Keywords: information theory, partial information decomposition
TL;DR: We discuss 4 factors that make information theoretic analyses of embodied cognitive agents challenging
Abstract: Although information theory is well established in the study of cognitive systems, the majority of its uses rely on studying the system under open-loop conditions, where the system is presented with input by the experimenter. However, a crucial aspect of understanding cognition is understanding the flow of information in the dynamics of an organism's closed-loop interaction with its environment. We outline four key challenges that an information-theoretic framework for embodied cognitive systems faces. Such a framework must be able to quantify: (1) multivariate interactions; (2) how information in the system changes dynamically over time; (3) what specific aspects of the features of the task the information is about; and (4) information flow in a brain-body-environment system which is coupled in a closed loop. In this short review, we provide perspectives on these four challenges, explain their significance, provide examples of how they have been tackled in other work, and outline the open challenges.
In-person Presentation: yes