Anticipatory learning is sometimes considered synonymous with the general mechanism of learning to generate predictions or learning a predictive or forward model of an encountered environment or problem. However, the term anticipation usually does not simply refer to predictions, but rather to predictions that are expected to be relevant to an organism and that are used to effectively adapt decisions and behaviors of organisms. Therefore, anticipatory learning is not merely about learning to predict, but learning to predict those aspects that are relevant for the learning system. Such predictions may start on a very low sensorimotor level, such as learning how body movements feel in order to be able to focus on other sensory information. On a higher level, action-dependent contingencies may be learned that are highly useful for decision making ...
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Springer, Dordrecht, NLD
Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning, pp. 263–266. Dordrecht: Springer, 2011