List of papers proposed to be presented in the Neuroinformatics 3 seminar

(Aapo Hyvärinen, spring semester 2011)

Artificial intelligence

Modelling social action in AI agents (Castelfranchi, 1998). A rather philosophical paper on what social interation in artificial agents means, what it is for, and how it is possible, from the viewpoint of artificial intelligence. Presenter needs knowledge of computer science, and basics of AI (rating: not very easy).

Socially Conscious Decision-Making (Glass and Grosz, 2003). A rather practice-oriented paper on social decision-making in AI agents. Includes practical applications in computer science. Presenter needs knowledge of computer science, and basics of AI (rating: medium difficulty).

Social Role Awareness in Animated Agents (Predinger and Ishizuka, 2001). An application-oriented paper which considers the importance of social roles in creating believable animated agents with emphasis of simulating human-like conversation. Presenter needs knowledge of computer science (rating: easy).


Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the understanding and imitation of action (Rizzolatti et al, 2001). Review on the neural basis of social interation, in particular mirror neurons. Presenter needs to know (cognitive) neuroscience quite well (rating: medium difficulty).

Mirror neurons and imitation: A computationally guided review (Oztop et al, 2006). Discusses the further the computational meaning of mirror neurons and reviews some computational models. Presenter needs to know neuroscience and computational modelling quite well (rating: difficult).

Broca's Region: From Action to Language (Nishitani et al, 2005). Review which tells more about mirror neurons, in particular in the human brain and using neuroimaging. Presenter needs to known basics of cognitive neuroscience (rating: medium difficulty).


Joint Action: bodies and minds moving together (Sebanz et al, 2006). Reviews psychological/behavioural studies on action synchronization. Presenter needs basic knowledge of psychology (rating: medium difficulty).

In Bad Taste: Evidence for the Oral Origins of Moral Disgust (Chapman et al, 2009). A psychophysiological study of the similarity of reactions to bad tastes and moral disgust. Presenter needs knowledge of psychology or neuroscience (rating: easy, perhaps a bit too easy and short).

Game theory and evolution

The Evolution of Cooperation (Axelrod and Hamilton, 1981). Great classic in mathematical biology and evolutionary psychology. Proposes a game-theoretic analysis of the evolutionary origins of cooperation based on the Prisoner's Dilemma game. Presenter would preferably know game theory and evolutionary theory (rating: medium difficulty or difficult)

High-testosterone men reject low ultimatum game offers and Fairness Versus Reason in the Ultimatum Game (two papers together because they are so short). The papers look at the ultimatum game as a simple paradigm of social interaction. The first describes the basic phenomenon and its connection to hormones. The second tries to explain the "irrationality" of human behaviour in it by a mathematical model. Presenter would preferably know game theory (especially for the second paper), but if such presenters cannot be found we can replace the second paper by something less theoretical (rating: first paper is easy, second difficult).

Two papers which Miika added: Sigmund and Ohtsuki et al.

Evolution and anthropology

The Evolution of Cultural Evolution (Henrich and McElreath, 2003). A review on the utility and conditions for the evolution of cultural evolution (e.g. passing information from one generation to next). Background in evolution or cultural anthropology would be useful but not necessary for the presenter (rating: medium difficulty).

Social sciences

Modelling Civil Violence: An agent-based computational approach (Epstein, 2002). A simple mathematical model of the emergence of civil violence (e.g. revolution) in a human society. It would be useful for the presenter to have some background in social/political sciences (decision theory) and sufficient interest in mathematics, but the mathematics is not too difficult (advanced high-school level) (rating: rather easy).

A Simple Model of Herd Behavior (Banerjee, 1992). Economic (game-theoretical) analysis of why people do the same thing as others. Presenter needs good knowledge of game theory and decision-making (rating: medium difficulty or difficult).

List be continued if necessary...