From Egocentric Systems to Systems Allowing for Theory of Mind and Mutualism

TitleFrom Egocentric Systems to Systems Allowing for Theory of Mind and Mutualism
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsCruse, H., & Schilling M.
Other Numbers3266

Simple artificial agents representing more or less elaborated Braitenberg vehicles, usually adopt an egocentric view. One example is Walknet, a biologically inspired neural network controlling hexapod walking. Here we show how such a controller can be expanded to be able to interpret observed behaviours that are performed by other individuals, i.e. the system shows properties of a mirror system. This allows to further expand the network to become an "allocentric" system that might implement subjective feelings which could be attributed to other individuals, i.e. the system implements a Theory of Mind. As a last expansion we introduce a two-body model, or we-model, which may allow for mutualism. Application of we-models allows for what often has been called the third person's view. The different steps proposed can be interpreted as corresponding to an evolutionary development.


This work has been supported by the Center of Excellence‘Cognitive Interaction Technology’ (EXC 277), by the EC-ISTEMICAB project # FP7 – 270182. It was also partially funded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) through a postdoctoral fellowship.

Bibliographic Notes

Proceedings of the European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 11), Paris, France, pp. 184-191

Abbreviated Authors

H. Cruse and M. Schilling

ICSI Research Group


ICSI Publication Type

Article in conference proceedings