ICEA - Modelling goal-directed navigation of the rat

The Consortium

Our group takes part in a European Integrated Project (IST-027819) ICEA since January 2006. ICEA (Integrating Cognition, Emotion and Autonomy) is a four-year project on bio-inspired cognitive robotics and embodied cognition, bringing together cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, psychologists, computational modelers, roboticists and control engineers.

The primary aim of the project is to develop a cognitive systems architecture integrating cognitive, emotional and bioregulatory (self-maintenance) processes, based on the architecture and physiology of the mammalian brain. The twofold hypothesis behind this research is that:

  • the emotional and bioregulatory mechanisms that come with the organismic embodiment of living cognitive systems also play a crucial role in the constitution of their high-level cognitive processes, and
  • models of these mechanisms can be usefully integrated in artificial cognitive systems architectures, which will constitute a significant step towards truly autonomous robotic cognitive systems that reason and behave in accordance with energy and other self-preservation requirements.

To see the list of project activities and workpackages, click here.
The list of cooperators, activities and selected articles can be found here.

Our workpackage

Our primary aim is to built a computational model of the rat's hippocampal system which is able to navigate in several situations.

We work in close cooperation with the LPPA. The key aim of their neuro-physiological studies in the current proposal will be to identify the neural activity, and ensemble dynamics, underlying the acquisition and recall of three complementary strategies (praxic, beacon guidance and place recognition triggered response; see Trullier et al., 1997 for reference) for goal-directed action.

These different spatial orientation strategies may cooperate as well as compete during navigation behavior. We intend to build a model for these three strategies and study how the cooperation between them can help more precise localization.