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Mr Tommaso Ghilardi

  • Overview



    • DevStart - Getting Started with Developmental Cognitive Science

      DevStart is an online hands-on manual for anyone who is approaching developmental psychology and developmental cognitive neuroscience for the first time, from master’s students and PhDs to postdocs.

    • Early roots of information-seeking: Infants predict and generalize the value of information


      As humans, we learn continuously and under uncertainty. We gather information to build complex internal models of the world that enable us to interact with our surroundings. In this study we investigated the developmental origins of this information-seeking process. We presented 8-month-old infants with visual cues indicating whether they would later receive information about the location of a rewarding stimulus. We measured infants? pupil dilation as an index of their uncertainty. By employing a combination of additive Bayesian models and reinforcement learning models, we analyzed the unfolding of the pupil-dilation signal over time and disentangled the fundamental processes that support infants? information-seeking. We found that infants develop expectations about where to find information by exploiting the statistical regularities between the stimuli. Moreover, they quickly infer the expected informational value of novel cues via generalization of the features that are shared by novel and familiar cues. In summary, our study shows the fundamental learning mechanisms that support infants' information-seeking, and reveals how they leverage domain-general abilities such as statistical learning and generalization to build expectations about where to find information. Our study demonstrates that learning is an inherently active process that begins in the first year of life.

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