[robotics-worldwide] International Symposium on Imitation in Animals and Artifacts

Kerstin Dautenhahn K.Dautenhahn at herts.ac.uk
Wed Nov 15 02:43:24 PST 2006


4th International Symposium on Imitation in Animals and Artifacts

at the AISB'07 Convention in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
April 2nd-5th 2007


Imitation facilitates transmitting culture practices and ideas from
generation to generation, enabling humans, animals, and now robots, to
learn skills others have already mastered. By avoiding the lengthy period
of trial-and-error to accomplish new tasks, imitation is thus a very
efficient learning method, and also a very intuitive way to program robots
by teaching.

Imitation is unique among other social learning mechanisms in that it
requires the observer to understand the action being performed, and then
to relate it to its equivalent motor representations.  It also requires
the integration of information from sensory, motor, and brain systems,
whose underlying mechanisms are not well-understood yet. Explaining the
imitative abilities of humans and other animals has proved to be a complex
subject. Indeed, it is highly non-trivial even to say exactly what it
means for two behaviours to be the "same".

The mechanisms of imitation and social learning are not well-understood,
and the connections to social interaction, communication, development, and
learning are deep, as recent research from various disciplines has started
to uncover. Comparison of imitation in animals and artifacts reveals that
easy tasks for machines can be hard tasks for animals and vice-versa.
However, computational complexity issues do not explain, by themselves,
the existence or not of imitation behaviours in animals, and the
integration of higher level cognitive capabilities like agent’s goals,
intentions and emotions, may play a fundamental role in explaining these

This interdisciplinary workshop will bring together researchers from
neuroscience, brain imaging, animal psychology, computer science and
robotics to examine the latest advances to imitation, aiming to further
advance our understanding of the underlying mechanisms.

AREAS OF INTEREST (not limited to):

* Cognitive Development and Imitation
* Neurobiological Foundations of Imitation
* Social interaction and Imitation
* Language acquisition
* Imitation, Intentionality and Communication
* Imitation in Animals
* Learning by Imitation to bootstrap the acquisition of skills & knowledge
* The Role of Imitation in the Development of Social Cognition
* Robot Imitation
* Computational mechanisms of imitation
* Joint-attention and perspective taking
* Cultural transmission of skills
* Teaching and scaffolding of behaviours
* Imitation and motivation


José Santos-Victor (IST, PT)
Manuel Lopes (IST, PT)
Alexandre Bernardino (IST, PT)

Steering Committee:

Yiannis Demiris (IC, UK)
Chrystopher L. Nehaniv (Herts, UK)
Kerstin Dautenhahn (Herts, UK)

Program Committee:

Alexandre Bernardino, (IST, Portugal)
Andrew Meltzoff, (U. Washington, USA)
Aris Alissandraiks, (Hertfordshire, UK)
Aude Billard, (EPFL, CH)
Bart Jansen, (VUB, Belgium)
Brian Scassellati, (Yale, USA)
Chana Akins, (Kentucky, USA)
C. L. Nehaniv, (Hertfordshire, UK)
Frédéric Kaplan, (Sony CSL, FR)
Francisco Lacerda, (Stockholm, Sweden)
Giorgio Metta, (Genova, IT)
Harold Bekkering, (Nijmegen, NL)
Heiko Wersing, (Honda R.I., Germany)
Irene Pepperberg, (Harvard, USA)
Jacqueline Nadel, (CNRS, France)
Jochen J. Steil, (Bielefeld, Germany)
Joanna Bryson, (Bath, UK)
José Santos-Victor, (IST, Portugal)
K. Dautenhahn, (Hertfordshire, UK)
Ludwig Huber, (Vienna, Austria)
Manuel Lopes, (IST, Portugal)
Max Lungarella, (Tokyo, JP)
Monica Nicolescu, (Nevada, USA)
Nicola McGuigan, (St. Andrews, Scotland)
Rui Prada, (IST, Portugal)
Thomas R. Zentall, (Kentucky, USA)
Tony Belpaeme, (Plymouth, UK)
Yukie Nagai, (Bielefeld, Germany)
Yiannis Demiris, (Imperial College UK)

Special Dates:

Dec 15 	Paper submissions
Feb 05 	Notification
Feb 22 	Camera ready copies
April 02-05 AISB'07

Workshop website:
Conference website:

Manuel Lopes

Instituto Superior Tecnico                  macl at isr.ist.utl.pt
Instituto de Sistemas e Robotica       www.isr.ist.utl.pt/~macl
Av. Rovisco Pais, 1
1049-001 Lisboa, PORTUGAL                   +351218418291 (fax)

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