PSYC 325 Lecture 2: Week 2 - Lecture Notes (Ch.3)

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27 Nov 2020
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Week 2 Notes
Jan. 17, 2020
Chapter 3: Habituation, Sensitization, and Familiarization
Behavioral processes
What are the different forms of non-associative learning?
Three types of simple learning
We frequently encounter the same stimuli day after day
o Same social contacts
o Same locations
o Same classes
o Same thing over and over again
Most organisms can learn about stimuli that are frequently encountered
1. Habituation
Decreasing responses to a frequent but innocuous stimulus
Big original response but with repetition decrease response
Not scary or harmful or exciting
Ex. Meeting a new person
o On edge first meeting
o But second and third more comfortable
2. Sensitization
Increasing responses to a noxious/ arousing stimulus
Increase reacting the more it happens
Something threatening to you
Ex. Seeing a professor for the first time
o Nervous and does not have a good experience
o So next time you are even more nervous
Effects can spread
3. Perceptual learning
Becoming better at processing/ recognizing a frequent stimulus
Repeated exposure to same stimuli and becomes faster in recognizing it
More familiar
Although distinct, all three help adapt behaviour to predictable environments
What is Habituation?
A decrease in the strength or occurrence of a behaviour due to repeated exposure
to the stimulus that produces the behaviour
Ex. Acoustic startle response
o Measured in rodents
o Respond to a sound
o First time startled
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o Second time less startled, less of a reaction
o By test 100 no reaction, know nothing is going to happen
o
Behaviorist approach:
o Defines habituation as a decrease in behaviour
o Don’t have to care about rat’s feelings/ emotions
o Just observe behaviour
o Anything objectively studied
Behaviorist approach
o Focusing on behaviour allows objective, standardized measurements
o Force of startle
Habituation: Quantification
Fixation time- how long are they looking/focusing
Note early strong responses, declining to later weak responses
Asymptote
o Relatively stable point after substantial training
Characteristics of Habituation
Habituation is ubiquitous
o It is found throughout the animal kingdom
o Even some single-celled organisms
o https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2714193/
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Across all these organisms, there are striking similarities in the way habituation works
Habituation in dog training
o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGWHbmQ60Rk
Topics to discuss:
Dishabituation
o A novel/arousing stimulus can temporarily recover responses to the habituating
stimulus
o This fades quickly though
o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8bF_zf6UBU
o Initial habituation
o Different noise and back to startle
o Erases the original habituation to both the original and new noise
o Erasing habituation with some other type of stimuli
o Habituation can return though
Stimulus specificity
o Generally, responses only decrease to the habituating stimulus
o For very similar stimuli, however, there can be some generalization
o Exact same sound over and over again
o if VERY similar noise it can also work
o stimulus specific
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