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AISB event Bulletin Item



EpiRob 2009

Modeling Cognitive Development in Robotic Systems
Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli
Venice, Italy, November 12-14, 2009

** Submission Deadline: June 8, 2009 **

Epigenetic systems, whether natural or artificial, share a prolonged developmental process through which varied and complex cognitive and perceptual structures emerge as a result of the interaction of an embodied system with a physical and social environment.

Epigenetic robotics has the twofold goal of understanding biological systems by the interdisciplinary integration between social/life and engineering sciences and, simultaneously, that of enabling robots and other artificial systems to autonomously develop skills for any particular environment (instead of programming them to solve particular goals for a specific environment). Interdisciplinary theory and empirical evidence are used to inform epigenetic robotic models, and these models can be used as theoretical tools to make experimental predictions in developmental psychology and other disciplines studying cognitive development in living systems.

This year's edition of Epigenetic Robotics will have a special focus on emotional and social development, particularly addressed by keynote speakers and special discussion and working groups. However, submissions are welcome regarding all aspects of the study of cognitive development.

Submissions are welcome regarding all aspects of the study of cognitive development, including (but not limited to):

- The roles of and interactions among motivation, emotion, and value systems in development

- The development of emotional competencies and systems

- The development of "social skills", such as imitation, synchrony processing, intersubjectivity, joint   attention, intentionality, non-verbal and verbal communication, sensorimotor schemata, shared meaning and symbolic reference, social learning, social relationships, social cognition ("mind reading", "theory of mind")

- The role of play in emotional, social, and cognitive development

- The development of verbal and non-verbal communication

- Links between (the development of) expression and communication

- Architectures for autonomous development

- Dynamical systems models of emotional, social, and cognitive development

- The scope and limits of maturation, the mechanisms of open-ended development

- The mechanisms of stage formation and stage transitions

- Interaction between innate structure, ongoing developing structure, and experience

- The interplay between embodiment, learning biases and environment

- Algorithms for self-supervision, autonomous exploration, representation making, and methods for evolving new representations during ontogeny

- Philosophical and social issues of development

- The epistemological foundations of using robots to study development

- The use of robots as theoretical tools (e.g., to make predictions) in the study of development in biological systems

- The use of robots in applied settings (e.g., autism therapy) to study development in biological systems
Robots that can undergo morphological changes and how they can be used to study interplays among social, emotional, cognitive and morphological development


EpiRob09 will accept submissions in two categories: long papers (presenting more mature research ideas and results) or short abstracts (presenting more preliminary / ongoing work).

Manuscripts submitted as long papers should have a maximum length of 8 pages using the usual EpiRob format (former SAB template modified for A4 paper). Manuscripts submitted as abstracts should have a maximum length of 2 pages using the usual EpiRob format. The style files for LaTex are available in zip format and in tar format on the EpiRob'09 website, where you can also find a Word style file.

All submissions must be in PDF format.

Accepted long papers will have oral presentations at the conference. Accepted abstracts will be presented as posters. Authors of accepted abstracts will also have the opportunity to make a brief oral presentation during a Poster Spotlight session.

All submissions and camera-ready papers and abstracts should be sent as email attachments in PDF format (only) to:


June 8, 2009: Papers and abstracts submission deadline.
July 20, 2009: Acceptance notification.
September 8, 2009: Camera-ready versions of accepted papers and abstracts due in electronic format.
November 12-14, 2009: Conference dates.


Lola Canamero - General and Program Chair;
Pierre-Yves Oudeyer - Program Co-chair;
Hideki Kozima - Publicity Co-chair;
Nadia Bianchi-Berthouze - Publicity Co-chair;
Christian Balkenius - Publications Chair