Allostatic control for robot behavior regulation: A comparative rodent-robot study

Marti Sanchez-Fibla*, Ulysses Bernardet, Erez Wasserman, Tatiana Pelc, Matti Mintz, Jadin C. Jackson, Carien Lansink, Cyriel Pennartz, Paul F.M.J. Verschure

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Rodents are optimal real-world foragers that regulate internal states maintaining a dynamic stability with their surroundings. How these internal drive based behaviors are regulated remains unclear. Based on the physiological notion of allostasis, we investigate a minimal control system able to approximate their behavior. Allostasis is the process of achieving stability with the environment through change, opposed to homeostasis which achieves it through constancy. Following this principle, the so-called allostatic control system orchestrates the interaction of the homeostatic modules by changing their desired values in order to achieve stability. We use a minimal number of subsystems and estimate the model parameters from rat behavioral data in three experimental setups: free exploration, presence of reward, delivery of cues with reward predictive value. From this analysis, we show that a rat is influenced by the shape of the arena in terms of its openness. We then use the estimated model configurations to control a simulated and real robot which captures essential properties of the observed rat behavior. The allostatic reactive control model is proposed as an augmentation of the Distributed Adaptive Control architecture and provides a further contribution towards the realization of an artificial rodent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-403
Number of pages27
JournalAdvances in Complex Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010


FundersFunder number
Synthetic ForagerFP7-ICT-217148
Seventh Framework Programme217148


    • Homeostasis
    • allostasis
    • behavioral-based robotics
    • rodent behavior


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