interaction
Written by Ricardo Sanz   
Saturday, 05 July 2008

Title: Models as Architectural Foundations for Interaction

Authors: Ricardo Sanz

Abstract: In this contribution we discuss the concept of action based on mental models as a grounding theory both for the analysis of biological minds and the systematic construction of artificial cognitive systems. Indeed it constitutes the cornerstone of what we would call the model-based control theory of mind. The topic of mental models have been a classic approach to the study of mind (Craik, 1943; Gentner and Stevens, 1983) focused on representational aspects. But in most cases the approach has just had an aura of metaphorical argumentation due to the lack of formalisation of the concept of model and the less than rigorous approach to the study of its use in the generation of mental activity. The approach we take here establishes that the adaptive value of model-based minds is rooted in their control-enabling capabilities while in presence of uncertainty. Minds are controllers that keep our life going —expanding our genes— by building and using models of the surrounding reality —passive and active agents—, and the inner reality —the body and the mind itself. All these become critical in the production of advanced controlling capabilities. What is also interesting from the cognitive systems point of view, is that seeing minds as just model-based controllers, sets a strong, rigorous foundation for a naturalised epistemology. Knowledge will be identified with those models and they will prove critical for survival at large in an rule-following world. Minds build and use models of the inner and the outer to keep the organism as such. Is in this model-centric aspect that we want to concentrate upon: minds exploit models of the outer to keep the inner working. .

Where: ReteCog 2013 Workshop on Interaction, January 17-18, 2013. Zaragoza, Spain..

Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 January 2013 )
The Morphofunctional Approach to Emotion Modelling in Robotics
Written by Ricardo Sanz   
Friday, 21 September 2012
New Article

The morphofunctional approach to emotion modelling in robotics

Carlos Herrera, Guadalupe Sánchez and Ricardo Sanz

In this conceptual paper, we discuss two areas of research in robotics, robotic models of emotion and morphofunctional machines, and we explore the scope for potential cross-fertilization between them. We shift the focus in robot models of emotion from information-theoretic aspects of appraisal to the interactive significance of bodily dispositions. Typical emotional phenomena such as arousal and action readiness can be interpreted as morphofunctional processes, and their functionality may be replicated in robotic systems with morphologies that can be modulated for real-time adaptation. We investigate the control requirements for such systems, and present a possible bio-inspired architecture, based on the division of control between neural and endocrine systems in humans and animals. We suggest that emotional epi- sodes can be understood as emergent from the coordination of action control and action-readiness, respectively. This stress on morphology complements existing research on the information-theoretic aspects of emotion.

Embodiment, emotion, reconfiguration, morphology, dynamical systems

Read the article here.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 January 2013 ) Summer School
Written by Ricardo Sanz   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Retecog Network fosters interdisciplinary collaboration to promote the advancement of Cognitive Science in Spain. This summer school aims to offer an overview of research in Cognitive Science through the choice of an area of research which provides a clear demonstration of the potential benefits of multidisciplinary cross-fertilization. It is addressed to graduate students, or recent doctors, interested in gaining a broader view of their research topic, and benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration. Participants are expected to present their current projects, either as poster or oral presentation, and will be offered feedback and further support.

Get the Programme.

Get more information.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 May 2012 )
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