The neural and cognitive architecture for learning from a small sample

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2019 Apr:55:133-141. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2019.02.011. Epub 2019 Apr 3.


Artificial intelligence algorithms are capable of fantastic exploits, yet they are still grossly inefficient compared with the brain's ability to learn from few exemplars or solve problems that have not been explicitly defined. What is the secret that the evolution of human intelligence has unlocked? Generalization is one answer, but there is more to it. The brain does not directly solve difficult problems, it is able to recast them into new and more tractable problems. Here, we propose a model whereby higher cognitive functions profoundly interact with reinforcement learning to drastically reduce the degrees of freedom of the search space, simplifying complex problems, and fostering more efficient learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Brain
  • Cognition*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Reinforcement, Psychology