Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Cognitive reinforcement learning across the lifespan
Author: Eleftheriou, Georgie
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
From the moment of birth, there is a direct interaction to our environment. This is the main principle of learning (Sutton & Barto, 1998). For instance when a new-born is playing there is a sensory and motor connectivity to the environment by allowing the cause and effect information, the outcome of an action and the achievement of a goal to be learned (Sutton & Barto, 1998). Moreover, learning provides lmowledge about us and our environment. Wliether we learn to ride a bicycle in adolescence or learn to drive a car in adulthood we are conscious of the several responds to our actions, which we want to influence what is happening in our behaviour during the lifespan. Learning from interactions is considered as an important field of research, underlying all theories of behaviour. The approached theory we explored is called reinforcement learning and it is more goal directed learning from interaction. Previous work in this area has focused mainly to what extend people learn to make choices that lead to positive outcomes and avoid making those that lead to negative outcomes (Frank et aI., 2004). This thesis extended this work by behaviourally investigating reinforcement learning across life span (7-55 years old). Using the reward bias coefficient (RBc) a measurement of an individual's tendency to follow reward or avoid punishment, in the face ofunceliainty, results demonstrated significant age differences in learning from positive and negative probablistic feedback between these age groups (7-10, 11-14, 15-18, 19-35 and 40-55 years old). This is the first study to compare qualitative changes in RBc across lifespan indicating the importance of positive and negative feedback learning in cognitive perfomance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available