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Artif Life. 2013 Winter;19(1):133-48. doi: 10.1162/ARTL_a_00086. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

Emotion as morphofunctionality.

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Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.


We argue for a morphofunctional approach to emotion modeling that can also aid the design of adaptive embodied systems. By morphofunctionality we target the online change in both structure and function of a system, and relate it to the notion of physiology and emotion in animals. Besides the biological intuition that emotions serve the function of preparing the body, we investigate the control requirements that any morphofunctional autonomous system must face. We argue that changes in morphology modify the dynamics of the system, thus forming a variable structure system (VSS). We introduce some of the techniques of control theory to deal with VSSs and derive a twofold hypothesis: first, the loose coupling between two control systems, in charge of action and action readiness, respectively; second, the formation of patterned metacontrol. Emotional phenomena can be seen as emergent from this control setup.

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