Phil 4.15.16

7:00 – 4:30 VTX

  • Good meeting with Wayne yesterday evening
  • Tensorflow playground
  • Continuing The ‘like me’ framework for recognizing and becoming an intentional agent
    • Page 4: Based on the ‘like me’ framework, I hypothesized that it would be possible to demonstrate such tool-use learning at younger ages by transforming the situation. Instead of having the infant sit across the table from the adult, I had them sit side-by-side. In that way the adult’s actions could more easily serve as a blueprint for the child’s own action plans. Recent brain imaging studies with adults show the facilitative effects of seeing a to-be-imitated action from one’s own point of view (Jackson, Meltzoff, & Decety, 2006).
    • Page 5:This study was the first to show infants how to use complex tools ‘from their own perspective.’ Sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with the child closes the gap between the perceived and executed actions. The model becomes more ‘like me.’ 
      • Eyewitness value, photos and images all come from a ‘like me’ framework. As much as possible, we are looking out of the eyes of the witness. This high level of credibility traces all the way back to infancy. Wow. On a related note, this has implications for news reporting using VR.
    • Page 6: Evidently, young toddlers can understand our goals even if we fail to fulfill them. In another study (Meltzoff, 1995; Experiment 2), it was shown that infants did not reenact the target act if  they saw a mechanical device rather than a person performing the ‘slipping’ movements. The device did not look human and had poles as arms and pincers instead of fingers, but it traced the same spatiotemporal pattern as did the person’s yanking. Infants did not pull apart the dumbbell at any higher than baseline levels in this case. They did, however, correctly perform the target act in another condition in which the mechanical device succeeded in pulling apart the dumbbell. This makes sense, because in the case of success the object transformation is visible (it is pulled apart), but in the case of the unsuccessful attempt, there is no object transformation, only a ‘slipping’ motion that has to be interpreted at a different level.
      • Does this mean that we have a ‘wired-in’ model of the intention of others?
    • Page 7: Persistence and emotions as markers of infants’ intention—In further work, I showed 18-month-olds (N = 33) the standard unsuccessful-attempt display, but handed them a trick toy. The toy had been surreptitiously glued shut before the study began. When infants picked it up and attempted to pull it apart, their hands slipped off the ends. This, of course, matched the surface behavior of the adult. The question was whether this imitation of the adults’ behavior satisfied the infants. It did not. When infants matched the surface behavior of the adult, they did not terminate their behavior. They repeatedly grabbed the toy, yanked on it in different ways, and appealed to the adult for help by looking and vocalizing. About 90% (20/23) of those who tried to pull apart the object immediately stared at the adult after they failed to do so (mean latency = 1.74 s). Why were they appealing for help? They had matched the adult’s surface behavior. Evidently, they were striving toward something else: the adult’s goals, not his literal behavior
      • Definately a model of something… And a goal.
    • Page 7: We also conducted related neuroscience work in adults. The results reveal that neural structures known to be involved in adult theory-of-mind tasks (medial prefrontal cortex) are activated in tasks requiring adults to infer unconsummated goals in basic action tasks (Chaminade, Meltzoff, & Decety, 2002; see also Reid, Csibra, Belsky, & Johnson, 2007, for related work). This suggests a tie between the processing of action sequences in terms of goals and more sophisticated aspects of social cognition.
    • Page 7: Our adult commonsense psychology includes a distinction between the types of entities that are accorded goals and intentions and those that are not. We ascribe a goal to the archer not to the arrow that reaches (or misses) the target
      • That’s a fundamental ‘humanness’ definition that Social Trust depends on. If the inferred goals are trustworthy, then slips in behavior are discounted.
    • Page 7: I am currently exploring whether mechanical devices such as social robots can be treated as ‘like me’ based on bodily structure and/ or the type of behavior they exhibit, prompting action imitation by the infant. Preliminary results suggest so.
  • —————–
  • Updated the deployable RatingApp.exe. Asked Andy to set up a Skype meeting so I can demo.
  • Presented and deployed.
  • Made a new CSE that only points to the online Moby Dick, that can be used for query testing.
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