psychology and applications of reinforcement learning: where do I learn more?

post by jsalvatier · 2011-06-26T20:56:26.514Z · score: 2 (3 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 1 comments

Minicamp made me take the notion of an Ugh Field seriously, and I've found Ugh Fields a fairly useful model for understanding how my brain works. I have/had lots of topics that have been unpleasant to think about and the cause of that unpleasantness seems to be strongly correlated with previous negative experiences.

More generally, animals, including humans, seem to use something like Temporal Difference learning very frequently (one source of that impression). If that's so, then understanding TD and related psychological research should give me a more accurate model of myself. I would expect it to help me understand when my dispositions and habits are likely to be useful (by knowing how they developed) and understand how to change my dispositions and habits. Thus I have a couple of questions: 

  1. Are my impressions accurate? 
  2. What books, papers, posts are the best for understanding these topics? I'd like material that addresses any of the following:
    1. How TD or related algorithms work
    2. What evidence says about whether human and/or animal brains frequently use TD or related algorithms and what situations brains use it for
    3. Practical consequences of the research (e.g. Ugh Fields, doing X is a good way to build habit Y, smiling is a reinforcement, etc.)

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comment by Dr_Manhattan · 2011-06-27T19:28:13.302Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I hear "Don't Shoot the Dog" comes highly recommended.