In Frontiers in neurorobotics
Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others, and to understand that others have beliefs that are different from one's own. Although functional neuroimaging techniques have been widely used to establish the neural correlates implicated in ToM, the specific mechanisms are still not clear. We make our efforts to integrate and adopt existing biological findings of ToM, bridging the gap through computational modeling, to build a brain-inspired computational model for ToM. We propose a Brain-inspired Model of Theory of Mind (Brain-ToM model), and the model is applied to a humanoid robot to challenge the false belief tasks, two classical tasks designed to understand the mechanisms of ToM from Cognitive Psychology. With this model, the robot can learn to understand object permanence and visual access from self-experience, then uses these learned experience to reason about other's belief. We computationally validated that the self-experience, maturation of correlate brain areas (e.g., calculation capability) and their connections (e.g., inhibitory control) are essential for ToM, and they have shown their influences on the performance of the participant robot in false-belief task. The theoretic modeling and experimental validations indicate that the model is biologically plausible, and computationally feasible as a foundation for robot theory of mind.
Zeng Yi, Zhao Yuxuan, Zhang Tielin, Zhao Dongcheng, Zhao Feifei, Lu Enmeng
brain inspired model, connection maturation, false-belief task, inhibitory control, self-experience, theory of mind