Hebbian Learning Meets Deep Convolutional Neural Networks

  • Giuseppe Amato
  • Fabio CarraraEmail author
  • Fabrizio Falchi
  • Claudio Gennaro
  • Gabriele Lagani
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11751)


Neural networks are said to be biologically inspired since they mimic the behavior of real neurons. However, several processes in state-of-the-art neural networks, including Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (DCNN), are far from the ones found in animal brains. One relevant difference is the training process. In state-of-the-art artificial neural networks, the training process is based on backpropagation and Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) optimization. However, studies in neuroscience strongly suggest that this kind of processes does not occur in the biological brain. Rather, learning methods based on Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity (STDP) or the Hebbian learning rule seem to be more plausible, according to neuroscientists. In this paper, we investigate the use of the Hebbian learning rule when training Deep Neural Networks for image classification by proposing a novel weight update rule for shared kernels in DCNNs. We perform experiments using the CIFAR-10 dataset in which we employ Hebbian learning, along with SGD, to train parts of the model or whole networks for the task of image classification, and we discuss their performance thoroughly considering both effectiveness and efficiency aspects.


Hebbian learning Deep learning Computer vision Convolutional neural networks 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ISTI CNRPisaItaly
  2. 2.University of PisaPisaItaly

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