Consciousness, Emotion, and Imagination

A Brain-Inspired Architecture for Cognitive Robotics

Murray Shanahan


This paper proposes a brain-inspired cognitive architecture that incorporates approximations to the concepts of consciousness, emotion, and imagination. To emulate the empirically established cognitive efficacy of conscious as opposed to unconscious information processing in the mammalian brain, the architecture adopts a model of information flow from global workspace theory. Cognitive functions such as anticipation and planning are realised through internal simulation of interaction with the environment. Action selection, in both actual and internally simulated interaction with the environment, is mediated by affect. An implementation of the architecture is described which is based on weightless neurons and is used to control a simulated robot.