There is a little information on how to design a social robot that effectively executes consciousness-emotion (C-E) interaction in a socially acceptable manner. In fact, development of such socially sophisticated interactions depends on models of human high-level cognition implemented in the robot’s design. Therefore, a fundamental research problem of social robotics in terms of effective C-E interaction processing is to define a computational architecture of the robotic system in which the cognitive-emotional integration occurs and determine cognitive mechanisms underlying consciousness along with its subjective aspect in detecting emotions. Our conceptual framework rests upon assumptions of a computational approach to consciousness, which points out that consciousness and its subjective aspect are specific functions of the human brain that can be implemented into an artificial social robot’s construction. Such research framework of developing C-E addresses a field of machine consciousness that indicates important computational correlates of consciousness in such an artificial system and the possibility to objectively describe such mechanisms with quantitative parameters based on signal-detection and threshold theories.
Part of the book: Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience
Contemporary discussions on relations between metacognition and mindreading result in several theoretical accounts allowing various combinations of both mechanisms in the process of formation of beliefs, intentions, and decisions with respect to oneself or others. In fact, various prefrontal areas of the brain are activated when individuals mentalize about themselves and about other people. Interestingly, the latest accounts of the relationship between mindreading and metacognition clearly favor arguments for interactionism between functionally different mechanisms in the formation of our social knowledge. In particular, a two-level architecture enables a mutual interaction within a complex metacognitive system that is evolutionarily structured into higher and lower level metacognition with different functions and tasks. In our opinion, cognitive architecture of such systems needs to include conscious mechanisms that incorporate information accessibility as activation through the interaction. Here, we will argue that the combination of the two-level account on mindreading and metacognition along with a global broadcasting architecture embedded in the human brain is a good starting point that explains formation of accurate social knowledge and access to such knowledge. In our opinion, it becomes clear that consciousness via the interaction activates many unconscious brain regions, including interpreter systems such as metacognition and mindreading.
Part of the book: Prefrontal Cortex