Reactive, Proactive, and Inductive Agents: An Evolutionary Path for Biological and Artificial Spiking Networks

Lana Sinapayen, Atsushi Masumori, and Takashi Ikegami

Front. Comput. Neurosci., 22 January 2020


Complex environments provide structured yet variable sensory inputs. To best exploit information from these environments, organisms must evolve the ability to anticipate consequences of new stimuli, and act on these predictions. We propose an evolutionary path for neural networks, leading an organism from reactive behavior to simple proactive behavior and from simple proactive behavior to induction-based behavior. Based on earlier in-vitro and in-silico experiments, we define the conditions necessary in a network with spike-timing dependent plasticity for the organism to go from reactive to proactive behavior. Our results support the existence of specific evolutionary steps and four conditions necessary for embodied neural networks to evolve predictive and inductive abilities from an initial reactive strategy.