Pieter Verbeke


Department of Experimental Psychology
Ghent University - Belgium

Latest news:

Our meta-analyses on adaptive learning strategies is accepted for publication by Psychological Review
In this paper, we evaluated multiple models of different hierarchical complexity on multiple reinforcement learning problems (also of different complexity).
Results demonstrate that different environments are best solved with different learning strategies; and that humans adaptively select the optimal learning strategy.

New short opinion paper published in Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences!
In our paper, entitled "Reinforcement learning and meta-decision making",
we argue that intelligent behavior requires hierarchy and modularity.
However, this comes with several computational challenges which we outline in detail in the paper.
This link allows for free (no paywall) access to our paper for 50 days since publication.

About me

I'm a Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Experimental Psychology at Ghent University.
My research focusses on how humans and artificial agents can balance shared versus separated task representations to optimize continual learning.
Here, separated representations are useful to avoid (catastrophic) interference and shared representations are useful to speed up learning via generalization.
In our project, we argue that humans learn compositional/ modular task representations.
At a hierarchically higher level, relations between tasks are learned and used to decide which lower-level modules get control over behavior.
The appropriate modules can be bound via the synchronization of oscillations (in biological agents) or via multiplicative gating (in artificial agents).
To investigate this, we use multiple tools such as computational modelling, EEG, fMRI and behavioral studies.
All of this is done with intellectual support of Tom Verguts and his research team.
When I'm not busy doing research, I try to spend most of my time with my family (2 kids, my girlfriend and a dog).
If there is still some time left, I try to keep up to date with the latest news on sports (mainly cycling) and belgian politics.

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