Dr. Ulysses Bernardet has done his PhD in psychology at the Institute of
Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in
Zurich, Switzerland, and has an M.S. in psychology, computer science and
neurobiology from the University of Zurich.
His research is driven by the overarching goal of contributing to ground psychology in
neurobiology. He is convinced that this goal can only be achieved by firstly employing
large-scale, biologically grounded models of neuronal systems and secondly by
studying "simple systems". For these reasons Ulysses was the main developer of the
large-scale systems simulator iqr, has developed a novel robotic platform dubbed
"Strider", and in his PhD has studied the neuronal basis of navigation and behavior
regulation in insects.
At the core of Ulysses current research interests stands the development of the "Homo
Syntheticus” (HS). This project aims at building "situated" models of human cognition,
emotion, and behavior, i.e. models that are interacting with (biological) humans in realtime
by means of virtual humans or robots. The models HS are based on a systems
theoretical approach, and focus on the motivational system. Emotion in HS are seen as
mechanism of appraisal of sensory information, and intrinsic means to convey
deviations in the motive system to the individual.