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Lecture 5

PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Observational Learning, Sketchpad, Working Memory

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Waggoner Denton Ashley

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Lecture 5: Attention & Memory
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Learning: An enduring change in behaviour, resulting from experience
Classical vs. Operant Conditioning
Classical (or Pavlovian) conditioning -> occurs when 2 different
stimuli come to be associated with one another. Doesn't require
any action on the part of the learner.
A type of learning in which a neutral stimulus comes to elicit
a reflexive response because it has become associated
with a stimulus that already produces that response
Key terms
Unconditioned stimulus
Unconditioned response
Conditioned stimulus
Conditioned response
Stimulus generalization
Occurs when stimuli that are similar but not identical
to the conditioned stimulus produce the conditioned
Stimulus discrimination
A differentiation between two similar stimuli when only
one of them is consistently associated with the
unconditioned stimulus
Second-order conditioning: when something is consistently
paired with the conditioned stimulus, without the
unconditioned stimulus, and leads to a conditioned
Acquired fears that are out of proportion to the real
threat of the object or situation
Later developments
Not all CS-CR pairings are the same
Some associations are easier to learn than others

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Conditioned taste aversion
Associating a particular food with an unpleasant
outcome, like illness
Can be formed in one trial, even if the illness
doesn’t occur right away
Adding cognition to the picture
Why is a slight delay between the CS and US optimal
for learning? -> prediction
In order for learning to take place, the CS must
accurately predict the US
Rescorla-Wagner model
A cognitive model of classical conditioning which
states that the strength of the CS-US
association is determined by the extent to which
the US is unexpected or surprising
Biological basis of learning: Hebb Rule
"neurons that fire together, wire together"
Neurons that signal the US are active the same
time as those that signal the CS. Over repeated
trials, the synapses that connect these two
events become strengthened so that when one
fires, the other fires, producing the conditioned
Operant (or Instrumental) conditioning -> when an animal or
person operates on their environment to produce particular
results (e.g. learning a trick to receive treats)
A learning process in which the consequences of an action
determine the likelihood that it will be performed in the
Reinforcer - a stimulus that occurs after a response and
increases the likelihood that the response will be repeated
Positive reinforcement - increases the probability of a
behaviour being repeated by the administration of a
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