Modeling the dynamics of social cognition
16 Jan. 2008
We used an evolutionary robotics methodology to generate simulated agents capable of reliably establishing and maintaining a coordination pattern under noisy conditions. The agents were only evolved for this ability and not for their capacity to detect social contingency. However, when they were made to interact with a previously recorded,successful behavioral sequence, the coordination pattern could not be maintained. An analysis of the underlying dynamics revealed (i) that stability of the coordination pattern requires mutuality of interaction, and (ii) that the interaction process is autonomous in the sense that it is not only constituted by but also constitutive of individual behavior. We hypothesize that in many cases an explanation of the breakdown of coordination does not require the postulation of an individual’s sensitivity to social contingency; it is likely a general property of a certain class of interactively coupled dynamical systems.