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PSY260H1S Lecture 4

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Daniela Bellicoso

PSY260H1S L4; Jan 29, 13 Non-Associative Learning: Ch. 6  Focussing on non-associative learning today  Won’t be tested on video clips of today’s lecture Bhvr’al Processes  Associative Learning: learning to associate one stimulus w another, or learning to associate a particular stimulus with a new response o Associated intentionally  Non-Associative Learning: learning that involves only one, relatively isolated stimulus at a time o Does not require learning a new association   relatively easiest to do, simplest type of learning o Only observable change: how organism responds to or perceives a stimulus Ex: o Not telling them how to respond  Loud banging sound startling a rat  gradually doesn’t react Learning about Repeated Stimuli at all  Everything is novel the first time it happens to you o No prior expectations o Might approach w excitement or fear o Ex. First time seeing snow – excited!  Repeated exposure to an event or stimulus can lead to habituation  Habituation: a decrease in the strength or occurrence of a behaviour after repeated exposure to the stimulus that produces the bhvr  Habituation is stimulus specific o Ex. Habituating to snow doesn’t mean you’ve habituated to hail  Habituation is seen in a wide range of species including humans, slugs, monkeys, and rats to name a few The Process of Habituation (Decrease in Fixation Time for babies looking at a checkerboard)  When move to new house  get used to new bed o Problem in sleep studies  Orienting Response: organism’s innate reaction to a novel st stimulus o “1 night phenomenon” – get bad results the first  The orienting response is easy to test in babies since most night since problem w sleep quality o So many sleep studies last a few days things are novel to them o Proves habituation, not studying it  If an infant is presented w an unfamiliar visual stimulus, their orienting response will be to turn their head & look  In the lab, habituation can be tested w the acoustic startle reflex at/examine it for a few seconds to get used to it o Acoustic Startle Reflex: a defensive response (such as o After this, their gaze will be shifted elsewhere o If the same novel visual stimulus is removed for 10s jumping or freezing) to a startling stimulus (such as a loud noise) and redisplayed, the infant will again respond but for a  We can study habituation and acoustic reflex in rats shorter period of time than at the first presentation o This staring duration is called “fixation time” o Start with a rat in an experimental chamber o First display of loud noise initially startles a rat  Fixation time decreases with repeated presentations of a o After continuously hearing the loud noise the startle stimulus reflex declines o After a long period of time the rat may cease to  Habituation can be advantageous in allowing us to startle all together habituate to safe stimuli to which we will frequently  This suggests the rat has habituated exposed  However, it can also carry risks when we ignore potentially dangerous stimuli that we either mistake for something we think is safe, or when we believe we are immune to the dangers of a stimulus o Ex. Ppl sleeping thru fire alarms, got so used to them  stayed thru a real fire alarm Factors Influencing Rate & Duration of Habituation  Habituation speed & the associated decrease in responsiveness are influenced by several factors o Degree to which a stimulus is startling  Some ppl also are more jumpy than others o # of times a startle stimulus is experienced o Length of startle stimulus exposure o Length of time between startle stimulus exposures  Massed vs. spaced exposure o Massed  quicker short-term habitation o Spaced  more long-term habituation  Spacing must be close enough to cause an effect  Habituation duration o Can last for mins or hrs, uncommonly a day o Not forever  Spontaneous Recovery: reappearance (or increased strength) of a previously habituated response after a short period of no stimulus presentation o Can rehabituate – tends to be faster, but not after  Rat habituated  Electric shock then loud noise  gets startled again >1 presentations o Become alerted for possible danger  Startle lasts ~10-15min o Realize there isn’t much danger  Same rat, 3 days later: gets scared from SAME loud noise Dishabituation  Skin Conductance Response (SCR): a change in the skin’s electrical conductivity associated w emotions such as anxiety,  Habituation does not generalize freely across stimuli fear, or surprise  Dishabituation: renewal of a response, previously habituated, that occurs when an organism is presented with a novel o aka Galvanic skin response o Fluctuations in electrical conductance are recorded by stimulus electrodes similar to those used for an  A different loud noise startles the rat electroencephalograph (ECG) o Startled  rapid increase in startle response o Calm music  low response  Coolidge Effect: dishabituation of sexual responding o Test rats  male rat will mate til tired  Sensitization is seen in a wide range of species including but o Change sexual partner to see if tired or tired of not limited to bullfrogs, sea slugs, and humans  Fewer exposures to a stimulus are required to produced partner sensitization compared to the number required to o  rushes to mate w new partner produce habituation o The results of sensitization are also longer lasting (days The Process of Sensitization or wks) than the results of habituation (minutes to hrs)  Sensitization: phenomenon in which a salient stimulus (such as an electric shock) temporarily increases the strength of o Unlike habituation, sensitization is not stimulus specific response to other stimuli Habituation vs. Sensitization o Sensitization increases an organism’s likelihood of responding to a stimulus Habituation Sensitization Repeated stimulus presentation Repeated stimulus presentation o Ex. Hurricane Katrina, many ppl stayed  lots of media leads to decreased leads to increased coverage  ppl freaked about Hurricane Rita, many ppl fled – since had been sensitized w images of Hurricane responsiveness responsiveness Katrina Stimulus specific Not stimulus specific o Celebrities sensitized to photographers  attack them Lasts minutes to hours, Lasts days to weeks  Maybe because of bad experiences to themselves sometimes a few days or to friend in past from photographer Requires more exposures to a Requires only few exposures to  Sensitization is like an opposite to habituation stimulus a stimulus o Sensitization: repeated presentation of a stimulus Homosynaptic Heterosynaptic leads to increased responsiveness Seen in a wide range of species, including but not limited to o Habituation: repeated presentation of a stimulus leads humans, sea slugs, bullfrogs, and rats to decreased responsiveness Priming  Priming: phenomenon where prior exposure to a stimulus can improve the ability to recognize the stimulus later o Can be caused by Sensitization  Word-Stem Completion Tasks: task in which participants are asked to fill in the blanks in a list of word stems (ex: MOT____) to produce the first word that comes to mind o Depends on culture, envt – ex. Motel, motor o In priming expts, participants are more likely to  Perceptual learning during discrimination training occurs in produce particular words (ex: MOTHER) if they parallel w other learning phenomena have been previously exposed to the word  Discrimination training produces the largest changes in  Ex. By showing pic of family, talking about perceptual sensitivities along with the largest changes in Mother’s Day brain structure & fn  Indivs w anterograde amnesia (ex. HM) also show word- stem completion priming, even though they report no  Professional judges for dog shows have learned to analyze & conscious recollection of having studied any words that respond differently to dogs than the avg person could prime their responses o Average person vs. Dog show judge o Suggests priming doesn’t depend on explicit recall  Together, mere exposure learning & of memories discrimination training help make a dog  Animals can also be primed show judge better than the avg person at o Ex. Bluejays primed to find certain moths distinguishing btwn indiv traits of the same breed Perceptual Learning  Experts at any kind of perceptual discrimination learn by  Perceptual Learning: learning where experience w a stimuli practicing w examples & by receiving fdbk regarding the or set of stimuli makes it easier to distinguish those stimuli accuracy of their judgments  It is conceptually similar to priming o Feedback training is greatly beneficial to  Prior experience improves recognition perceptual learning  However, perceptual learning leads to increased ability to  Abilities to discriminate btwn traits & characteristics in one distinguish fine details btwn highly similar stimuli subject group are not necessarily generalizable across all  Ex. Looking at rashes  dermatologists will know more about related subject groups it  Learning Specificity: degree to which learning about one set of stimuli transfers to another group of stimuli Mere Exposure Learning o Ex. Being a great dog judge doesn’t mean you’ll be a  Mere exposure learning is a mode for perceptual learning to great pig judge occur  Mere Exposure Learning: learning through mere exposure to  Specificity of perceptual learning is in part determined by the stimuli, w/o any explicit prompting and w/o any outward difficulty of the discrimination task being learned responding o Greater difficulty of discrimination task  Greater specificity o Gibson/Wok – 1 grp exposed to triangular/circular shapes on walls of cages, another grp had no shapes o Ex. surgeons  1mth later – grp 1 earned to discriminate btwn  Difficulty of discrimination tasks increases when the the shapes faster target stimulus is very similar to its background o Is a type of Latent Learning o If picking something out that blends w others around it  Latent Learning: learning that is undetected (latent) until o Ex. If small bubbles in a rash – a specialized explicitly demonstrated at a later stage dermatologist would need to see this is determine what o Ex. The above study kind of rash it is Spatial Learning  Spatial Learning: acquisition of information about one’s surroundings o Can also occur thru mere exposure o Ex. Been walked to arena by parents  later rmbr how to drive there on your own  Gibson & Gibson (1955)  Discrimination Training  Discrimination Training: involves training an organism to respond differentially to different stimuli  During discrimination training, feedback can be provided by: o Pairing dif stimuli w dif outcomes  Study by Tolman & Honzik (1930) using complex rat maze  ~Classical conditioning  1-way doors & curtains o Rewarding or punishing one’s responses to stimuli  ~Operant conditioning Rat Group 1 o Demonstrating desired performance  Perceptual learning during discrimination training is not  Rats placed in a complex maze were trained to go to a particular location in the maze of the “the food box” latent  Arrival at this location led to a small food reward o Things learned are bhvr’ally evident  As the days passed, w practice the rats learned to run to the o Wasps learned the spatial relationship btwn the burrow food box w fewer errors & surrounding landmarks  Would’ve eventually found burrow due to looking at other Rat Group 2 (“Exposure-first Group”) visual cues  Rats were merely placed in the maze for the first 10 days  Should do a study w moving the pinecones a far distance and allowed to explore o Got to take in their envt Models of Non-Associative Learning o Learned w/o incentive  While it is considered a simpler form of learning, debate  If they stumbled on the food box, they still received no continues on the processes that underlie non-associative food reward – they were instead removed from the maze learning  11th day: received food every time they entered the food  We will discuss three theories or models that potentially box underlie non-associative learning:  These rats quickly learned to now run to the food box for a o Dual Processes Theory reward o Comparator Model o Differentiation Theory  Rats in Group 2 quickly learned to outperform rats in Group 1 o Group 1 learned by explicit training Dual Process Theory o Group 2 learned by mere exposure while exploring the  Dual process theory attempts to explain habituation maze  This theory suggests habituation begins with stimulus (S) o Latent learning (via mere exposure) made it easy evoking a hardwired muscular reflex from motor neuron for the exploring rats to learn to run to a specific M spot (the “food box”) in the maze o Repeated presentation of stimulus S potentially weakens the links btwn intermediate nodes,  Animals both in the laboratory & in the wild seem to learn leading to reduced likelihood of motor response M to navigate by landmarks – “visual cues” o For sensitization, the stimulus temporarily increases  Exploration of the envt – either in the lab or in the wild – is the connection between S & M key to learning about spatial organization  Thru arousing stimulus T  Niko Tinbergen study on the ability of wasps to locate their home nest  Dual Process Theory of Non-Associative Learning: theory o Looked at orientation flights that habituation and sensitization are independent of each o Study aim: to observe what happens when visual cues other but operate in parallel were moved around and put out of place o Dual process theory suggests that repeated events actually always lead to the processes underlying  A pine cone circle was constructed around the wasp burrow & left intact for many orientation flights both sensitization & habituation  The observable outcome of a stimulus on motor response depends on: o the freq of stimulus presentation o stimulus intensity o recency of the sensitizing event  According to dual process theory, habituation & sensitization processes change over time, w the largest effects of repetition always occurring early in exposures  While wasps were away on a foraging trip, the pinecone circle was moved away from the wasp burrow, in the  Arousal plays a role in learning about repeated events exact same pinecone arrangement  Studies of emotional responses to extreme events suggest o nearby   Returning wasps repeatedly searched for their burrow there are multiple phases of emotional responding o Initial phase: fear (feeling scared) followed by a within the new location of the pinecone ring rebound effect of exhilaration  Study conclusion: if the orienting landmarks that wasps familiarize themselves w during the orientation flight are o w repeated experience: initial fear responses weaken, while rebound responses grow stronger moved while they are foraging for food, the wasps will o Ex. Going skiing search for their home burrow within the new location of their original visual clues o But some ppl are always scared – ex. Rollercoasters – some ppl are always scared, the feel good once they get off  One potential model of this process is opponent process theory o Suggests this is how organisms maintain emotional stability  Opponent process theory, like dual processes theory, assumes that an experienced event leads to two independent processes o The overall emotion one experiences in response to an event is a combo of these two independently occurring processes o Over time the initial response might habituate faster than its counterpart  Ex. So over time, might get less scared of rollercoaster o Feeling = fear + pleasure together o Over time fear habituates o  more pleasurable experience  Aplysia breathe thru gills that extend thru their abdomen Comparator Models & siphon o Gills = delicate, try to protect them from damage  Comparator Models of Non-Associative Learning: theory that each time the brain detects a particular stimulus, it forms a  Retract them under mantle when in danger representation of that stimulus to compare against existing  = Gill Withdrawal Reflex representations of previously experienced stimuli  Some neurons so big in aplysia that you can see them w o If there is no match, an orienting response is naked eye triggered  24 sensory neurons in siphon  According to comparator models, the greater the # of times  6 motor neurons a stimulus has been encountered, the more familiar it becomes, leading to a subsequent reduction of the need ce/Aplysia/Apfigs/Apgillreflex.jpg for an orienting response Invertebrate Model System Differentiation Theory  Differentiation Theory of Non-Associative Learning: theory that the brain develops representations of stimuli over time by incorporating additional details each time the stimulus is presented  Accordin
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