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The Third International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL'04)

La Jolla, California, October 20-22 2004


The Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
UCSD Institute for Neural Computation.
UCSD Center for Human Development.

In technical cooperation with:

Recent advances in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, neuroscience  
and robotics have stimulated the birth and growth of a new research  
field, known as computational autonomous mental development. 
Although human mental development is a well known subject of study, e.g., in 
developmental psychology, computational studies of mental development for 
either machines or humans had not received sufficient attention in the past.  
Mental development is a process during which a brain-like natural or artificial  
embodied system, under the control of its intrinsic species-specific  
developmental program residing in the genes or artificially designed,  
develops mental capabilities through its autonomous real-time interactions  
with its environments (including its own internal environment and 
components) using its own sensors and effectors. The scope of mental 
development includes cognitive, behavioral, emotional and all other mental 
capabilities that are exhibited by humans, higher animals and artificial 
systems. Investigations of the computational mechanisms of mental 
development are expected to improve our systematic understanding of the  
working of the wide variety of cognitive and behavioral capabilities in humans  
and to enable autonomous development of these highly complex capabilities  
by robots and other artificial systems. 

ICDL-04 is the second regularly scheduled conference following the conference celebrated at MIT June 12-15 2002. The origin of these conferences traces back to the Workshop on Development and Learning (WDL), funded by NSF and 
DARPA, held April 5 - 7, 2000 at Michigan State University . Some discussion about this new direction is 
available on the final report page of WDL. A brief discussion of the subject  
is available in an article appeared in Science available electronically at  

An autonomous, real-time, incremental, open-ended, sensor-grounded and 
effector-grounded operational mode of mental development implies that multiple 
disciplines of human intelligence and artificial intelligence face many 
similar research issues. Therefore, this conference series is 
multidisciplinary in nature, inviting researchers from all related fields 
including, but not limited to, machine intelligence, machine learning, 
computer vision, speech recognition, robotics, animal learning, psychology, 
neuroscience, computational intelligence, and philosophy. Although 
understanding or realizing fully autonomous mode of mental development is a 
goal, intermediate results toward this goal are all encouraged. 

The subjects of the conference include, but not limited to

(1) Architecture of mental development
(2) Learning and training techniques that facilitate mental development 
(3) Development of visual, auditory and other sensory cortices 
(4) Development of filters and feature detectors 
(5) Neural plasticity during development
(6) Development of value system
(7) Development of emotion
(8) Development of cognitive system
(9) Coordination and integration of behaviors through development
(10) Development of attention mechanisms
(11) Development of vision system
(12) Development of audition system
(13) Development of taction system
(14) Integration mechanisms through development 
(15) Computational models of language acquisition through development
(16) Generation of representation during development
(17) Integrated developmental programs or systems
(18) Autonomous thinking behaviors through development 
(19) Development of consciousness 
(20) Robot bodies that facilitate autonomous mental development
(21) Robots capable of autonomous mental development
(22) Robotic techniques for mental development
(23) Comparison of approaches to machine intelligence 
(24) Social and philosophical issues of developmental robots 

View / Download the Poster for the ICDL-02 conference