Rethinking the brain’s reward system—and what creates human intelligence

mxvw znhj qp goanphg

In a paper published in Nature … DeepMind, Alphabet’s AI subsidiary, has once again used lessons from reinforcement learning to propose a new theory about the reward mechanisms within our brains. The hypothesis, supported by initial experimental findings, could not only improve our understanding of mental health and motivation. It could also validate the current direction of AI research toward building more human-like general intelligence.

At a high level, reinforcement learning follows the insight derived from Pavlov’s dogs: it’s possible to teach an agent to master complex, novel tasks through only positive and negative feedback. An algorithm begins learning an assigned task by randomly predicting which action might earn it a reward. It then takes the action, observes the real reward, and adjusts its prediction based on the margin of error.

Related article:  We've been dealing with measles for at least 2,000 years, genetic analysis suggests

It turns out the brain’s reward system works in much the same way. … When a human or animal is about to perform an action, its dopamine neurons make a prediction about the expected reward.

ADVERTISEMENT

What might it mean, for example, to have “pessimistic” and “optimistic” dopamine neurons? If the brain selectively listened to only one or the other, could it lead to chemical imbalances and induce depression?

Fundamentally, by further decoding processes in the brain, the results also shed light on what creates human intelligence.

Read the original post

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
seralinistud

Gilles-Éric Séralini: Activist professor and face of anti-GMO industry

The French biologist and his research team--funded by the Rodale ...
vandana shiva

Vandana Shiva: ‘Rock Star’ of GMO protest movement has anti-science history

In a 2012 interview, Bill Moyers referred to Vandana Shiva as ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend