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Great Ape Trust of Iowa www.greatapetrust.org

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Title: Great Ape Trust of Iowa www.greatapetrust.org


1
Great Ape Trust of Iowa(www.greatapetrust.org)
  • research, education, sanctuary, conservation

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the Transfer Index
  • primate brains, according to their size and
    complexity, process learning differently
  • the Transfer Index reveals
  • -- the emergence of positive transfer of
    learning, and
  • -- the emergence of primate intelligence

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Lanas classroom --
  • the context for her learning
  • of language

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  • Lana was taught --
  • stock sentences,
  • lexigrams,
  • grammar

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Lana not taught, yet --
  • equated projectors lexigrams with those of keys
  • innovated use of the period key
  • focused repair work on errors
  • developed reading and writing skills
  • initiated conversations
  • conversations

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-- (cont. of Lana not taught, yet) --
  • used stock sentences innovatively
  • asked for names and named things
  • coined terms (e.g., same vs. no-same) in
    cross-modal task
  • became obstreperous, occasionally, in
    conversation

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-- to the benefit of others
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  • Adaptation via
  • instincts behaviors released by sign-stimuli
  • classical conditioning CS UCS
  • operant conditioning instrumental behaviors



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-- to which we add a new perspective
of learning and behavior calledEmergents
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  • Emergents
  • no specific history of reinforcement
  • entail syntheses of learning experiences
  • form silently, unobtrusively
  • may remain dormant, only to appear later
  • generally first seen as surprises
  • appear smart, clever, insightful
  • are not subject to stimulus control
  • not readily attributable to conditioning

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(-- continued)
  • Their formation is enhanced by
  • complex brains
  • early experience and rearing that define the
    logic structure, the patterns of salient events
  • observations in real-world settings that are
    salient, meaningful, and reliable social contexts

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-- examples of Emergents

language counting learning sets concept
formation mapping puzzle solutions understandings
inventions and compositions Kanzis speech
comprehension
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--the Sherman Austin Project(1975-1985)sem
antics
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Sherman and Austin
  • -- classified symbols with symbols, thereby
    defining that symbols can acquire semantic
    boundaries

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-- final test with other lexigrams
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Kanzis Flint Knapping
  • -- acquired by observation

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  • Positive transfer of learning
  • a qualitative shift in effect
  • associated with elaboration of primate brains
    in size and complexity

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Learning Processes
  • What is learned is not necessarily limited to
    what is trained
  • Our view is of rewarded organisms,
  • not of reinforced responses

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-- as an illustration
  • a rhesus learned by using only its foot to do an
    interactive task on a computer monitor, then
    tested with free choice of foot or hand

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What did the monkey learn?What did it do in test?
  • Considering that it had thousands upon thousands
    of reinforced trials using its feet, though not a
    single one using its hands, it should in test use
    a ---?

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-- the functional role of a reinforcer ?
  • informs the organism about contextual resources
    and how to harvest them, depending upon their
    motivational states
  • and how to avoid or cope with pain or discomfort
  • does not form habits, but does impact behavior!
    How?

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A Salience Theory of learning and behaviorD.
Rumbaugh, Great Ape Trust LRC J. King,
University of Arizona M. Beran, Language Res.
Ctr. of GSU D. Washburn, Georgia State
University K. Gould, Luther College
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our question and goal --
  • How can what is learned exceed training?
  • To build a comprehensive theory of learning and
    behavior from instincts through conditioning to
    creative behaviors
  • -- without the constraints of reinforcement,
    habits, bonds.

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  • Salience commands attention
  • natural sources of salience genetics,
    biological needs, strong stimuli, and
    perceptual principles
  • acquired sources of salience contiguous
    associations with the natural sources of salience
    or with other events where their salience was
    previously acquired.

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  • Temporally or spatially contiguous and reliably
    co-occurring stimuli that are sufficiently
    salient form
  • amalgams
  • -- are new composites, not just linkages

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  • the salience and response-eliciting properties
    of the constituents of the amalgam are shared as
    some positive function of their relative
    strengths
  • thus, an amalgam is something new with its own
    salience and response-eliciting properties

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  • The nature of these amalgams and the ease with
    which they are formed is a function of the
    constructive bias of the organisms neural system
    as determined by the species history

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  • Motivation/drive states afford a continuing flow
    of strong stimuli that enter into amalgams that
    serve subsequently to
  • code the activation of groups of amalgams
  • direct the course of behavior, as with latent
    learning

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A Template Model for Emergents
  • Natural templates vs. Arbitrary templates
  • Real-time formation of amalgams
  • Continuing formation of templates and the
    integration of templates via
  • assimilation
  • accommodation

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  • as some positive function of relevant experiences
    and the species neural system, emergents might
    be generated that serve as creative, novel
    behaviors that serve adaptation

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  • redefined as a strong or salient stimulus or
    event
  • which, according to its strength relative to
    other stimuli, shares its properties with other,
    less strong stimuli or events to form amalgams

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A new perspective of Learning and Behavior
based on --
  • salience of events -- natural and acquired, that
    reflect species variables, ecology, and previous
    experiences
  • amalgam formation -- comprised of reliably
    co-occurring events, with bi-directional sharing
    of their saliences and response-eliciting
    properties
  • associative learning occurs first, based on
    contiguity and amalgam formation
  • relational processing via templates and the
    generation of emergents

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  • reward the organism
  • (i.e., dont reinforce responses)

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  • there is no strengthening
  • of the R with S by bonds or
  • habit or otherwise
  • (-- if you will, please?
  • the authors)

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Kanzi accomplishments
  • Without formal training acquired meanings of
    lexigrams, human speech, and comprehended novel
    sentences of request in formal tests
  • How? by observations of salient events that
    co-occurred reliably

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--with special thanks to
  • Granting agencies across the years (1960-2009),
    notably NICHD and NSF
  • SDSC, San Diego Zoo, Yerkes Primate Ctr. of Emory
    U., Georgia State U., and now the Great Ape Trust
    of Iowa
  • Dozens of colleagues
  • Hundreds of primates
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