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Emergence of imitation mediated by objects

Lund University Cognitive Studies
Publication Date
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Robotics
  • Mathematics


This paper describes our model of the emergence of a mirror system for imitative learning. The mirror system is an intermodal mapping between someone's action (as seen) and one's own action (to execute). It is widely assumed that the mapping is a geometric transformation between bodies in the visual and motor spaces; however, it is still unclear if the mapping is innate or, if not, how it is acquired. We claim here that the mapping is not a geometric transformation between bodies but a functional correspondence between someone's action on an object for producing an effect and one's own action on the same or similar object for producing a similar effect, which is learnable because both tend to utilize the object's affordance in a similar way.

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