The existence of multiple parallel loops connecting sensorimotor systems to the basal ganglia has given rise to proposals that these nuclei serve as a selection mechanism resolving competitions between the alternative actions available in a given context. A strong test of this hypothesis is to require a computational model of the basal ganglia to generate integrated selection sequences in an autonomous agent, we therefore describe a robot architecture into which such a model is embedded, and require it to control action selection in a robotic task inspired by animal observations. Our results demonstrate effective action selection by the embedded model under a wide range of sensory and motivational conditions. When confronted with multiple, high salience alternatives, the robot also exhibits forms of behavioral disintegration that show similarities to animal behavior in conflict situations. The model is shown to cast light on recent neurobiological findings concerning behavioral switching and sequencing. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Action selection
- Basal ganglia
- Behavior switching
- Embodied computational neuroscience