Epigenetic robotics
  • ISSN 1572-0373
  • E-ISSN: 1572-0381
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This article discusses the concept of joint attention and the different skills underlying its development. Research in developmental psychology clearly states that the development of skills to understand, manipulate and coordinate attentional behavior plays a pivotal role for imitation, social cognition and the development of language. However, beside the fact that joint attention has recently received an increasing interest in the robotics community, existing models concentrate only on partial and isolated elements of these phenomena. In the line of Tomasello’s research, we argue that joint attention is much more than simultaneous looking because it implies a shared intentional relation to the world. This requires skills for attention detection, attention manipulation, social coordination and, most importantly, intentional understanding. After defining joint attention and its challenges, the current state-of-the-art of robotic and computational models relevant for this issue is discussed in relation to a developmental timeline drawn from results in child studies. From this survey, we identify open issues and challenges that still need to be addressed to understand the development of the various aspects of joint attention and conclude with the potential contribution of robotic models.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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