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Is there an integrative center in the vertebrate brain-stem? A robotic evaluation of a model of the reticular formation viewed as an action selection device

Humphries, M.D., Gurney, K. and Prescott, T.J. (2005) Is there an integrative center in the vertebrate brain-stem? A robotic evaluation of a model of the reticular formation viewed as an action selection device. Adaptive Behavior, 13 (2). pp. 97-113. ISSN 1059-7123

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Abstract

Neurobehavioral data from intact, decerebrate, and neonatal rats, suggests that the reticular formation provides a brainstem substrate for action selection in the vertebrate central nervous system. In this article, Kilmer, McCulloch and Blum’s (1969, 1997) landmark reticular formation model is described and re-evaluated, both in simulation and, for the first time, as a mobile robot controller. Particular model configurations are found to provide effective action selection mechanisms in a robot survival task using either simulated or physical robots. The model’s competence is dependent on the organization of afferents from model sensory systems, and a genetic algorithm search identified a class of afferent configurations which have long survival times. The results support our proposal that the reticular formation evolved to provide effective arbitration between innate behaviors and, with the forebrain basal ganglia, may constitute the integrative, ’centrencephalic’ core of vertebrate brain architecture. Additionally, the results demonstrate that the Kilmer et al. model provides an alternative form of robot controller to those usually considered in the adaptive behavior literature.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2005 by International Society of Adaptive Behavior. This is an author produced version of an article published in Adaptive Behaviour.
Keywords: action selection, reticular formation, genetic algorithms, robot
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Department of Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2005
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2014 10:10
Published Version: http://adb.sagepub.com/content/vol13/issue2/
Status: Published
Refereed: No
Identification Number: 10.1177/105971230501300203
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/515

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