Fascinating tidbit on mimicking some of the purpose of human sleep in this very fun work teaching a computer to achieve expert level play of old video games: "Foremost among these was a neurobiologically inspired mechanism, termed 'experience replay,' whereby during the learning phase DQN was trained on samples drawn from a pool of stored episodes—a process physically realized in a brain structure called the hippocampus through the ultra-fast reactivation of recent experiences during rest periods (e.g., sleep). Indeed, the incorporation of experience replay was critical to the success of DQN: disabling this function caused a severe deterioration in performance."
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