Paper: Accommodating homeostatically stable dynamical regimes

A collaboration between Bruno Santos, Phil Husbands and Tom Froese has resulted in a paper for the 12th International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (Artificial Life XII), which is being held in Odense, Denmark, on the 19-23 August 2010. The title and abstract are as follows:

Accommodating homeostatically stable dynamical regimes to cope with different environmental conditions

Bruno A. Santos, Phil Husbands and Tom Froese

Does the dynamical regime in which a system engages when it is coping with a situation A change after adaptation to a new situation B? Is homeostatic instability a generic mechanism for flexible switching between dynamical regimes? We develop a model to approach these questions where a simulated agent that is stable and performing phototaxis has its vision field inverted so that it becomes unstable; instability activates synaptic plasticity changing the agent’s simulated nervous system attractor landscape towards a configuration that accommodates stable dynamics under normal and inverted vision. Our results show that: 1) the dynamical regime in which the agent engages under normal vision changes after adaptation to inverted vision; 2) homeostatic instability is not necessary for switching between dynamical regimes. Additionally, during the dynamical system analyses we also show that: 3) qualitatively similar behaviours (phototaxis) can be generated by different dynamics; 4) the agent’s simulated nervous system operates in transient dynamic towards an attractor that continuously move on the phase space; and 5) plasticity moves and reshapes the attractor landscape in order to accommodate a stable dynamical regimes to deal with inverted vision.

The paper can be downloaded here.

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