Verena V. Hafner

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Exploratory activities seem to be intrinsically rewarding for children and crucial for their cognitive development. Can a machine be endowed with such an intrinsic motivation system? This is the question we study in this paper, presenting a number of computational systems that try to capture this drive towards novel or curious situations. After discussing(More)
This paper discusses the concept of joint attention and the different skills underlying its development. We argue that joint attention is much more than gaze following or simultaneous looking because it implies a shared intentional relation to the world. The current state-of-the-art in robotic and computational models of the different prerequisites of joint(More)
Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a systemic vasculitis preferentially affecting large and medium-sized arteries. Inflammatory infiltrates in the arterial wall induce luminal occlusion with subsequent ischemia and degradation of the elastic membranes, allowing aneurysm formation. To identify pathways relevant to the disease process, differential display-PCR was(More)
This paper presents the mechanism of Intelligent Adaptive Curiosity. This is an intrinsic motivation system which pushes the robot towards situations in which it maximizes its learning progress. It makes the robot focus on situations which are neither too predictable nor too unpredictable. This mechanism is a source of autonomous mental development for the(More)
In this article, we investigate an interesting aspect of animal behavior, the visual homing strategies of insects. We use a biomimetic approach, called synthetic modeling, combined with mechanisms of adaptation and learning. Such an approach allows us both to transfer biological knowledge to robot technology and to exploit robots to gain insights into(More)
In this paper, we present a first series of experiments with prototype artificial whiskers that have been developed in our laboratory. These experiments have been inspired by neuroscience research on real rats. In spite of the enormous potential of whiskers, they have to date not been systematically investigated and exploited by roboticists. Although the(More)
This paper presents a mechanism of learning a homing strategy, which is mostly independent from the environment. It is comparable with theoretic homing models in insects like the snapshot model (Cartwright and Collett, 1983) or the Average Landmark Vector model (Lambrinos et al., 2000). In contrast to those models, the navigation strategies presented in(More)
This paper presents a computational model which explains the formation of cognitive maps similar to those found in mammals and may be used for navigation tasks in open environments (as opposed to mazes). The model is inspired by the discovery of place as well as head direction cells in the rat’s hippocampus. The modelled cognitive maps consist of mainly(More)
We aimed to assess the effect of coadministration and withdrawal of a potent cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) inhibitor (ritonavir) and a potent CYP3A inducer (St John's wort) on CYP3A enzyme activity in an open, fixed-sequence study design. We investigated the pharmacokinetics of midazolam: (i) at baseline, (ii) after a single dose of either St John's wort or(More)