In Exploring Robotic Minds: Actions, Symbols, and Consciousness as Self-Organizing Dynamic Phenomena, Jun Tani sets out to answer an essential and tantalizing question: How do our minds work? By providing an overview of his "synthetic neurorobotics" project, Tani reveals how symbols and concepts that represent the world can emerge in a neurodynamic structure--iterative interactions between the top-down subjective view, which proactively acts on the world, and the bottom-up recognition of the resultant perceptual reality. He argues that nontrivial problems of consciousness and free will could be addressed through structural understanding of such iterative, conflicting interactions between the top-down and the bottom-up pathways.A wide range of readers will enjoy this wonderful journey of the mind and will follow the author on interdisciplinary discussions that span neuroscience, dynamical systems theories, robotics, and phenomenology. The book also includes many figures, as well as a link to videos of Tani's exciting robotic experiments.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Frank E. RitterPrefacePart I On the Mind1. Where do we begin with mind?2. Cognitivism2.1 Composition and recursion in symbol systems2.2 Some cognitive models2.3 The symbol grounding problem2.4 Context2.5 Summary3. Phenomenology3.1 Direct experience3.2 The subjective mind and objective world3.3 Time perception: How can the flow of subjective experiences be objectified?3.4 Being-in-the-world3.5 Embodiment for mind3.6 Stream of consciousness and freewill3.7 Summary4. Introducing the brain and brain science4.1 Hierarchical brain mechanisms for visual recognition and action generation4.2 A new understanding of action generation and recognition in the brain4.3 How can intention arise spontaneously and be aware consciously?4.4 Deciding between the conflicting evidence4.5 Summary5. Dynamical systems approach for embodied cognition5.1 Dynamical systems5.2 Gibsonian and Neo-Gibsonian approaches5.3 Behavior-based robotics5.4 Modeling the brain at different levels5.5 Neural network models5.6 Neurorobotics with the dynamical systems perspectives5.7 SummaryPart II Emergent minds: Findings from robotics experiments6. New proposals6.1 Robots with subjective views6.2 Engineering subjective views into neurodynamic models6.3 The subjective mind and the objective world as an inseparable entity7. Predictive learning about the world from actional consequences7.1 Development of compositionality: The symbol grounding problem7.2 Predictive dynamics and self-consciousness7.3 Summary8. Mirroring action generation and recognition with articulating sensory-motor flow8.1 A mirror neuron model: RNNPB8.2 Embedding multiple behaviors in distributed representation8.3 Imitating others by recognizing their mental states8.4 Binding language and actions8.5 Summary9. Development of functional hierarchy for action9.1 Self-organization of functional hierarchy in multiple timescales9.2 Robotics experiments on developmental training of complex actions9.3 Summary10. Freewill for action10.1 Dynamic account of spontaneous behaviors10.2 Freewill, consciousness, and postdiction10.3 Summary11. Conclusions11.1 Compositionality in cognitive mind11.2 Phenomenology11.3 Objective science and subjective experience11.4 Future directions11.5 Summary of the bookGlossary for abbreviationsReferencesIndex