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Lecture 8

PSY260H1S Lecture 8

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University of Toronto St. George
Daniela Bellicoso

PSY260H1S L8; March 26, 13 o Ex. A Child applying lipstick Observational Learning: Ch. 11 o Don’t care about the subject performing it; just care about how to apply the lipstick  Only dolphins & humans can imitate both vocalization & actions  Scientists often disagree about what bhvrs rly count as true  Chimpanzees can imitate actions imitation  One way to study imitation abilities is by using the two-action  Parrots can imitate some vocalization test Bhvr’al Processes o Two-Action Test: technique developed to demonstrate imitation abilities that involves exposing naïve animals  Need to passively get info & actively engage w it  Observations play a key role in learning, but it is not always to demonstrators trained to achieve the same goal using exactly clear when an animal or person is observing while dif actions  Two action test has allowed expt’ers to compare imitative learning a particular action or sequence o Observation involves both passive reception of capacities across species external stimuli & active monitoring  Observational Learning: process where the learner actively monitors events & chooses later actions based on those observations  Social learning often used as synonym for observational learning o Social Learning: learning from others o Ex. Leonardo Dicaprio in Titanic at the fancy dinner Learning by Copying  Copying: the act of doing what one observes another organism doing o Learning by copying is a form of observational learning  See this from a very early age, big role in learnAtkins & Zentall (1996)  Ex. parents telling children to copy actions,  In a study using the two-action test w quails: speech o 2 dif quails acted as modelers for 2 dif grps of quails o A form of Behavioural imitation: the copying of actions o The naive quails copied  W observational learning, unlike w classical or instrumental  Quails that recently observed another quail press conditioning, researchers cannot reliably predict when an a lever by pecking were more likely to imitate organism will learn after observing the actions of others the same pecking-lever press bhvr o Also not necessarily getting a reward  Quails that recently observed another quail press  It’s difficult to predict how observations will affect future bhvr a lever w its foot were more likely to imitate the because: same foot-lever press bhvr o Reason #1: there’s no way to detect what the organism  Study demonstrates that quails have the capacity for “true perceives during its observations because an organism imitation” can observe a wide variety of events without showing any changes in bhvr  Humans are able to imitate a wide variety of actions & sounds o Reason #2: nothing compels an observer to copy any  To assess whether humans & animals can display this wide given model range of imitative abilities, the “do-as-I-do task” can be used  “Morgan’s canon”: a scientist or research should explain a o Hayes & Hayes (1952) phenomenon in the simplest way at its most basic form  Trained a chimpanzee to imitate a researcher’s o Scientists should always explain an organism’s actions (clapping) when the person gave the behaviour using the simplest possible mechanisms command “do this!” o Suggests copying can involve replication of  Proves chimps also have the ability of true observed actions, or, performance of novel actions imitation that lead to the observed outcome of a modeler’s  Perspective Taking: imagining oneself in the place of another actions o Suggested by some researchers to be a cognitive ability  2 examples of times of copying… needed for imitation o True Imitation: copying that does involve reproducing motor acts Stimulus Matching: Copying Outcomes of Specific Actions o Emulation: copying that involves replicating an outcome  Emulation cannot always be achieved in some instances w/o replicating specific motor acts unless certain specific actions are reproduced  Ex. replicating same end goal but using dif steps Stimulus Matching: a type of imitation in which the observer generates stimuli that can be directly compared w the originally True Imitation: Copying Actions observed stimuli of the model  Morgan’s canon does not distinguish btwn human & animal o Stimulus matching is an indirect way of copying subjects who complete a particular bhvr actions, & as such is often distinguished from true  Rule suggests the simplest explanation for a bhvr is the imitation preferred one unless additional evidence is provided that rules out this explanation o Ex. Copying speech – adjust your speech according the members of one’s species, typically in ways that replicate the the fdbk of your own speech; don’t know the muscle observed response bhvr in the model o Usually the acts that produce contagion are not  Might get close but still have some variation learned o Actions due to contagion usually match the observed Social Learning Theory actions not as a result of imitation, but as a result of an  Social Learning Theory: theory of human bhvr that was unconditioned response prominent from the 1940s – 1960s. It proposes that the kinds of o You learn to produce an emotional action but it is reinforcements an indiv has experienced in the past will not directly taught to you determine how the indiv will act in any given situation o One ways that phobias can develop – by  It suggests that: continuously observing the emotional response o Reinforcement determines personality traits  Ex. the caged Naive monkey next to the caged panicking wild o Observational learning is a special case of monkey next to the caged snake instrumental conditioning whereby imitative acts are reinforced either directly or indirectly  Observers of an action or bhvr can gain info about whether the particular action will be rewarded or punished by observing the outcomes of a model’s actions o Rmbr Albert Bandura o Consistent w the law of effect, there is a greater likelihood to imitate actions one witnessed leading to a (+)ve or pleasurable outcome  Modern/Contemporary social learning theory places less  Observational Conditioning: process in which an indiv learns emphasis on conditioning than seen in the original theory, an emotional response after observing similar responses in others and instead explains bhvr in terms of more cognitive processes  Ex: Wild blackbirds learn to attack predators by o Posits that any bhvr can be learned w/o direct observing other blackbirds attack predators o Phenomenon can be taught in the lab – a bird can reinforcement or punishment  The expectation of reinforcers & punishers will undergo observational learning to attack a harmless influence the performance of a learned action, object such as a plastic bottle o This is not a case of imitation because among but the learning itself will be due to blackbirds, attacking is known to be a species observation and not conditioning  According to modern social learning theory, specific bhvr that occurs when a blackbird detects a imitated actions are merely performances predator or sees another attacking bird  Species-specific revealing what has been learned  Survival response Alternatives to Imitation o Put two birds in a cage, put device in middle that makes it look like they’re both seeing the same stimulus (when  Imitation involves producing an action that matches the actions of others in fact there are 2 stimuli) o However, simply producing matching bhvrs does not o The Model bird (US) who sees the stuffed owl reacts fearfully (UR) prove imitation is occurring o Conditions other than imitation – such as contagion, o The Observer bird then reacts fearfully to the bottle observational conditioning, and stimulus enhancement (becomes CS via classical conditioning)  It thinks the Model also sees the bottle – can also result in matching bhvr  So tries to ward off the bottle Contagion & Observational Conditioning Stimulus Enhancement  Redirecting one’s attention can also facilitate the process of info transfer, which can also lead to matching actions that can be mistaken for imitation  Stimulus Enhancement: a process in which observation of other indivs causes an organism’s attention to be directed toward specific objects, events, or locations within an envt o Can effect what is learned by an indiv as their focus is directed to a subset of envt’al features that may provide useful info than other features present  Today there are many tools that can be used to produce stimulus enhancement by directing an observer’s attention o Helps them focus more & take attention away from envt o Increases likelihood that you’ll learn from the stimulus  Ex. Donna learns to panic in the presence of a spider o Ex. highlighting in textbook, laser pointer in class,  Contagion: inborn tendency to react emotionally to visual or spotlight in a movie acoustic stimuli that indicate an emotional response by other  Can lead to classical & instrumental conditioning, latent  Difs in animals’ abilities to imitate imply difs in the neural learning, depending on the factor that surround it processes that underlie those abilities, but it is difficult to know how those difs depend on learning experiences Social Transmission of Information (don’t leave out “of  Observational learning often seems to depend both on Information”) skill memories, and on memories for facts & events  Social Transmission of Information: a process seen in all o Only a few species able to display observational human cultures in which an observer learns something new learning thru experiences w others  Important to rmbr about imitation: before a particular o Ex. shopping w friends – reinforce your buying choices, st action can be imitated by a person or animal, it must 1 or make you not want to buy it be recognized o Can learn (+)ve or (-)ve from the ppl around you, will o Don’t want to imitate something we don’t understand not necessarily influence your actions  The ability to recognize an action involves cortical circuits  Ex. you might still buy the pairs of pants that you involved in recognizing visual patterns just saw someone return  2 hypotheses have been suggested on how cortical networks  Existed for a long time store memories of visual scenes: o Ex. following moon cycles, farming methods to to best o Visual hypothesis: suggests memories for acts we embalm a dead person perceive are stored in visual cortical regions o Dif info passed on o Direct matching hypothesis: suggests action-based  The numerous ways in which info can be transmitted btwn memories are stored in cortical regions that map humans enables more rapid learning than in other animals in observed actions onto motor representations of the a wide range of contexts physical acts o Speeds of the rate of transmission & learning  Textbook supports this  Action & ability to do it are stored together Learning Thru Social Conformity Mirror Neurons in the Cortex  Human brain can potentially translate visual inputs into corresponding motor patterns  Mirror neurons: fire/respond the same way during action performance & visual observation of an action, 1 st identified in a monkey’s cortex o They respond similarly to both of the events considered necessary for imitation o Many dif mirror neurons exist – can be specialized for dif actions  Can fire to both action observation & performance o They act as a neural link btwn observing & performing an action  Reasons why mirror neurons are considered to have a possible role in imitation & emulation, and in perceptual motor skill learning & action interpretation: o Some mirror neurons appear to fire most strongly during observation of action outcome than in response to the action itself  Means: the neurons fire the same way when the organism is seeing a particular outcome as when organism is achieving the same  Rats tend to follow the bhvr of the majority of colony members outcome o Some mirror neurons fire most strongly in  Social Conformity: the tendency to adopt the bhvr of the grp, response to the acoustic outcomes of particular whether (+)ve or (-)ve o Has many protective fns, but can also hinder observed actions  (ex. learning how to judge what’s going on; ex. development of novel bhvr patterns that have the how to respond at a loud part vs. quiet party) potential to be advantageous  Most bhvrs have an acoustic value attached o Social conformity helps to facilitate rapid acquisition of info  Dif mirror neurons important for dif actions  Means:  This info can be adaptive for a particular  Other sensory modalities may also be mapped situation, but can also lead to traditions that provide no general benefit onto motor representations in the cortex  Suggests vocal imitation may depend on circuits  Can be passed down to future generations involving mirror neurons (ex. to avoid poison)  Mirror neurons may categorize observed events by linking them to the motor representations that become active when Brain Substrates an observer performs similar actions  Mirror neurons have not been directly observed in  Cerebellum, temporal lobes & hippocampus, humans amygdala, corpus callosum  MRI studies show decreased blood flow to the o Evoked potentials which act as indirect measures of cortical activity, as do transcranial magnetic temporal lobes & irregular cortical activation stimulation (TMS), and cerebral blood flow lend patterns support to the idea that regions of the human cortex o Many brain structure & fn difs appear to result from behave like they contain mirror neurons abnormal development early in the lives of indivs w o Neuroimaging experiments demonstrate overlap autism between those cortical regions activated by action performance and those observing action Effects of Frontal Lobe Lesions on Imitation performance 
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