Unsupervised Learning in an Animal Model


The learning of rich associative networks is foundational to language and other advanced cognitive competencies. Such learning is commonly encouraged by direct supervision entailing explicit feedback for correct and incorrect responses. The power of explicit feedback has recently been demonstrated in an animal model (Wasserman, Brooks, & McMurray, 2015), in which pigeons successfully learned to categorize 128 stimuli into 16 human language categories via both associative strengthening and weakening processes (Roembke, Wasserman, & McMurray, 2016).

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