Steels, L. and Spranger, M. Emergent Mirror Systems for Body Language. In Steels, L., editor, Experiments in Cultural Language Evolution, Advances in Interaction Studies (vol. 3), pages 87-109, John Benjamins. Amsterdam, 2012.

Sony CSL authors: Michael Spranger, Luc Steels


This chapter investigates how a vocabulary for talking about body actions can emerge in a population of grounded autonomous agents instantiated as humanoid robots. The agents play a Posture Game in which the speaker asks the hearer to take on a certain posture. The speaker either signals success if the hearer indeed performs an action to achieve the posture or he shows the posture himself so that the hearer can acquire the name. The challenge of emergent body language raises not only fundamental issues in how a perceptually grounded lexicon can arise in a population of autonomous agents but also more general questions of human cognition, in particular how agents can develop a body model and a mirror system so that they can recognize actions of others as being the same as their own.

Keywords: mirror systems, embodiment, body language, lexicon formation


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BibTeX entry

@INCOLLECTION { steels:12b, ADDRESS="Amsterdam", AUTHOR="Steels, L. and Spranger, M.", BOOKTITLE="Experiments in Cultural Language Evolution", EDITOR="Steels, L.", PAGES="87--109", PUBLISHER="John Benjamins", SERIES="Advances in Interaction Studies", TITLE="Emergent Mirror Systems for Body Language", VOLUME="3", YEAR="2012", }