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Imitation and Social Learning in Robots, Humans and Animals
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  • 77 b/w illus. 20 colour illus. 5 tables
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 (ISBN-13: 9780511282232)

Mechanisms of imitation and social matching play a fundamental role in development, communication, interaction, learning and culture. Their investigation in different agents (animals, humans and robots) has significantly influenced our understanding of the nature and origins of social intelligence. Whilst such issues have traditionally been studied in areas such as psychology, biology and ethnology, it has become increasingly recognised that a 'constructive approach' towards imitation and social learning via the synthesis of artificial agents can provide important insights into mechanisms and create artefacts that can be instructed and taught by imitation, demonstration, and social interaction rather than by explicit programming. This book studies increasingly sophisticated models and mechanisms of social matching behaviour and marks an important step towards the development of an interdisciplinary research field, consolidating and providing a valuable reference for the increasing number of researchers in the field of imitation and social learning in robots, humans and animals.

• Editorial introductions give readers an overview of important concepts of themes and content • Chapters cover various relevant disciplines as well as reporting on interdisciplinary research projects • Contains a unique focus on a constructivist approach to mechanisms and models of social matching behaviour, not only as a means for learning, but also in its communicative, behavioural, and social dimensions


Introduction: The constructive interdisciplinary viewpoint for understanding mechanisms and models of imitation and social learning Kerstin Dautenhahn and Chrystopher L. Nehaniv; Part I. Correspondence Problems and Mechanisms: 1. Imitation: thoughts about theories Geoffrey Bird and Cecilia Heyes; 2. Nine billion correspondence problems Chrystopher L. Nehaniv; 3. Challenges and issues faced in building a framework for conducting research in learning from observation Darrin Bentivegna, Christopher Atkeson and Gordon Cheng; Part II. Mirroring and 'Mind-Reading': 4. A neural architecture for imitation and intentional relations Marco Iacoboni, Jonas Kaplan and Stephen Wilson; 5. Simulation theory of understanding others: a robotics perspective Yiannis Demiris and Matthew Johnson; 6. Mirrors and matchings: imitation from the perspective of mirror-self-recognition and the parietal region's involvement in both Robert W. Mitchell; Part III. What to Imitate: 7. The question of 'what to imitate': inferring goals and intentions from demonstrations Malinda Carpenter and Josep Call; 8. Learning of gestures by imitation in a humanoid robot Sylvain Calinon and Aude Billard; 9. The dynamic emergence of categories through imitation Tony Belpaeme, Bart de Boer and Bart Jansen; Part IV. Development and Embodiment: 10. Copying strategies by people with autistic spectrum disorder: why only imitation leads to social cognitive development Justin H. G. Williams; 11. A bayesian model of imitation in infants and robots Rajesh P. N. Rao, Aaron P. Shon and Andrew N. Meltzoff; 12. Solving the correspondence problem in robotic imitation across embodiments: synchrony, perception and culture in artefacts Aris Alissandrakis, Chrystopher L. Nehaniv and Kerstin Dautenhahn; Part V. Synchrony and Turn-Taking as Communicative Mechanisms: 13. How to build an imitator? Arnaud Revel and Jacqueline Nadel; 14. Simulated turn-taking and development of styles of motion Takashi Ikegami and Hiroki Iizuka; 15. Bullying behaviour, empathy and imitation: an attempted synthesis Kerstin Dautenhahn, Sarah N. Woods and Christina Kaouri; Part VI. Why Imitate? Motivations: 16. Multiple motivations for imitation in infancy Mark Nielsen and Virginia Slaughter; 17. The progress drive hypothesis: an interpretation of early imitation Frédéric Kaplan and Pierre-Yves Oudeyer; Part VII. Social Feedback: 18. Training behaviour by imitation: from parrots to people … to robots? Irene M. Pepperberg and Diane V. Sherman; 19. Task learning through imitation and human-robot interaction Monica N. Nicolescu and Maja J. Mataric; Part VIII. The Ecological Context: 20. Emulation learning: the integration of technical and social cognition Ludwig Huber; 21. Mimicry as deceptive resemblance: beyond the one-trick ponies Mark D. Norman and Tom Tregenza.


'Imitation and Social Learning in Robots, Humans, and Animals advances our understanding of the diversity of “imitations” and how much is to be learned from comparing them across species as diverse as parrots, butterflies, and even a male cuttlefish impersonating a female in a breeding pair – and thence to humans and their primate cousins and the brain mechanisms which support imitation and social learning. This book offers a rich set of processing strategies of importance to key areas of computer science, like robotics and embodied communication - and this new understanding factors back into novel theories of human social interaction and its disorders.' Michael Arbib, University Professor, Fletcher Jones Chair in Computer Science and Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California

'Imitation has become the hottest of multidisciplinary topics in recent years. Nehaniv and Dautenhan have led the way in recognising the very special potential for cross-fertilisation between engineers endeavouring to create truly imitative robots and researchers studying imitation in natural systems, from parrots to people. In this substantial new state-of-the-art volume, they bring together leading figures to provide an unprecedented appraisal of the key issues and the most recent discoveries in this field.' Andrew Whiten, Wardlaw Professor of Psychology, University of St Andrews


Kerstin Dautenhahn, Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, Geoffrey Bird, Cecilia Heyes, Darrin Bentivegna, Christopher Atkeson, Gordon Cheng, Marco Iacoboni, Jonas Kaplan, Stephen Wilson, Yiannis Demiris, Matthew Johnson, Robert W. Mitchell, Malinda Carpenter, Josep Call, Sylvain Calinon, Aude Billard, Tony Belpaeme, Bart de Boer, Bart Jansen, Justin H. G. Williams, Rajesh P. N. Rao, Aaron P. Shon, Andrew N. Meltzoff, Aris Alissandrakis, Arnaud Revel, Jacqueline Nadel, Takashi Ikegami, Hiroki Iizuka, Sarah N. Woods, Christina Kaouri, Mark Nielsen, Virginia Slaughter, Frédéric Kaplan, Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, Irene M. Pepperberg, Diane V. Sherman, Monica N. Nicolescu, Maja J. Mataric, Ludwig Huber, Mark D. Norman, Tom Tregenza

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