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Intrinsically motivated information-seeking, also called curiosity-driven exploration, is widely believed to be a key ingredient for autonomous learning in the real world. Such forms of spontaneous exploration have been studied in multiple independent lines of computational research, producing a diverse range of algorithmic models that capture different aspects of these processes. These algorithms resolve some of the limitations of neurocognitive theories by formally describing computational functions and algorithmic implementations of intrinsically motivated learning. Moreover, they reveal a high diversity of effective forms of intrinsically motivated information-seeking that can be characterized along different mechanistic and functional dimensions. This chapter aims at reviewing different classes of algorithms and highlighting several important dimensions of variation among them. Identifying these dimensions provides means for structuring a comprehensive taxonomy of approaches. We believe this exercise to be useful in working toward a general computational account of information-seeking. Such an account should facilitate the proposition of new hypotheses about information-seeking in humans and complement the existing psychological theory of curiosity.
Information-seeking is usually conceived of as gathering information to make better decisions by observing and sampling from the external world. But for humans and many other intelligent agents, much of that information, once gathered, is also stored to guide future decisions, necessitating mechanisms for seeking information in some form of inner space. Here we survey various types of evidence suggesting that strategies adapted for search in external spatial environments are also used to seek information internally from memory. These include foraging strategies such as area-restricted search, which adaptively balances exploitation of locally clustered resources with exploration for resources more widely dispersed. We also describe how internal search satisfies the predictions of external foraging theory via the Marginal Value Theorem and show how these predictions can be used to investigate individual differences in memory search such as those caused by aging and cognitive impairment. Finally, we consider evidence that the structure of inner space may be a result of the very processes we use to search it.
Humans constantly search for and use information to solve a wide range of problems related to survival, social interactions, and learning. While it is clear that curiosity and the drive for knowledge occupies a central role in defining what being human means to ourselves, where does this desire to know the unknown come from? What is its purpose? And how does it operate? These are some of the core questions this book seeks to answer by showcasing new and exciting research on human information-seeking. The volume brings together perspectives from leading researchers at the cutting edge of the cognitive sciences, working on human brains and behavior within psychology, computer science, and neuroscience. These vital connections between disciplines will continue to lead to further breakthroughs in our understanding of human cognition.
Altitude sickness was little understood in the early nineteenth century, and the inconsistency of symptoms led some to doubt a constant cause. This led to tensions when European travellers were forced to compare their bodily performance against their South Asian companions. This chapter begins by contextualising altitude sickness in relation to lowland colonial anxieties around health, acclimatisation and air. Next is a discussion of indigenous understandings of altitude and a consideration of the ways the performances of bodies were recorded in travel narratives. Finally, the chapter considers experimental approaches around quantification. The chapter argues that there was a politics of comparison that developed around altitude sickness at multiple scales: in the way bodies, European and South Asian, experienced altitude sickness; in the way comparisons affected interactions within expedition parties; in the way these were represented in written accounts to avoid upsetting supposed superiority; and in the way these ultimately constituted high mountains as aberrant environments in relation to lowland norms.
Magnetite is a common mineral in the Paleoproterozoic Stollberg Zn–Pb–Ag plus magnetite ore field (~6.6 Mt of production), which occurs in 1.9 Ga metamorphosed felsic and mafic rocks. Mineralisation at Stollberg consists of magnetite bodies and massive to semi-massive sphalerite–galena and pyrrhotite (with subordinate pyrite, chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite and magnetite) hosted by metavolcanic rocks and skarn. Magnetite occurs in sulfides, skarn, amphibolite and altered metamorphosed rhyolitic ash–siltstone that consists of garnet–biotite, quartz–garnet–pyroxene, gedrite–albite, and sericitic rocks. Magnetite probably formed from hydrothermal ore-bearing fluids (~250–400°C) that replaced limestone and rhyolitic ash–siltstone, and subsequently recrystallised during metamorphism. The composition of magnetite from these rock types was measured using electron microprobe analysis and LA–ICP–MS. Utilisation of discrimination plots (Ca+Al+Mn vs. Ti+V, Ni/(Cr+Mn) vs. Ti+V, and trace-element variation diagrams (median concentration of Mg, Al, Ti, V, Co, Mn, Zn and Ga) suggest that the composition of magnetite in sulfides from the Stollberg ore field more closely resembles that from skarns found elsewhere rather than previously published compositions of magnetite in metamorphosed volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits. Although the variation diagrams show that magnetite compositions from various rock types have similar patterns, principal component analyses and element–element variation diagrams indicate that its composition from the same rock type in different sulfide deposits can be distinguished. This suggests that bulk-rock composition also has a strong influence on magnetite composition. Principal component analyses also show that magnetite in sulfides has a distinctive compositional signature which allows it to be a prospective pathfinder mineral for sulfide deposits in the Stollberg ore field.
In the mid-nineteenth century, thirty-six expeditions set out for the Northwest Passage in search of Sir John Franklin's missing expedition. The array of visual and textual material produced on these voyages was to have a profound impact on the idea of the Arctic in the Victorian imaginary. Eavan O'Dochartaigh closely examines neglected archival sources to show how pictures created in the Arctic fed into a metropolitan view transmitted through engravings, lithographs, and panoramas. Although the metropolitan Arctic revolved around a fulcrum of heroism, terror and the sublime, the visual culture of the ship reveals a more complicated narrative that included cross-dressing, theatricals, dressmaking, and dances with local communities. O'Dochartaigh's investigation into the nature of the on-board visual culture of the nineteenth-century Arctic presents a compelling challenge to the 'man-versus-nature' trope that still reverberates in polar imaginaries today. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
The underlying theme of this essay is how intelligence was gathered and expertise dispersed in an emerging colonial environment in Africa, and how that knowledge was captured, credited and distributed between local Africans and (largely) itinerant Europeans. It sets that discussion within a more recent debate on the mechanics of European exploration during the wider nineteenth century. The expanded population of Europeans (officials, merchants, missionaries) that arrived in the later part of that century to consolidate the colonial enterprise in German East Africa often moved with initial uncertainty through the landscape, triggering a demand for topographical knowledge to become commodified and commercialised, to become less dependent on the knowledge of individuals. This demand fuelled the production of an innovative series of standardised grid maps. At a time when slavery was still legal, when the local workforce was increasingly discussed in colonial circles in terms of unskilled plantation labour, our essay explores two case studies that demonstrate how certain African experts came to exert key technical and management influence within long-term scientific and commercial projects unfolding in the southeast corner of what is today Tanzania. The matter of water flows through this essay, and does so with deliberate intent.
The period of exploration of North America by various European nations manifested an intense moment of cultural, political, economic, and environmental change. Often marked by violence, Europeans failed to understand the gendered practices of the Indigenous population, which often liberated women from the confines of marriage and allowed for a spectrum of sexual identities and practices. European explorers, endowed with a sense of masculine dominance, given their role as captains or brave soldiers, confronted not only a vastly different gendered terrain and site of sexual fluidity but their own masculinity struggles with Indigenous men. As Europeans imposed religious mores and situated European customs as civilized and superior, explorers and settlers disrupted Native identities and power structures. This chapter asserts that the various conflicts and challenges encountered within the landscape of the New World can and should be considered through the lens of eroticization, sexuality, and gender. Often these contests of power disadvantaged women and sexualities that failed to conform to Christianity. These literal and psychological sites of struggle laid the foundation for future colonization and dramatically impacted and altered understandings of the colonial experiment.
What can research tell us about creativity in 3- to 5-year-old children? This chapter reviews the last 50 years of research to address this question. Several themes emerge. First, creativity has been notoriously difficult to define and measure, and is often studied in the context of children’s play and temperament. Second, the methods for studying creativity have been limited – largely relying on divergent-thinking measures. Third, there is interest in interventions that aim to foster creativity in young children. While the field has amassed a lot of data, strong studies are hard to find. Here, we boldly suggest that it is time to move beyond the traditional literature. Looking at more narrowly construed fields like curiosity, exploration, and innovation can offer a toehold into a better understanding of this broad field and holds the promise of helping researchers develop a more coherent model of how creativity plays out in the lives of young children.
Firms in a nascent industry need to search across various technological trajectories and market opportunities with limited prior knowledge. While inter-firm learning (e.g., imitation) helps the focal firm adapt in the process of conformity, intra-firm learning (e.g., independent experimentation) helps a firm stand out from rivals in the process of differentiation, both of which can gain competitive advantages. This study investigates how the conformity-differentiation balance can be achieved from the cross-level learning perspective. Adopting a mixed-method design, we first conduct a case study on the Chinese photovoltaic industry. The case suggests that firms are inclined to conform in upstream and bottleneck technological domains but differentiate in the downstream market applications. We then extend the case findings through a computational simulation based on March's learning model. When experimentation and imitation are possible, the balance between conformity and differentiation can be reframed as the classical balance between exploitation and exploration across the firm and industry levels: while experimentation is often exploitative at the firm level but exploratory at the industry level, imitation is often exploratory at the firm level but exploitative at the industry level. The study makes a new attempt to bridge the optimal distinctiveness literature with the organizational learning literature.
This chapter highlights the significance of relating respectfully and meaningfully with children. Relationships are foundational to young children’s growth, learning and development. But how are these practices enacted? What are the ways to best facilitate children’s interactions with peers and adults? Viewing positive relationships as being essential for children’s health and wellbeing, this chapter investigates: groupings of children, including multi-age groupings; facilitating positive interactions/play; social challenges; and supporting children’s health and wellbeing at all times, including during transitions across and within birth-to-eight-years educational settings. The chapter addresses the need for early childhood teachers to have effective positive communication skills by looking at: talking with children; body language; sustained conversations; infant and toddler considerations; and examples of shared intentionality in practice.
It is known that wherever there is human interaction, there is social influence. Here, we refer to more influential individuals as “influencers”, who drive team processes for better or worst. Social influence gives rise to social learning, the propensity of humans to mimic the most influential individuals. As individual learning is affected by the presence of an influencer, so is an individual's idea generation . Examining this phenomenon through a series of human studies would require an enormous amount of time to study both individual and team behaviors that affect design outcomes. Hence, this paper provides an agent-based approach to study the effect of influencers during idea generation. This model is supported by the results of two empirical experiments which validate the assumptions and sustain the logic implemented in the model. The results of the model simulation make it possible to examine the impact of influencers on design outcomes, assessed in the form of exploration of design solution space and quality of the solution. The results show that teams with a few prominent influencers generate solutions with limited diversity. Moreover, during idea generation, the behavior of the teams with uniform distribution of influence is regulated by their team members' self-efficacy.
Imaginary worlds are extremely successful. The most popular fictions produced in the last decades contain such a fictional world. They can be found in all fictional media, from novels (e.g., Lord of The Ring, Harry Potter) to films (e.g., Star Wars, Avatar), video games (e.g., The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy), graphic novels (e.g., One piece, Naruto) and TV series (e.g., Star Trek, Game of Thrones), and they date as far back as ancient literature (e.g., the Cyclops Islands in The Odyssey, 850 BCE). Why such a success? Why so much attention devoted to nonexistent worlds? In this article, we propose that imaginary worlds co-opt our preferences for exploration, which have evolved in humans and non-human animals alike, to propel individuals toward new environments and new sources of reward. Humans would find imaginary worlds very attractive for the very same reasons, and under the same circumstances, as they are lured by unfamiliar environments in real life. After reviewing research on exploratory preferences in behavioral ecology, environmental aesthetics, neuroscience, and evolutionary and developmental psychology, we focus on the sources of their variability across time and space, which we argue can account for the variability of the cultural preference for imaginary worlds. This hypothesis can therefore explain the way imaginary worlds evolved culturally, their shape and content, their recent striking success, and their distribution across time and populations.
Learning science through an inquiry approach involves children asking questions, exploring and investigating phenomena through the manipulation of materials, gaining experiences and making observations, and developing explanations for those experiences. This approach has many advantages, including engagement in science, enhancing scientific concepts and skills, supporting the use of evidence and allowing children to experience working like scientists. This chapter describes inquiry-based science learning and the components of the scientific inquiry process. Various practical activities that can be used to enhance children’s scientific inquiry skills are also presented.
In human infants, exploratory object manipulation is a major vehicle for cognitive stimulation as well as an important way to learn about objects and basic physical concepts in general. The development of human infants’ exploratory object manipulation follows distinct developmental patterns. So far, the degree of evolutionary continuity of this developmental process remains unclear. We investigated the development of exploratory object manipulations in wild orangutans. Our data included 3200 exploration events collected on 13 immatures between the ages of 0.5 and 13 years, at the Suaq Balimbing monitoring station in Indonesia. Our results identify several parallels between the development of exploratory behaviour in humans and orangutans: on top of a highly similar overall age trajectory, we found an increase in variability of the actions used, an increase in the number of body parts involved in each event, and an overall decrease of mouthing of the objects. All in all, our results show that orangutans progress through a developmental sequence of different aspects of exploration behaviour. In combination with previous findings from captivity, our results also provide evidence that exploratory object manipulations reflect cognitive development and might function as a means of cognitive stimulation not just in humans but across the great apes.
Text is everywhere, and it is a fantastic resource for social scientists. However, because it is so abundant, and because language is so variable, it is often difficult to extract the information we want. There is a whole subfield of AI concerned with text analysis (natural language processing). Many of the basic analysis methods developed are now readily available as Python implementations. This Element will teach you when to use which method, the mathematical background of how it works, and the Python code to implement it.
How did the Dutch Empire compare with other imperial enterprises? And how was it experienced by the indigenous peoples who became part of this colonial power? At the start of the seventeenth century, the Dutch Republic emerged as the centre of a global empire that stretched along the edges of continents and connected societies surrounding the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In the Dutch Empire, ideas of religious tolerance and scientific curiosity went hand in hand with severe political and economic exploitation of the local populations through violence, monopoly and slavery. This pioneering history of the early modern Dutch Empire, over two centuries, for the first time provides a comparative and indigenous perspective on Dutch overseas expansion. Apart from discussing the impact of the Empire on the economy and society at home in the Dutch Republic, it also offers a fascinating window into the contemporary societies of Asia, Africa and the Americas and, through their interactions, on processes of early modern globalisation.
Within a month of landing at Sydney, John Bigge was in dispute with Lachlan Macquarie over the appointment of the emancipist surgeon, William Redfern, to the magistracy. Over the next fifteen months of his inquiry the commissioner reached conclusions about the future of the Australian colonies sharply at odds with those of the governor. The two men were divided by background, temperament and expectations of empire. Macquarie, a career soldier, always viewed New South Wales as a ‘penitentiary or asylum on a grand scale’. It was destined to grow from a penal to a free society and ‘must one day or other be one of the greatest colonies belonging to the British Empire’, but that would depend upon the rehabilitation of its convicts under his tutelage.