Biologically-inspired Salience Affected Artificial Neural Network (SANN)

Leendert A Remmelzwaal, George F R Ellis, Jonathan Tapson, Amit K Mishra

In this paper we introduce a novel Salience Affected Artificial Neural Network (SANN) that models the way neuromodulators such as dopamine and noradrenaline affect neural dynamics in the human brain by being distributed diffusely through neocortical regions, allowing both salience signals to modulate cognition immediately, and one time learning to take place through strengthening entire patterns of activation at one go. We present a model that is capable of one-time salience tagging in a neural network trained to classify objects, and returns a salience response during classification (inference). We explore the effects of salience on learning via its effect on the activation functions of each node, as well as on the strength of weights between nodes in the network. We demonstrate that salience tagging can improve classification confidence for both the individual image as well as the class of images it belongs to. We also show that the computation impact of producing a salience response is minimal. This research serves as a proof of concept, and could be the first step towards introducing salience tagging into Deep Learning Networks and robotics.

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