A Neural Network Model of Naive Preference and Filial Imprinting in the Domestic Chick

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 10 (NIPS 1997)

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Lucy Hadden


Filial imprinting in domestic chicks is of interest in psychology, biology, and computational modeling because it exemplifies simple, rapid, in(cid:173) nately programmed learning which is biased toward learning about some objects. Hom et al. have recently discovered a naive visual preference for heads and necks which develops over the course of the first three days of life. The neurological basis of this predisposition is almost en(cid:173) tirely unknown; that of imprinting-related learning is fairly clear. This project is the first model of the predisposition consistent with what is known about learning in imprinting. The model develops the predisposi(cid:173) tion appropriately, learns to "approach" a training object, and replicates one interaction between the two processes. Future work will replicate more interactions between imprinting and the predisposition in chicks, and analyze why the system works.