Harold Cohen

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Dancing with Pixies?...

At TEDx Tottenham, London Mark Bishop (the former chair of the Society) demonstrates that if the ongoing EU flagship science project - the 1.6 billion dollar "Human Brain Project” - ultimately succeeds in understanding all as...


Computerised Minds. ...

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Erden in AI roundtab...

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AISB Convention 2016

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AISB miscellaneous Bulletin Item

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological Science - Theme issue "Models of Natural Action Selection"


Readers of this list may interested in the following theme issue of 
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological Science, 
which was published online this month.  It will be available in hardcopy 
for purchase from September.  Apologies for multiple postings.  

Theme Issue on "Models of Natural Action Selection"
Editors: Tony J. Prescott, Joanna J. Bryson, Anil K. Seth.

Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B.
Print: 0962-8436
Online: 1471-2970


SUMMARY: Action selection, at its simplest, is the problem that every 
human and animal faces at each instant of "what to do next?". To 
scientists this problem raises a plethora of further questions: How do we 
know how to do the right thing? Why is it that we sometimes make poor 
choices? How do we plan ahead for complex tasks and remember what we are 
trying to do as we go along?  Are there central decision-making mechanisms 
in the brain or do actions somehow 'select themselves' through the 
interaction of many concurrent brain processes? What happens when 
different parts the brain want to do different things? How do the actions 
selected by individuals shape and change the social groups in which they 

This theme issue addresses these questions by focusing on a particular 
strategy for finding scientific explanations - computer modelling.  The 
contributions employ state-of-the-art modelling techniques ranging from 
large networks of simulated brain cells, through to models of individuals 
(people or animals) viewed as agents operating in simulated worlds. The 
research has broad applications, from understanding brain disorders such 
as Parkinson's disease and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, to 
explaining how we choose which political parties we vote for, and how they 
adapt to increase their appeal to us.


Introduction. Modelling natural action selection
Tony J. Prescott, Joanna J. Bryson, Anil K. Seth

Do we expect natural selection to produce rational behaviour? 
Alasdair I. Houston, John M. McNamara, Mark D. Steer

The ecology of action selection: Insights from artificial life 
Anil K. Seth

Compromise strategies for action selection
Frederick L. Crabbe

Action selection and refinement in subcortical loops through basal ganglia 
and cerebellum 
J.C. Houk, C. Bastianen, D. Fansler, et al.

Cortical mechanisms of action selection: the affordance competition hypothesis
Paul Cisek

Towards an executive without a homunculus: computational models of the 
prefrontal cortex/basal ganglia system 
Thomas E. Hazy, Michael J. Frank, Randall C. O'Reilly

Multilevel structure in behaviour and in the brain: a model of Fuster's 
Matthew M. Botvinick

Is there a brainstem substrate for action selection?
M.D. Humphries, K. Gurney, T.J. Prescott

Understanding decision-making deficits in neurological conditions: 
insights from models of natural action selection 
Michael J. Frank, Anouk Scheres, Scott J. Sherman

Extending a biologically inspired model of choice: multi-alternatives, 
nonlinearity and value-based multidimensional choice 
Rafal Bogacz, Marius Usher, Jiaxiang Zhang, et al.

Biologically constrained action selection improves cognitive control in a 
model of the Stroop task 
Tom Stafford and Kevin N. Gurney

Agent-based modelling as scientific method: A case study analysing primate 
social behaviour 
Joanna J. Bryson, Yasushi Ando, Hagen Lehmann

An agent-based model of group decision making in baboons
W.I. Sellers, R.A. Hill, B.S. Logan

Spatial models of political competition with endogenous political parties
Michael Laver and Michel Schilperoord