Adaptation and the Social Salience Hypothesis of Oxytocin: Early Experiments in a Simulated Agent Environment

TitleAdaptation and the Social Salience Hypothesis of Oxytocin: Early Experiments in a Simulated Agent Environment
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKhan, I., Lewis M., & Cañamero L.
Name of ProceedingsProc. 2nd Symposium on Social Interactions in Complex Intelligent Systems (SICIS)
Series TitleProc. 2018 Convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB 2018)
Pagination2–9
Date Published04/2018
Conference LocationLiverpool, UK
Abstract

Allostasis is a mechanism that permits adaptation of an organism as a response to changing (physical or social) environmental conditions. Allostasis is driven by a number of factors, including regulation through hormonal mechanisms. Oxytocin (OT) is a hormone that has been found to play a role in regulating social behaviours and adaptation. However, the concrete effects that OT promotes remain unclear and controversial. One of these effects is on the attention paid to social cues (social salience). Two opposing hypotheses have been proposed. One hypothesis is that adaptation is achieved by increasing attention to social cues (increasing social salience), the other that adaptation is achieved by decreasing attention to social cues (decreasing social salience). In this paper, we present agent simulation experiments that test these two contrasting hypotheses under different environmental conditions related to food availability: a comfortable environment, a challenging environment, and a very challenging environment. Our results show that, for the particular conditions modelled, increased social salience through the release of simulated oxytocin presents significant advantages in the challenging conditions.

URLhttp://aisb2018.csc.liv.ac.uk/PROCEEDINGS%20AISB2018/Social%20Interactions%20in%20Complex%20Intelligent%20Systems%20(SICIS)%20-%20AISB2018.pdf