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