PSYC 325 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Dual Process Theory, Perceptual Learning, Latent Learning

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Habituation, Sensation and Familiarization
1. Process in which b changes as a result of experiences
a. Acquisition/ updating of info, which can be inferred from subsequent influence on
voluntary/ involuntary b ( responses and reflexes)
b. Through
b.i. Repeated exposure
b.ii. Association formation: conditioning, stimulus relationships
b.iii. Generalization and discrimination
b.iv. Social and developmental
c. Latent learning: takes place without any initial evidence has learning has occurred
2. Terms
a. Sensitized
b. Perceptual learning
3. Survival algorithms
a. Organisms adapt to predictable env
b. Reactivity to stimuli will change if they are frequently encountered
c. Habituation: frequent and innocuous→ decreasing response
d. Sensitization: frequent and noxious/ arousing → increasing response
Changes in Reactivity
1. The decrease in the strength/ occurrence of a b after repeated exposure to the stimulus that
produces the b
2. Occur on all organisms ever tested
3. Repeated exposure → disregard an event/ increase attention to the event
4. Characterizing habituation
a. Asymptotic: early strong responses, declining to later weak responses
b. Stimulus specific:
b.i. Within and between modality
c. Responsiveness can be recovered
c.i. Spontaneous recovery/ dishabituation
d. Stimulus strength and exposure rate dependent
d.i. Strong vs weak stimulus
d.ii. Massed < exposures than spaced
d.ii.1. Animals given sessions of multiple exposures to stimuli in which
the exposures are separated by short intervals will typically show
habituation after fewer exposures than animals given sessions in which the
same number of exposures are spread out in time
e. Accumulates across time and sessions
e.i. Largest response at first, decrease over time
e.ii. Have savings from each session
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5. Evolutionary mechanism: prevent responding to stimuli that aren’t important
a. The less an event is, the more rapidly a response to that event will habituate
a.i. Larger decreases in responding are seen after repetition than after later exposures
a.ii. Changes in responding are seen when one is first becoming familiar with stimulus
6. Short term habituation
7. Long term habituation
1. An increase in the strength/ occurrence of a b due to exposure to an arousing/ noxious stimulus
2. Same rules as habituation
a. ST and LT
a.i. How long does the effect last
b. Spontaneous recovery
c. Massed vs spaced exposure
c.i. Massed: fastest changes ,short effect
c.ii. Spaced slow changes, long lasting effect
3. Unique characteristics
a. Increase reactions
b. single/ multiple exposures
b.i. Might happen best with single exposures
c. Strong stimuli (highly arousal noxious)
d. Easily generalized
4. Observer states and traits will interact with stimulus characteristics
Dual Process Theory
1. Groves and Thompson 1970
2. Repeated events always lead to the processes underlying both sensitization and habituation
3. Habituation and sensitization: different but complementary systems
4. Model
a. Stimulus S→ Sensory neurons
a.i. States system
a.i.1. Signal detection of stimulus
a.i.2. High threshold, globally boosts responding if trigger
a.ii. Motor neurons→ response R
b. Reflex pathway:
b.i. Low threshold, weakens with use
c. Habituation = weakening of the connection between S and R, combined with mild arousal
of the state system likelihood of activity within motor neurons, making the response to S
weaker or less likely to occur
c.i. If the stimulus is not very arousing, then the weakened connection essentially
determined responding
d. Both sensitization and habituation processes occur in response to every stimulus
d.i. The summed combination of these 2 independent processes that determines the
strength of responding
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