Is the brain Bayesian?

David Leslie (University of Bristol)

Friday 26th April, 2013 15:00-16:00 Maths 203


Abstract: I present results from two recent papers in which Bayesian ideas are shown to replicate either desirable or observed behaviour for sequential decision-makers. In the first part of the talk I present and discuss an old and inherently Bayesian idea of Thompson (Biometrika 1933) on how to balance exploration and exploitation in a sequential decision-making problem, and give a sketch idea of our first proof that the method is asymptotically consistent. I then present a model of learning and decision-making suitable for 'jumpy but sticky' environments, and show that the model replicates several of the paradoxical effects observed in rat decision-making.

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