12 research outputs found

    Ongoing Emergence: A Core Concept in Epigenetic Robotics

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    We propose ongoing emergence as a core concept in epigenetic robotics. Ongoing emergence refers to the continuous development and integration of new skills and is exhibited when six criteria are satisfied: (1) continuous skill acquisition, (2) incorporation of new skills with existing skills, (3) autonomous development of values and goals, (4) bootstrapping of initial skills, (5) stability of skills, and (6) reproducibility. In this paper we: (a) provide a conceptual synthesis of ongoing emergence based on previous theorizing, (b) review current research in epigenetic robotics in light of ongoing emergence, (c) provide prototypical examples of ongoing emergence from infant development, and (d) outline computational issues relevant to creating robots exhibiting ongoing emergence

    Contending with foreign accent variability in early lexical acquisition.

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    By their second birthday, children are beginning to map meaning to form with relative ease. One challenge for these developing abilities is separating information relevant to word identity (i.e. phonemic information) from irrelevant information (e.g. voice and foreign accent). Nevertheless, little is known about toddlers’ abilities to ignore irrelevant phonetic detail when faced with the demanding task of word learning. In an experiment with English-learning toddlers, we examined the impact of foreign accent on word learning. Findings revealed that while toddlers aged 2; 6 successfully generalized newly learned words spoken by a Spanish-accented speaker and a native English speaker, success of those aged 2;0 was restricted. SpeciïŹcally, toddlers aged 2;0 failed to generalize words when trained by the native English speaker and tested by the Spanish-accented speaker. Data suggest that exposure to foreign accent in training may promote generalization of newly learned forms. These ïŹndings are considered in the context of developmental changes in early word representations

    Taking Synchrony Seriously: A Perceptual-Level Model of Infant Synchrony Detection

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    Synchrony detection between different sensory and/or motor channels appears critically important for young infant learning and cognitive development. For example, empirical studies demonstrate that audio-visual synchrony aids in language acquisition. In this paper we compare these infant studies with a model of synchrony detection based on the Hershey and Movellan (2000) algorithm augmented with methods for quantitative synchrony estimation. Four infant-model comparisons are presented, using audio-visual stimuli of increasing complexity. While infants and the model showed learning or discrimination with each type of stimuli used, the model was most successful with stimuli comprised of one audio and one visual source, and also with two audio sources and a dynamic-face visual motion source. More difficult for the model were stimuli conditions with two motion sources, and more abstract visual dynamics—an oscilloscope instead of a face. Future research should model the developmental pathway of synchrony detection. Normal audio-visual synchrony detection in infants may be experience-dependent (e.g., Bergeson, et al., 2004)