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Lecture 9

PSYB64H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Occipital Lobe, Caudate Nucleus, Cortisol

Course Code
Janelle Leboutillier

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A relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience
Types of Learning:
Associative and nonassociative learning
Classical Conditioning
is a type of associative learning that does involve forming a
connection between two elements or events.
Habituation and Sensitization
types of non-associative learning that do not involve forming
a connection between two elements or events.
Classical Conditioning
Pavlov and the canine digestive system.
Classical conditioning occurs when an organism learns that stimuli may act
as signals that predict the occurrence of other important events.
Typically, classical conditioning involves the pairing of an unconditioned
stimulus (UCS), which elicits an innate unconditioned response (UCR),
with a neutral stimulus called the conditioned stimulus (CS) that is not
innately associated with the UCS and UCR.
The UCS and CS pairing may only need to occur once for some types of
learning such as conditioned taste aversions, but often require multiple
pairings in order to form an association between the CS and the UCR.
When the unconditioned response behavior can be elicited by presenting the
CS in absence of the UCS then the response is called a conditioned response
sometimes you don’t even need a repeated stimulus
taste aversion= doesn’t req repeated exposure to the food/taste
Habituation occurs when an organism reduces its response to a repeated
stimulus. Often habituation occurs to unchanging, harmless stimuli as a
means of focusing our attention on relevant stimuli.
Living beside a hospital; you get used to the sirens at night
Sensitization occurs when an exposure to a strong stimulus actually
heightens an organism’s overall level of response to other environmental
When a blackout (strong sensory stimulus) causing sensitization
(learning to intensify your response to all stimuli)
Heightens organisms response/awareness to a stimuli
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Using Invertebrates to Study Learning
Sea slug Aplysia californica
Habituation in Aplysia:
Gill withdrawal reflex
Reduced activity at synapse between sensory and motor
Sensitization in Aplysia:
A stimulus gains the ability to influence more than one neural
Increased neurotransmitter release by sensory neuron
Classical Conditioning in Aplysia:
Sequential activation of sensory neurons by CS and UCS leads
to greater neurotransmitter release.
major anatomical features involved w learned responses
- gill can be withdrawn of extended
- gill, head, siphon and tail are major areas
more synapses formed as aplysia learned
Many learned responses involve neurons in the abdominal ganglion.
P9 is the largest nerve serving the tail
- p9 is the largest & goes the furthest (simpler to work w and study the
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Habituation and Sensitization in Aplysia
- memory of event (shock) is a function of the number of trials you shock the
normal situation
- sensory neuron releases normal amount of neurotransmitters
- gill retracts
habituation (ignoring)
- sensory neuron releases less neurotransmitters
- gill weakly withdraws
sensitization (heightened response/awareness)
- sensory neuron releases increased neurotransmitters to interneurons/motor
- gill has stronger than normal withdrawal
Structural Changes in Synapses Result from Learning
Habituation reduces the number of terminals whereas sensitization increases the
Normal few synapses on neuron (~1250)
LT habituation fewer synapses (~900)
LT sensitization more synapses (~2700)
- animal adapts to environment (plastic)
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