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Curiosity-based learning in infants: A neurocomputational approach

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Curiosity-based learning in infants : A neurocomputational approach. / Twomey, Katherine Elizabeth; Westermann, Gert.

In: Developmental Science, Vol. 21, No. 4, e12629, 01.07.2018.

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@article{a6164c8484154296a37d47b704e9d0c2,
title = "Curiosity-based learning in infants: A neurocomputational approach",
abstract = "Infants are curious learners who drive their own cognitive development by imposing structure on their learning environment as they explore. Understanding the mechanisms by which infants structure their own learning is therefore critical to our understanding of development. Here we propose an explicit mechanism for intrinsically motivated information selection that maximizes learning. We first present a neurocomputational model of infant visual category learning, capturing existing empirical data on the role of environmental complexity on learning. Next we “set the model free”, allowing it to select its own stimuli based on a formalization of curiosity and three alternative selection mechanisms. We demonstrate that maximal learning emerges when the model is able to maximize stimulus novelty relative to its internal states, depending on the interaction across learning between the structure of the environment and the plasticity in the learner itself. We discuss the implications of this new curiosity mechanism for both existing computational models of reinforcement learning and for our understanding of this fundamental mechanism in early development.",
author = "Twomey, {Katherine Elizabeth} and Gert Westermann",
year = "2018",
month = jul,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/desc.12629",
language = "English",
volume = "21",
journal = "Developmental Science",
issn = "1363-755X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Curiosity-based learning in infants

T2 - A neurocomputational approach

AU - Twomey, Katherine Elizabeth

AU - Westermann, Gert

PY - 2018/7/1

Y1 - 2018/7/1

N2 - Infants are curious learners who drive their own cognitive development by imposing structure on their learning environment as they explore. Understanding the mechanisms by which infants structure their own learning is therefore critical to our understanding of development. Here we propose an explicit mechanism for intrinsically motivated information selection that maximizes learning. We first present a neurocomputational model of infant visual category learning, capturing existing empirical data on the role of environmental complexity on learning. Next we “set the model free”, allowing it to select its own stimuli based on a formalization of curiosity and three alternative selection mechanisms. We demonstrate that maximal learning emerges when the model is able to maximize stimulus novelty relative to its internal states, depending on the interaction across learning between the structure of the environment and the plasticity in the learner itself. We discuss the implications of this new curiosity mechanism for both existing computational models of reinforcement learning and for our understanding of this fundamental mechanism in early development.

AB - Infants are curious learners who drive their own cognitive development by imposing structure on their learning environment as they explore. Understanding the mechanisms by which infants structure their own learning is therefore critical to our understanding of development. Here we propose an explicit mechanism for intrinsically motivated information selection that maximizes learning. We first present a neurocomputational model of infant visual category learning, capturing existing empirical data on the role of environmental complexity on learning. Next we “set the model free”, allowing it to select its own stimuli based on a formalization of curiosity and three alternative selection mechanisms. We demonstrate that maximal learning emerges when the model is able to maximize stimulus novelty relative to its internal states, depending on the interaction across learning between the structure of the environment and the plasticity in the learner itself. We discuss the implications of this new curiosity mechanism for both existing computational models of reinforcement learning and for our understanding of this fundamental mechanism in early development.

U2 - 10.1111/desc.12629

DO - 10.1111/desc.12629

M3 - Journal article

VL - 21

JO - Developmental Science

JF - Developmental Science

SN - 1363-755X

IS - 4

M1 - e12629

ER -