Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (2):492-502 (2016)

Abstract
Infants' own activities create and actively select their learning experiences. Here we review recent models of embodied information seeking and curiosity-driven learning and show that these mechanisms have deep implications for development and evolution. We discuss how these mechanisms yield self-organized epigenesis with emergent ordered behavioral and cognitive developmental stages. We describe a robotic experiment that explored the hypothesis that progress in learning, in and for itself, generates intrinsic rewards: The robot learners probabilistically selected experiences according to their potential for reducing uncertainty. In these experiments, curiosity-driven learning led the robot learner to successively discover object affordances and vocal interaction with its peers. We explain how a learning curriculum adapted to the current constraints of the learning system automatically formed, constraining learning and shaping the developmental trajectory. The observed trajectories in the robot experiment share many properties with those in infant development, including a mixture of regularities and diversities in the developmental patterns. Finally, we argue that such emergent developmental structures can guide and constrain evolution, in particular with regard to the origins of language.
Keywords Development  Evolution  Curiosity  Robotic modelling  Origins of language  Speech development  Self‐organization  Motor development  Infant active learning
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DOI 10.1111/tops.12196
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References found in this work BETA

A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action.David Morris, E. Thelen & L. B. Smith - 1997 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (2).
The Origins of Vowel Systems.Bart de Boer - 2001 - Oxford University Press UK.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Nice Surprise? Predictive Processing and the Active Pursuit of Novelty.Andy Clark - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (3):521-534.

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