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Neuroconstructivism - IHow the brain constructs cognition$
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Denis Mareschal, Mark H. Johnson, Sylvain Sirois, Michael Spratling, Michael S. C. Thomas, and Gert Westermann

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198529910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529910.001.0001

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Habituation in infancy…from interacting neural systems to active exploration

Habituation in infancy…from interacting neural systems to active exploration

(p.117) Chapter 7 Habituation in infancy…from interacting neural systems to active exploration
Neuroconstructivism - I

Denis Mareschal

Mark H. Johnson

Sylvain Sirois

Michael W. Spratling

Michael S. C. Thomas

Gert Westermann

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the process of habituation. It starts by cautiously reviewing the feature behaviors of habituation responses. It then asks what kind of functional neural interaction might give rise to these observed traits. Competition and cooperation at the functional neural level act in this process. Furthermore, the chapter discusses the computational model that shows how the competitive mechanisms can actually give rise to ‘novelty preference’. The aim is to come up with an explicit account that is restrained by what is known about key neural systems functional in infancy. Moreover, the chapter suggests a list of five essential markers of habituation. The data reveal that habituation is an excellent example of the neuroconstructivist principles in action. The content of representations that underlie overt behaviors decides how the infant will go on to explore proactively novel parts of the environment.

Keywords:   habituation, neural systems, competition, cooperation, infancy, overt behaviors

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