The architectural basis of affective states and processes.

Sloman, Aaron, Chrisley, Ron and Scheutz, Matthias (2005) The architectural basis of affective states and processes. In: Fellous, Jean-Marc and Arbib, Michael A. (eds.) Who needs emotions?: The brain meets the robot. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 203-244. ISBN 0195166191

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Much discussion of emotions and related topics is riddled with confusion because the key words are used with different meanings by different authors. For instance, some fail to distinguish the concept of emotion from the more general concept of affect which covers other things besides emotions, including moods, attitudes, desires, preferences, intentions, dislikes, etc. Others simply treat all forms of motivation as emotions. Moreover researchers do not all have the same research goals: some are primarily concerned with understanding natural phenomena, in humans and other animals, while some are more concerned with producing useful artefacts, e.g. synthetic entertainment agents, sympathetic machine interfaces, and the like. The work in our group has aimed, over several years, to address the confusion by showing how architecture-based concepts can extend and refine our pre-theoretical concepts in directions that make them more useful as a basis both for expressing scientific questions and theories, and for specifying engineering objectives. The catch is that different information-processing architectures support different classes of emotions, different classes of consciousness, different varieties of perception, and so on. As a step towards a high level overview of the variety of types of architectures, we analyse some very basic notions such as need, function, information-user, affect, information-processing architecture and proceed to offer the CogAff schema, which distinguishes types of components that may be in a architecture, operating concurrently with different functional roles. We also offer a first-draft sketch of H-Cogaff, a conjectured type of architecture which is an instance of the CogAff schema required to explain or replicate human mental phenomena, and show how the concepts that are definable in terms of such an architecture can clarify and enrich research on human emotions our primary objective. If successful for the purposes of science and philosophy the architecture is also likely to be useful for engineering purposes, though many engineering goals can be achieved using shallow concepts and shallow theories, e.g., producing believable agents for computer entertainments. The more realistic robot emotions will emerge, as they do in humans, from the interactions of many mechanisms serving different purposes, not from a particular, dedicated emotion mechanism.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Originality: In contrast with the dominant trend of neural reductionism, applies the notion of a virtual machine to provide an account of emotion-like states in natural and artificial systems. Rigour: Carefully distinguishes variety of related concepts, and warns that questions and answers may only be expressible in the light of actually designing virtual machines that model related phenomena. Uses machine concepts to give accounts of positive and negative affect, as well as primary, secondary and tertiary emotions. Significance: Presents the CogAff framework, which could be used as a standard for relating competing models of affect and emotion; evidence impact includes being cited as a major approach to machine consciousness in reference articles in Scholarpedia, the Blackwell Companion to Consciousness, and Nature, as well as being cited in articles in the journals Neurocomputing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science , and Cortex. Outlet/Citations: Google Scholar 10; Book received very positive reviews in, e.g., "Lancet Neurology". OUP is prestigous publisher; co-editors are internationally recognized leading figures in neuroscience.
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Ron Chrisley
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:16
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2012 15:35
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