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The robot vibrissal system: Understanding mammalian sensorimotor co-ordination through biomimetics

Prescott, Tony J.; Mitchinson, Ben; Lepora, Nathan F.; Wilson, Stuart P.; Anderson, Sean R.; Porrill, John; Dean, Paul; Fox, Charles W.; Pearson, Martin J.; Sullivan, J. Charles; Pipe, Anthony G.


Tony J. Prescott

Ben Mitchinson

Nathan F. Lepora

Stuart P. Wilson

Sean R. Anderson

John Porrill

Paul Dean

Charles W. Fox


P Krieger

A Groh


We consider the problem of sensorimotor co-ordination in mammals through the lens of vibrissal touch, and via the methodology of embodied computational neuroscience—using biomimetic robots to synthesize and investigate models of mammalian brain architecture. The chapter focuses on five major brain sub-systems and their likely role in vibrissal system function—superior colliculus, basal ganglia, somatosensory cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus. With respect to each of these we demonstrate how embodied modelling has helped elucidate their likely function in the brain of awake behaving animals. We also demonstrate how the appropriate co-ordination of these sub-systems, with a model of brain architecture, can give rise to integrated behaviour in a life-like whiskered robot.


Prescott, T., Mitchinson, B., Lepora, N., Wilson, S., Anderson, S., Porrill, J., …Pipe, A. G. (2015). The robot vibrissal system: Understanding mammalian sensorimotor co-ordination through biomimetics. In A. Groh, & P. Krieger (Eds.), Sensorimotor Integration in the Whisker System, 213-240. Springer.

Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 213-240
Book Title Sensorimotor Integration in the Whisker System
ISBN 9781493929740
Keywords sensorimotor co-ordination, biomimetic robot, embodied computational neuroscience, layered architecture
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