Who Needs Emotions?: The Brain Meets the Robot

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The idea that some day robots may have emotions has captured the imagination of many and has been dramatized by robots and androids in such famous movies as 2001 Space Odyssey's HAL or Star Trek's Data. By contrast, the editors of this book have assembled a panel of experts in neuroscience and artificial intelligence who have dared to tackle the issue of whether robots can have emotions from a purely scientific point of view. The study of the brain now usefully informs study of the social, communicative, adaptive, regulatory, and experimental aspects of emotion and offers support for the idea that we exploit our own psychological responses in order to feel others' emotions. The contributors show the many ways in which the brain can be analyzed to shed light on emotions. Fear, reward, and punishment provide structuring concepts for a number of investigations. Neurochemistry reveals the ways in which different "neuromodulators" such as serotonin, dopamine, and opioids can affect the emotional valence of the brain. And studies of different regions such as the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex provide a view of the brain as a network of interacting subsystems. Related studies in artificial intelligence and robotics are discussed and new multi-level architectures are proposed that make it possible for emotions to be implemented. It is now an accepted task in robotics to build robots that perceive human expressions of emotion and can "express" simulated emotions to ease interactions with humans. Looking towards future innovations, some scientists posit roles for emotion with our fellow humans. All of these issues are covered in this timely and stimulating book which is written for researchers and graduated students in neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Celso Agner, MD, MS, MSc (Michigan Neurology Partners)
Description: To understanding emotions is to comprehend some of the major aspects of life and the interaction between environment and neuroscience. A review on the topic is important for a good many behavioral scientists.
Purpose: The purpose of this book is to address the neurophysiology of emotions, a topic important to a small subgroup of neuroscientists.
Audience: The book is primarily written for neurologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists.
Features: Twenty authors contribute 12 chapters that progress from basic neuroanatomical and neurophysiological concepts to behavior, emotions, and the interaction with modern technology. The pictures and references aid in a better understanding of the material. The most interesting part is the potential interaction of science and robots in real life. I am not convinced, however, that a great number of readers will easily digest this book.
Assessment: This is an important book for psychiatry and psychology libraries.
From the Publisher
"...this book is an important contribution to the emerging field of emotional neurotechnology. It is a stimulating collection that is well edited and researched."—The Lancet-Neurology

"Who Needs Emotions? is a cutting-edge research volume that has been meticulously edited by Jean-Marc Fellous and Michael A. Arbib.... this collection of essays is an excellent anthology in terms of cutting-edge research on the brain, and...in matters of artificial intelligence.... I would highly recommend this book because of all the interesting insights into how the brain works with regard to the emotions."—Marion Ledwig, Philosophical Psychology

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195166194
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/1/2004
  • Series: Series in Affective Science Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Duke University

University of Southern California

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Table of Contents

1 "Edison" & "Russel": Definitions Versus Inventions in the Analysis of Emotion. Jean-Marc Fellous and Michael A. Arbib
2. Could a Robot have emotions? Theoretical Perspectives from Social Cognitive Neuroscience, Ralph Adolphs
3. Neurchemical Networks Encoding Emotion and Motivation: An Evolutionary Perspective, Ann E. Kelley
4. Towards Basic Principles for Emotional Processing: What the Fearful Brain Tells the Robot, Jean-Marc Fellous and Joseph E. Ledoux
5. What are Emotions, Why do we Have Emotions, and What is Their Computational Basis in the Brain?, Edmond T. Rolls
6. How Do We Decipher Others' Minds?, Marc Jeannerod
7. Affect and Proto-affect in Effective Functioning, Anrew Ortony, Donald A. Norman, and William Revelle
8. The Architectural Basis of Affective States and Processes, Aaron Sloman, Ron Chrisley, and Matthias Scheutz
9. Moving Up the Food Chain: Motivation and Emotion in Behavior-based Robots, Ronald C. Arkin
10. Robot Emotions: A Functional Perspective, Cynthia Breazeal and Rodney Brooks
11. The Role of Emotions in Multiagent Teamwork, Ranjit Nair, Milind Tambe, and Stacy Marsella
12. Beware the Passionate Robot, Michael A. Arbib

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