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Nov 19 Notes Week 13 - Chapter 12 - PSYCH 3M03.docx

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McMaster University
Aadil Merali Juma

WEEK 13 PSYCH 3M03 Chapter 12: Motivation to Learn November, 19, 2013  Exploration o Most animals explore new environments o Food, water, shelter, possible dangers must be sought out and evaluated o Individual differences  Eg/ High vs. low activity in mice  Eg/ Exploration vs. defecation (defense) o Information is critical for coping o Has a genetic component – can select for exploration  Play o Seen in many mammalian species, especially K-selected – primates, carnivores, marine mammals, even ungulates and rodents o Vaguely defined as inefficient behaviour without apparent immediate direct benefit or clear goals  Tends to resemble behaviour that is adaptive in adults; eg/ wrestling o Critical in development o Predatory animals have more capacity for learning; more play o Rodents – primitive forms of play o Evolved and deep rooted; tweaked in humans o Eg/ Rat play posture to quantify rough-and-tumble play  Dorsal Contacts – posture; resembles adult sexual behaviour (mounting)  Pins – play fighting among peers; scratching and biting does not occur  Adaptive Value and Play o Cost  Energy expenditure  Risk of injury  Possibly attracts predator attention o Benefits  Strengthens muscles  Potentiates social learning – competition, emotional expression  Multiple skill acquisition o Lesioning the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) will reduce play behaviour (not eliminate) o Large lesions to the hippocampus, the amygdala, the cerebellum, the lateral hypothalamus will all reduce play behaviour (not eliminate) o Removal of the neocortex will reduce but not eliminates play o Rhesus monkeys display a “play face” before engaging in aggressive rough and tumble play o Posturing, wrestling, chasing and avoidance serve as practice for adult life – dealing with predators and conflict within group  active learning o Some primates (especially humans) incorporate tool use in play  Simple Learning o Habituation – repeated exposure to a stimulus tends to lead to reduced responses to that stimulus o Sensitization – when repeated exposure to a stimulus produces enhanced responses to the stimulus  Especially seen in trauma; erring om the side of caution o Classical Conditioning – when a neutral stimulus is repeatedly paired with a stimulus (US) that elicits a response (UR), the neutral stimulus (CS) can come to elicit a response (CR) on its own  Affects the way time of day affects appetite, poison avoidance  Instrumental/Operant Conditioning o Reinforcement o Intermittent Reinforcement o Negative Reinforcement – behaviour that terminates an aversive stimulus will recur o Punishment – when an aversive stimulus follows a behaviour, the incidence of that behaviour may decrease o Extinction – if a response is no longer reinforced, the response will eventually decrease in frequency until it does not occur o Animals learn to repeat responses that result in favorable outcomes and do not repeat responses with unfavorable outcomes  Electrical Brain Stimulation – inhibitory and reward mechanisms in brain o Rats prefer regions of cage where electrodes deliver mild pulses to brain o Electrodes implanted in brain core; near hypothalamus and MFB o Skinner Box – press the bar, get the shock  animals began pressing at high rates; ~1000 bar presses/hour; higher rates than that of a food reward
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