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Lecture 5

PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Conditioned Taste Aversion, Edward C. Tolman, Latent Learning

Course Code
Michael Inzlicht

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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
Learning & Memory – Lecture #5
-An enduring change in behaviour, resulting from experience
-Classical vs. Operant Conditioning
Pavlovian condition
When there is a very slight delay between the conditioned stimulus
and the unconditioned stimulus, it works better this way
The tone predicts that the food is coming next
Occurs when two different stimuli come to be associated with one another.
Doesn’t require any action on the part of the learner.
Passive form of learning
A type of learning in which a neutral stimulus (ex. Light) comes to elicit a
reflexive response (if you feel air in your eye, you blink) because it has
become associated with a stimulus that already produces that response
Key terms:
Unconditioned stimulus (US)
oRocking of the boat
Unconditioned response (UR)
oFeeling sea sick
Conditioned stimulus (CS)
oBlowing on the whistle when he rocks boat
Conditioned response (CR)
oSo now the tiger will feel seasickness
Acquisition: The gradual formation of an association between the
conditioned and unconditioned stimuli
The neutral stimulus becomes your conditioned stimulus and then
it makes a conditioned response
Extinction: A process in which the conditioned response is weakened
when the conditioned stimulus is repeatedly presented without the
unconditioned stimulus
The dog learns to forget the stuff he is conditioned to because they
just hear the tone but no food comes
Spontaneous recovery: A process in which a previously extinguished
response re-emerges following presentation of the conditioned stimulus
The dog can spontaneously react to something he hasn’t seen/heard
in so long and then they start salivating more

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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
Stimulus generalization: Occurs when stimuli that are similar but not
identical to the conditioned stimulus produce the conditioned response
Stimulus discrimination: a differentiation between two similar stimuli
when only one of them is consistently associated with the unconditioned
Second-order conditioning: when something is consistently paired with
the conditioned stimulus, without the unconditioned stimulus, and leads to
a conditioned response
Phobias are acquired fears that are out of proportion to the real
threat of the object of situation
Later Developments
Not all CS-CR pairings are the same
Some associations are easier to learn than others
Conditioned taste aversion: associating a particular food with an
unpleasant outcome (ex. Illness). Can be formed in one trial, even
if illness doesn’t occur right away
Preparedness: refers to the idea that animals are genetically
programmed to fear some objects more than others
oEx. Phobias about snakes and heights are more common
than phobias about squirrels and staplers
oThis is built in through our history and behaviour because it
is more likely to be more afraid of these things that are
fearful for us
Adding Condition to the Picture
Why is a slight delay between CS and US optimal for learning?
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

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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
association is determined by the extent to which the US is
unexpected or surprising
Because this leads to greater effort by the animal to understand
why the US appeared
oImagine that the animal is not expecting food, and suddenly
the food appears, what is the animal going to do? It is going
to think about its environment and is shocked and how do I
avoid this from happening?
Biological Basis of Learning: Hebb Rule
“Neurons that fire together, wire together”
oNeurons 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
Neurons fire when you have a puff of air in your
eye, and this happens over and over again, the
synapse between those neurons are connected and if
one goes off, the other also goes off and this
produces our conditioned response
oOperant (Instrumental)
When an animal or person operates on their environment to produce
particular results
Ex. Learning a trick to receive a treat
More active because it requires the learner to behave in a particular way
A learning process in which the consequences of an action determine the
likelihood that it will be performed in the future
Key terms
Positive and negative reinforcement
Positive and negative punishment
Schedules of reinforcement: Fixed, variable, ratio, interval
Thorndike’s law of effect: Any behaviour that leads to a “satisfying state
of affairs” is more likely occur again, and any behaviour that leads to an
“annoying state of affairs” is less likely recur.
Thorndike’s Puzzle Box
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