A Self-organising Animat Body Map
Self-organising maps can recreate many of the essential features of the known functional organisation of primary cortical areas in the mammalian brain. According to such models, cortical maps represent the spatial-temporal structure of sensory and/or motor input patterns registered during the early development of an animal, and this structure is determined by interactions between the neural control architecture, the body morphology, and the environmental context in which the animal develops. We present a minimal model of pseudo-physical interactions between an animat body and its environment, which includes each of these elements, and show how cortical map self-organisation is affected by manipulations to each element in turn. Initial simulation results suggest that maps robustly self-organise to reveal a homuncular organisation, where nearby body parts tend to be represented by adjacent neurons.
Keywordsself-organisation cortical maps brain-body interaction animat model
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