The Synthetic Littermate

  • Stuart P. Wilson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8064)


I suggest how a new type of biohybrid society – a huddle of neonatal rat pups comprising biological and synthetic litttermates – could be used to model the interaction between self-organisation at the neural level and self-organisation at the level of group behaviours.


biohybrid systems mixed societies self-organisation thermoregulation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Gilbert, C., McCafferty, D., Maho, Y.L., Martrette, J.M., Giroud, S., Blanc, S., Ancel, A.: One for all and all for one: the energetic benefits of huddling in endotherms. Biol. Rev. Camb Philos Soc. 85(3), 545–569 (2010)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Alberts, J.R.: Huddling by rat pups: group behavioral mechanisms of temperature regulation and energy conservation. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 92(2), 231–245 (1978)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schank, J.C., Alberts, J.R.: Self-organized huddles of rat pups modeled by simple rules of individual behavior. J. Theor. Biol. 189(1), 11–25 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sokoloff, G., Blumberg, M.S.: Competition and cooperation among huddling infant rats. Dev. Psychobiol. 39(2), 65–75 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Alberts, J.R.: Huddling by rat pups: multisensory control of contact behavior. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 92(2), 220–230 (1978)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Grant, R.A., Sperber, A.L., Prescott, T.J.: The role of orienting in vibrissal touch sensing. Front Behav. Neurosci. 6, 39 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Alberts, J.R.: Huddling by rat pups: ontogeny of individual and group behavior. Dev. Psychobiol. 49(1), 22–32 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Swindale, N.V.: The development of topography in the visual cortex: a review of models. Network 7(2), 161–247 (1996)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Miikkulainen, R., Bednar, J.A., Choe, Y., Sirosh, J.: Computational maps in the visual cortex. Springer, Berlin (2005)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wilson, S.P., Law, J.S., Mitchinson, B., Prescott, T.J., Bednar, J.A.: Modeling the emergence of whisker direction maps in rat barrel cortex. PLoS One 5(1), e8778 (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mitchinson, B., Pearson, M.J., Pipe, A.G., Prescott, T.J.: Biomimetic robots as scientific models: A view from the whisker tip. In: Neuromorphic and Brain-Based Robots: Trends and Perspectives. Cambridge University Press (2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bish, R., Joshi, S., Schank, J., Wexler, J.: Mathematical modeling and computer simulation of a robotic rat pup. Mathematical and Computer Modelling 45(78), 981–1000 (2007)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Glancy, J., Gross, R., Wilson, S.P.: A minimal model of the phase transition into thermoregulatory huddling. In: Lepora, N.F., Mura, A., Krapp, H.G., Verschure, P.F.M.J., Prescott, T.J. (eds.) Living Machines 2013. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 8064, pp. 381–383. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart P. Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations