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Social environment and neural system

Research Achievements

Social environment and neural system

IGERT trainee Richard Veale investigated the interaction between the social environment and the neural system of an agent and how that brings about intelligent behavior, with focus on young infants. Infants are able to perform amazing learning tasks like learning to associate a word and an object, even though their brains do not seem developed enough to solve all the problems involved, such as recognizing objects and word. Using robotic models of infants controlled by computational models of the young infant's brain, he found that this disconnect can be explained if one takes into account not only the neural system of the infant, but also how the caregiver helps the neural system of the infant by structuring the environment in ways that the infant's brain can deal with.