: Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology (): Valentino Braitenberg: Books. Description of and animations from a Braitenberg vehicle simulator (based In the book Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology, Valentino Braitenberg. The Bactra Review: Occasional and eclectic book reviews by Cosma Shalizi Vehicles. Experiments in Synthetic Psychology. by Valentino Braitenberg.

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In each of the subsequent chapters he adds a simple little upgrade i.

Dec 22, March Slashcheva rated it really liked it. A friend who teaches a class in robotics gave this to me with the admonition that I read it slowly, just a few pages at a time. The second part of the book then offers scientific reasons for each of the upgrades, based on the understanding of brain science at the time. Feb 16, Jo rated it liked it Shelves: Space Things and Movements. There are 14 vehicles in all — a series of hypothetical, self-operating mobile machines that exhibit increasingly sophisticated behavior similar to that in the real biological or neuroscientific world.

One set of sensors, those connected to the black, ipsilateral connections are the same as the distance vehicles’. Popular passages Page – Uttley, AM Mar 20, Siddhartha Banerjee rated it it was amazing. Jul 13, Kevin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Instead, following the ‘downhill synthesis’ approach, this book attempts to produce similar phenomena through relatively simple inventions called ‘vehicles’.

It is the latter pursuit which occupies the first half of the book; a dozen or so vehicles, each with more complexity than the next, but explained so well that each step is remarkably understandable.

In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote. Possible energy vehicle path Relating food energy to distance So how do energy vehicles compare the amount of energy that food will provide to the amount of energy it will cost to travel to that food? The second half left me a bit puzzled. People who are familiar with the ideas used in modern day reinforcement learning and artificial neural networks will probably find analogues in the kind of design that goes into the vehicles and such discoveries can be very enjoyable as well.


Very interesting and accessible book on neuroscience. When a sensor receives stimulation, the connected motor is slowed. Experiments in Synthetic Psychology by Valentino Braitenberg. This he calls the ‘law of uphill analysis and downhill invention’. Values and Special Tastes.

In this case, the agents move away from the dark and towards the light. Aug 10, alyssa carver marked it as to-read.

Elegant and deceptively simple. This book is a magic treasure chest of deep insights. Oct 18, Angelo Grosso rated it it was amazing.

The proposed emergent behavior is the ability for the vehicle’s logical system to drift through concepts and associations that it has derived from the environment. Ostensibly a book about simple robots, it gently and unobtrusively turns into a philosophical tract about the nature of consciousness, intelligence, and self. Braitenberg received an honorary doctorate from the University of Salzburg in I was reading this book in preparation of a university course in cognitive robotics.

Vehicle 2 a has ipsilateral inhibitory connections. While not as full of jaw-dropping moments as the first part, the second part of the book helps to solidify many of the claims made for the hypothetical vehicles.

Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology by Valentino Braitenberg

The book is leaving proof of this. Consciousness is commonly debated as an emergent property of software, and most of us are familiar with arguments about whether a sufficiently complex computer will eventually display consciousness. That is, when the robot is placed in a brightly lit room, it will without any programmingrun away from the light to find the darkest place, where it can stop running and “hide”.

Animal’s complex neurological structure, he shows, arises from learning, from sensory input, and, eventually, from internal “thoughts” or neuronal activations. He completed his medical training with an internship at the psychiatric clinic in Rome, where he decided to prefer a scientific career dedicated to the understanding of brain functions. It’s a nice way to see, concretely, how simple components sensors, effectors and rule-sets can generate surprisingly complex behaviour–a valuable insight not only for roboticists but also for anyone interested in AI, machine learning, or neuropsychology.


However radical it may seem, each single seemingly crazy idea is strongly cemented with arguments from cognitive science.

Valentino Braitenberg

Experiments in synthetic psychology. How could it be any different? Imagine a robot with a simple light sensor attached to a drive wheel; vapentino light makes the wheel go faster, less light makes it stop.

On the left, in orange, is a distance-scaling vehicle. Few basic patterns of brain’s processing are described, such as Hebb’s associative learning and memorizing the sequences of events.

Just finished re-reading after about 30 years this delightful classic on the intersections of biology and engineering cybernetics and, occasionally, philosophy. The author baitenberg that these attributes and patterns of behavior can be internalized into machines using the simplest parts — a collection of environmental sensors, some wheel-driving motors, various threshold devices, a few fictional but logically and technologically plausible components with special properties.

The second half, on the actual neuro-biology of the fruit fly is equally as interesting. Mar 15, Steve Stuart rated it it was amazing.

Preview — Vehicles by Valentino Braitenberg. If somewhere in the middle of the book – lets say after the first 40 pages, if you reflect back on everything which you have read and realise that Braitenberg has been turning unimaginative matter into life with the least of effort and oodles of conjuring, then that confirms that you are truly enjoying the book.

When a sensor receives stimulation, the same-side motor slows, leaving the opposite motor spinning faster and steering the vehicle slowly toward the source. First the author is making some simple mind experiments which seem funny and nice to know, but after some chapters I found myself recognizing that he valenfino explaining nothing less than how my brain is probably working.