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How the Mind Comes into BeingIntroducing Cognitive Science from a Functional and Computational Perspective$
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Martin V. Butz and Esther F. Kutter

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739692

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739692.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 August 2021

Behavioral Flexibility and Anticipatory Behavior

Behavioral Flexibility and Anticipatory Behavior

(p.131) Chapter 6 Behavioral Flexibility and Anticipatory Behavior
How the Mind Comes into Being

Martin V. Butz

Esther F. Kutter

Oxford University Press

While reward-oriented learning can adapt and optimize behavior, this chapter shows how behavior can become anticipatory and selectively goal-oriented. Flexibility and adaptability are necessary when living in changing environmental niches. As a consequence, different locations in the environment need to be distinguished to enable selective and optimally attuned interactions. To accomplish this, sensorimotor learning is necessary. With sufficient sensorimotor knowledge, the progressively abstract learning of environmental predictive models becomes possible. These models enable forward anticipations about action consequences and incoming sensory information. As a consequence, our own influences on the environment can be distinguished from other influences, following the re-afference principle. Moreover, inverse anticipations enable the selection of the behavior that is believed to reach current goals most effectively. Coupled with motivations, goal-directed behavior can be generated self-motivatedly. Furthermore, curious, information seeking, epistemic behavior can be generated. The remainder of the book addresses how the brain accomplishes this goal-oriented, self-motivated generation of behavior and thought, where the latter can be considered mental behavior.

Keywords:   adaptive behavior, environmental niches, diversity, redundancy, complementarity, sensorimotor learning, anticipatory behavior, forward anticipations, inverse anticipations, motivations, curiosity

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