This paper introduces the evolvable functional circle hypothesis. This hypothesis states that if it is assumed that von Uexküll’s concept of functional circles exists in robots and that the models used in evolutionary robotics are altered accordingly, then practitioners of evolutionary robotics will benefit in two ways. The first way is that by promoting the evolution of functional circles rather than sensorimotor loops, it allows evolved robots to select their own stimuli and therefore find their own meaning from environmental information. The second way is that it makes it easier for evolved robots to derive multiple meanings from the signal produced by a sensor. The paper goes on to demonstrate a method to alter our models in evolutionary robotics to promote the evolution of functional circles.
Macinnes, I., and Di Paolo, E. A., (2006). The advantages of evolving perceptual cues. Adaptive Behavior 14(2), 147 – 156.