Third International Symposium on Imitation in Animals and Artifacts, 12-14 April 2005, Hatfield UK


NEW: The draft programme for the symposium is available here or download it as a pdf file here.

Scope of the Symposium


Within societies, an individual learns not only on its own, for example through classical conditioning and reinforcement, but to a large extent from other individuals, by observation and imitation. Species from rats to birds to humans have been observed to turn to their peers for efficient learning of useful knowledge. One of the most important mechanisms for the transmission of this knowledge is imitation. However, explaining the mechanisms underlying the imitative abilities of humans and other animals has proved to be a complex subject. The mechanisms are not well-understood, and their connections to sociality, communication, development, and learning are deep, as research from various disciplines has started to reveal.

This interdisciplinary workshop will bring together researchers from neuroscience, brain imaging, animal psychology, computer science and robotics to examine the latest advances to imitation. The areas of interest of the symposium include but are not limited to:

  • Imitation in Animals and Humans: studies and models, theories of underlying mechanisms.
  • Robot Imitation: experiments, architectures, role of memory and prediction, learning sequences of actions and acquiring behaviours
  • Neurobiological Foundations of Imitation
  • Solving the Correspondence Problem between differently embodied systems
  • Learning by Imitation to bootstrap the acquisition of skills & knowledge
  • The Role of Imitation in the Development of Social Cognition
  • Learning of Perception-Action Mappings via Observation of the Self or Others
  • Developmental approaches to imitation
  • Imitation, Intentionality and Communication
  • Pathologies of imitation mechanisms; autism, visuoimitative apraxia.
  • The interplay between Imitation, Attention, and Joint attention
  • Programming by Example/Programming by Demonstration; Behavioural Cloning
  • When, where, by whom

    This symposium will take place between 12-14 April 2005 at the University of Hertforshire, Hatfield, just outside London. It will be part of the AISB-2005 convention with the overall theme of "Social intelligence and interaction in animals, robots and agents".

    Symposium Chair

    Yiannis Demiris (Imperial)

    Programme co-chairs

    Kerstin Dautenhahn (Hertforshire) and Chrystopher Nehaniv (Hertfordshire).

    Keynote talks (confirmed)

  • Aude Billard, EPFL
  • Irene Pepperberg, Radcliff Institute, Harvard University
  • Call for papers

    Papers describing original work are now invited in any research area within the scope of the symposium. The schedule for submissions and revisions is as follows:
  • Deadline for submitted papers: 31 October 2004 [PASSED]
  • Notification deadline: Tuesday, 30 November 2004 [ALL PAPERS REVIEWED - NOTIFICATION HAS BEEN SENT TO ALL SUBMISSIONS; if you have not received the notification, please contact the chair immediately].
  • Camera ready copies: 14 January 2005 [PASSED - ALL PAPERS RECEIVED]
  • Program committee

  • Andrew Meltzoff, University of Washington, USA
  • Aris Alissandrakis, University of Hertfordshire, UK
  • Aude Billard, EPFL, Switzerland
  • Auke Jan Ijspeert, EPFL, Switzerland
  • Cecilia Heyes, UCL, UK
  • Chrystopher Nehaniv, Adaptive Systems Group, Hertfordshire, UK
  • Erhan Oztop, ATR, Japan
  • Geoffrey Bird, UCL, UK
  • Joanna Bryson, University of Bath, UK
  • Gillian Hayes, IPAB, University of Edinbugh, UK
  • Giorgio Metta, LIRA, University of Genoa, Italy
  • Giulio Sandini, LIRA, University of Genoa, Italy
  • Gordon Cheng, ATR, Japan
  • Harold Bekkering, University of Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Hideki Kozima, CRL, Japan
  • Jose Santos-Victor, ISR, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Kerstin Dautenhahn, Adaptive Systems Group, Hertfordshire, UK
  • Martin Giese, University Clinic Tubingen, Germany
  • Meredith Gattis, University of Cardiff, UK
  • Minoru Asada, Osaka University, Japan
  • Philippe Gaussier, ENSEA, France
  • Robert Mitchell, Eastern Kentucky University, USA
  • Sethu Vijayakumar, IPAB, Edinburgh, UK.
  • Stefan Wermter, University of Sunderland, UK
  • Irene Pepperberg, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard, USA
  • Jacqueline Nadel, CNRS, France
  • Luc Berthouze, Neuroscience Institute, AIST Japan
  • Luciano Fadiga, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ferrara, Italy
  • Marco Iacoboni, UCLA, USA
  • Rajesh Rao, University of Washington, USA
  • Vittorio Gallese, Universita di Parma, Italy.
  • Wolfgang Prinz, Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Germany
  • Yasuo Kuniyoshi, University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Yiannis Demiris, BioART, EEE, Imperial College London, UK