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Living machinesA handbook of research in biomimetics and biohybrid systems$
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Tony J. Prescott, Nathan Lepora, and Paul F.M.J Verschure

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199674923.001.0001

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Attention and orienting

Attention and orienting

(p.256) Chapter 27 Attention and orienting
Living machines

Ben Mitchinson

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the close relationship between the mental faculty of attention and the physical faculty of orienting, and the importance of this relationship to the construction of artificial biomimetic systems. It reviews the importance of physical orienting to natural motor behavior, which places attention management at the core of all behaviors (“orienting is acting”), and the concomitant social role of physical orienting both in expressing and revealing the focus of a mind. The article highlights the efficiency of top-down and bottom-up processing for behavioral control, using map-based saliency processing as a model, and the suitability of map-based algorithms for parallel or bespoke computation. Given this, and the similar nature of the challenges faced by artificial and natural sensorimotor systems, it is argued that attention management may be a, if not the, key component of future artificial motor control systems.

Keywords:   attention, orienting, behavior, saliency, biomimetic

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