Sixth International Conference on Epigenetic Robotics:
Modeling Cognitive Development in Robotic Systems
contact information: [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>

Location: Hopital de la Salpêtrière, Paris, France


early registration fees are available until July, 31

Confirmed invited speakers 2006

Karen Adolph (Psychology Dpt, New York University, USA)

Andrew Barto (Computer Science Dpt, University of Massachusetts Amherst,

Philippe Rochat (Psychology Dpt, University of Emory, USA)

Gregor Schoener (Institut für Neuroinformatik, Ruhr-Universität-Bochum,

Bruno Wicker (Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives de la Mediterranée,

Conference Themes

In the past 5 years, the Epigenetic Robotics annual workshop has
established itself as a unique place where original research combining
developmental sciences, neuroscience, biology, and cognitive robotics
and artificial intelligence is being presented.

Epigenetic systems, either natural or artificial, share a prolonged
developmental process through which varied and complex cognitive and
perceptual structures emerge as a result of the interaction of an
embodied system with a physical and social environment.

Epigenetic robotics includes the two-fold goal of understanding
biological systems by the interdisciplinary integration between social
and engineering sciences and, simultaneously, that of enabling robots
and artificial systems to develop skills for any particular environment
instead of programming them for solving particular goals for the
environment in which they happen to reside.

Psychological theory and empirical evidence is being used to inform
epigenetic robotic models, and these models should be used as
theoretical tools to make experimental predictions in  developmental

This year we particularly encourage research resulting from actual
interdisciplinary collaboration.

Epigenetic Robotics themes include, but are not limited to:


* The development of: emotion, imitation, synchrony processing,
intersubjectivity, joint attention, intentionality, non-verbal and
verbal communication, sensorimotor schemata, shared meaning and symbolic
reference, social learning, social relationships, social cognition
("mind reading", "theory of mind");
* The scope and limits of maturation, the mechanisms of open-ended
* The mechanisms of stage formation and stage transitions;
* The epistemological foundations of using robots to study development;
* The role of motivations, emotions, and value systems in development;
* Interaction between innate structure, ongoing developing structure,
and experience;
* The interplay between embodiment, learning biases and environment;
* The differences between learning and development;
* Algorithms for self-supervision, autonomous exploration,
representation making, and methods for evolving new representations
during ontogeny;
* Robots that can undergo morphological changes and how they can be used
to study the interplay between cognitive and morphological development;


Two tutorials will be organized during the conference

- "Featural processing of auditory and visual inputs for epigenetic robots "
Christian Balkenius & Christopher G. Prince

- "Development of imitation and emotion in human and robots: cross
fertilization of research"
Organized by Philippe Gaussier and Jacqueline Nadel