Evolving a Circadian Rhythm

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The theory of Embodied Embedded Cognition (EEC) proposes that cognition and behavior emerge out of the interaction between body and world. The brain can be envisioned as a tra ffic regulator, assisting in the selection of appropriate behavior based on cues from the body and environment. In this paper the theory of EEC with respect to the traffi c regulator hypothesis is tested by simulation. Agents are placed in an environment with a day and night rhythm. In order to survive, these agents have to search for food and avoid obstacles. At day this is easy, but at night the perception is troubled by the darkness and agents may hit obstacles. Two types of agents are tested: purely reactive ones (based on the subsumption architecture) and reactive ones with a control structure on top. This control structure is a neural network with inhibitory output links to the behavioral layers of the agent. The control structure takes input from the body and environment. Both types of agents are compared for their effectiveness in the environment. Results show that the control system agents are more e effective in surviving than the reactive agents. Further investigation also showed that this e effectiveness is due to the development of a circadian rhythm. The results support the theory of EEC with the brain as traffi c regulator. The control structures act as tra ffic regulators, inhibiting behavioral responses when necessary.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen