Evolution in Cognition Workshop

Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference 2016 - Denver, Colorado, USA, 20-24 July, 2016

Evolution in Cognition Workshop, GECCO 2016

Evolution by natural selection has shaped life over billions of years leading to the emergence of complex organism capable of exceptional cognitive abilities. These natural evolutionary processes have inspired the development of Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs), which are optimization algorithms widely popular due to their efficiency and robustness. Beyond their ability to optimize, EAs have also proven to be creative and efficient at generating innovative solutions to novel problems. The combination of these two abilities makes them a tool of choice for the resolution of complex problems.

Even though there is evidence that the principle of selection on variation is at play in the human brain, as proposed in Changeux’s and Edelman’s models of Neuronal Darwinism, and more recently expanded in the theory of Darwinian Neurodynamics by Szathmáry, Fernando and others, not much attention has been paid to the possible interaction between evolutionary processes and cognition over physiological time scales. Since the development of human cognition requires years of maturation, it can be expected that artificial cognitive agents will also require months if not years of learning and adaptation. It is in this context that the optimizing and creative abilities of EAs could become an ideal framework that complement, aid in understanding, and facilitate the implementation of cognitive processes. Additionally, a better understanding of how evolution can be implemented as part of an artificial cognitive architecture can lead to new insights into cognition in humans and other animals.

The goals of the workshop are to depict the current state of the art of evolution in cognition and to sketch the main challenges and future directions. In particular, we aim at bringing together the different theoretical and empirical approaches that can potentially contribute to the understanding of how evolution and cognition can act together in an algorithmic way in order to solve complex problems. In this workshop we welcome approaches that contribute to an improved understanding of evolution in cognition using robotic agents, in silico computation as well as mathematical models.

Keywords: Evolutionary Computation, Evolution, Cognition, Darwinian Neurodynamics, Neuronal Darwisnism, robotics.

Invited Speakers

We are pleased to announce that the following internationally recognized researchers will present their work related to the workshop topic and propose their own views on the related questions. Each invited speaker will give a talk and also participate in a panel discussion at the end of the workshop.

Dario Floreano Jeff Krichmar Arne Dietrich Chrisantha Fernando


July 21, 2016

Extended abstracts presented as posters

Hot of the press posters:


Stéphane Doncieux Joshua Auerbach Richard Duro Harold P. de Vladar

Supported By

DREAM Project Insight Project
Seventh Framework Programme European Union Horizon

GECCO is sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery Special
Interest Group on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (SIGEVO). SIG
Services: 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 701, New York, NY, 10121, USA,
1-800-342-6626 (USA and Canada) or +212-626-0500 (Global).