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    A connectionist account of interference effects in early infant memory and categorization

    Thomas, Michael S.C. and Mareschal, Denis (1997) A connectionist account of interference effects in early infant memory and categorization. In: Langley, P. and Shafto, M.G. (eds.) Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. London, UK: Psychology Press, Routledge, pp. 757-762. ISBN 9780805829419.

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    An unusual asymmetry has been observed in natural category formation in infants (Quinn, Eimas, and Rosenkrantz, 1993). Infants who are in itially e xposed to a series of pictures of cats and then are shown a dog and a novel cat, show significantly more interest in the dog than in the cat. However, when the order of presentation is reversed — dogs are seen first, then a cat and a novel dog — the cat attracts no more attention than the dog. We show that a simple connectionist network can model this unexpected learning asymmetry and propose that this asymmetry arises naturally from the asymmetric overlaps of the feature distributions of the two categories. The values of the cat features are subsumed by those of dog features, but not vice-versa. The autoencoder used for the experiments presented in this paper also reproduces exclusivity effects in the two categories as well the reported effect of catastrophic interference of dogs on previously learned cats, but not vice-versa. The results of the modeling suggest connectionist methods are ideal for exploring early infant knowledge acquis ition.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2017 11:15
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:34


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