Exploring synchronization at all body scales from enactive neural binding, embodied motor synergies to social interaction...

Alex Pitti, Ph.D.

Research keywords

  • motor synergies, distributed pattern generators
  • body image, action representation, mirror neurons
  • dynamic and complex systems, synchronization

Journal publications

  1. Pitti A., Niiyama R. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2010) Creating and modulating rhythms by controlling the physics of the body. Autonomous Robots, 28:3, pp. 317-329. pdf

  2. Pitti A., Lungarella M. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2009) Generating Spatiotemporal Joint Torque Patterns from Dynamical Synchronization of Distributed Pattern Generators. Frontiers in NeuroRobotics, 3:2, pp. 1-14. pdf

  3. Pitti A., Mori H., Kouzuma S. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2009) Contingency Perception and Agency Measure in Visuo-Motor Spiking Neural Networks. IEEE Trans. on Autonomous Mental Development, 1:1, pp. 86-97. pdf

  4. Pitti A., Alirezaei H. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2009) Cross-modal and scale-free action representations through enaction. Neural Networks. Special issue "What it means to communicate", 22:2, pp. 144-154. pdf

  5. Pitti A., Lungarella M. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2008) Metastability and functional integration in anisotropically coupled map lattices. Eur. Phys. J. B, 63, pp. 239-243. pdf

  6. Lungarella M., Pitti A. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2007) Information transfer at multiple scales. Physical Review E, 76, 056117. pdf

Book chapters

  1. Pitti A. & Kuniyoshi Y. (to appear) Neural Models For Social Development In Shared Parieto-Motor Circuits. Book Chapter in "Horizons in Neuroscience Research. Volume 6", Nova Science Publishers, pp.xx-xx.

  2. Pitti A., Alirezaei H. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2008) Mirroring Maps and Action Representation through Embodied Interactions. Book Chapter in Connectionist Models of Behaviour and Cognition II, World Scientific. pp. 27-37.

Conference presentations and proceedings

  1. Pitti A. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2011) Modeling the Cholinergic Innervation in the Infant Cortico-Hippocampal System and its Contribution to Early Memory Development and Attention. Proc. of the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks IJCNN 2011, pp.1409-1416. pdf

  2. Pitti A. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2011) Contribution of the Cholinergic Innervation to Early Memory Development in the Neonate Para-Hippocampal System. Proc. of the 3rd International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics ICCN 2011, Poster Award!!

  3. Pitti A., Mori H., Yamada Y. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2010) A Model of Spatial Development from Parieto-Hippocampal Learning of Body-Place Associations. Proc. of the 10th Int. workshop on Epigenetic robotics, pp.89-96. pdf

  4. Pitti A., Alirezaei H. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2008) Mirroring Maps and Action Representation through Embodied Interactions. Proceedings of the 11th neural and computation workshop.

  5. Pitti A. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2008) Adaptive Compliance Control through Phase Synchronization: Case Study to McKibben Actuators. Proceedings of the 17th RoManSy Symposium, pp.528-534.

  6. Pitti A., Lungarella M. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2006) Synchronization: adaptive mechanism linking internal and external dynamics. Proc. of the 5th Int. workshop on Epigenetic robotics, pp.127-134. pdf

  7. Pitti A., Lungarella M. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2006) Exploration of natural dynamics through resonance and chaos. Proc. of the 9th Int. Conf. on Intelligent Autonomous Systems, pp.558-565. pdf

  8. Pitti A., Lungarella M. & Kuniyoshi Y. (2005) Quantification of emergent behaviors induced by feedback resonance of chaos. Recent Advances in Artificial Life: Advances in Natural Computation, vol.3, chap.15, pp.199-213. pdf

Robots Podcast website's interview! on Biologically-inspired/Chaos Robot Control (worst photo ever btw, mar. 2010)

Brown Bag Lecture@Zurich AILab! Shared circuits for representing the self related to others' actions, agency and space (nov. 2009)

phD thesis. (2007). Supervisor: Kuniyoshi,Y.
Phase Synchronization Between Internal and Body Dynamics for Exploration, Memory, and Control of Embodied Behavior.
Doctor Thesis, ISI laboratory, Engineering Department, University of Tokyo
jury: profs. Aihara, Kanzaki, Nakamura, Harada

Supplemental video files

do you want to see an artificial muscle transiently driven at resonance via chaotic synchronization?

Motor Synergies in one leg articulation:
  1. For weak synchronization coupling, we have very soft and passive dynamics. passive regime.
  2. For optimal synchronization coupling, we have dynamical and synergistic motions. active entrainment regime.
  3. For strong coupling, we have forced and uncoordinated motions. forced regime.


  • e-mail: alex[at]jeap[dot]org
  • address: ISI laboratory. University of Tokyo 7-3-1, Tokyo, 113-8656, Japan.