SPP 2134: The Sensorimotor Architecture of the Self: Theory of Information Integration in Embodied Systems
Embodied systems are subject to their sensorimotor constrains, which shape the way these systems can perceive and act on the external world. Corresponding distinctions in the world constitute the Umwelt of such systems, a notion that has been introduced by Uexküll for the first time in 1926 who also studied it in the context of various animals. In order to control beneficial behavior, embodied systems have to structure some aspects of their Umwelt in terms of an internal model. We distinguish various degrees of this structure, which is, for particular conditions, correlated with conscious experience and a self-representation. Tononi's integrated information theory of consciousness can provide indicators for this. The aim of the project is to extend and develop information-theoretic methods that will allow us to use the integrated information theory also in the context of embodied systems. In particular, the project will reveal the requirements for the emergence of a self-representation through the interaction of the system with the world. The methods will be demonstrated and exemplified in terms of robotics experiments.