Evolutionary Robotics as a Tool to Investigate Spatial Cognition in Artificial and Natural Systems
Michela Ponticorvo (University of Calabria, Italy), Richard Walker (XiWrite s.a.s., Italy) and Orazio Miglino (University of Naples "Frederico II", Italy)
Copyright: © 2007
This chapter introduces Evolutionary Robotics as a means of studying spatial cognition in artificial and natural systems. It argues that Evolutionary Robotics, used to replicate quantitative observations of spatial behavior in laboratory animals, offers a powerful tool to understand the general mechanisms underlying animal orientation. In particular, authors show that “artificial organisms,” with controller architecture that precludes the presence of “cognitive maps,” can accurately replicate the observed behavior of animals in classical experimental set-ups, thus suggesting that spatial orientation may not require abstract spatial representations and that sensory-motor coordination, in the presence of environment constraints, may be enough, on its own, to generate complex spatial behavior.