The Embodied Brain of SOVEREIGN2: From Space-Variant Conscious Percepts During Visual Search and Navigation to Learning Invariant Object Categories and Cognitive-Emotional Plans for Acquiring Valued Goals
Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience
This article develops a model of how reactive and planned behaviors interact in real time. Controllers for both animals and animats need reactive mechanisms for exploration, and learned plans to efficiently reach goal objects once an environment becomes familiar. The SOVEREIGN model embodied these capabilities, and was tested in a 3D virtual reality environment. Neural models have characterized important adaptive and intelligent processes that were not included in SOVEREIGN. A major research
... gram is summarized herein by which to consistently incorporate them into an enhanced model called SOVEREIGN2. Key new perceptual, cognitive, cognitive-emotional, and navigational processes require feedback networks which regulate resonant brain states that support conscious experiences of seeing, feeling, and knowing. Also included are computationally complementary processes of the mammalian neocortical What and Where processing streams, and homologous mechanisms for spatial navigation and arm movement control. These include: Unpredictably moving targets are tracked using coordinated smooth pursuit and saccadic movements. Estimates of target and present position are computed in the Where stream, and can activate approach movements. Motion cues can elicit orienting movements to bring new targets into view. Cumulative movement estimates are derived from visual and vestibular cues. Arbitrary navigational routes are incrementally learned as a labeled graph of angles turned and distances traveled between turns. Noisy and incomplete visual sensor data are transformed into representations of visual form and motion. Invariant recognition categories are learned in the What stream. Sequences of invariant object categories are stored in a cognitive working memory, whereas sequences of movement positions and directions are stored in a spatial working memory. Stored sequences trigger learning of cognitive and spatial/motor sequence categories or plans, also called list chunks, which control planned decisions and movements toward valued goal objects. Predictively successful list chunk combinations are selectively enhanced or suppressed via reinforcement learning and incentive motivational learning. Expected vs. unexpected event disconfirmations regulate these enhancement and suppressive processes. Adaptively timed learning enables attention and action to match task constraints. Social cognitive joint attention enables imitation learning of skills by learners who observe teachers from different spatial vantage points.