In the Cognitive Anteater Robotics Laboratory (CARL) at the University of California, Irvine, we are designing robotic systems whose behaviors are guided by large-scale simulations of the mammalian brain. Because these simulated nervous systems are embodied on a robot, they provide a powerful tool for studying brain function. Moreover, because these cognitive robots are embedded in the real-world, the system's behavior and function can be tested similarly to that of an animal under experimental conditions. We have studied perception, operant conditioning, episodic and spatial memory, and motor control through the simulation of brain regions such as the visual cortex, the hippocampus, the cerebellum, and the neuromodulatory systems. The behavior and neuronal dynamics of these systems were directly compared with empirical data from experimental psychology and neuroscience experiments.
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