Can reinforcement learning explain variation in early infant crying?

Arnon Lotem*, David W. Winkler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

6 Scopus citations


We welcome Soltis' use of evolutionary signaling theory, but question his interpretations of colic as a signal of vigor and his explanation of abnormal high-pitched crying as a signal of poor infant quality. Instead, we suggest that these phenomena may be suboptimal by-products of a generally adaptive learning process by which infants adjust their crying levels in relation to parental responsiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468
Number of pages1
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004


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