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Lecture 5

PSYC 3410 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Habituation, Dishabituation, Neural Adaptation

Course Code
PSYC 3410
Elissa Rodkey

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Habituation and Sensitization
-without habituation, our attention would be caught by all stimulation, even the unimportant
- Habituation- responsiveness to a specific stimulus declines with repeated experiences
-Sensitization- responsiveness to a specific stimulus increases with repeated experiences
-habituation is a form of learning, and we must verify that by rulling out other explainations for
why the subject is getting less responsive to the stimuli (fatigue, sensory adaptation)
-Dishabituation- the recovery of responding to the old stimulus that had been habituated due
to the introduction of a new stimulus
-learning in a marine snail
gill withdrawal reflex
habituation: repeated touching of the siohon, there is a decrement in the gill withdrawal
dishabituation: a brief shock to the tail restores subsequent gill withdrawal response
-for learning to occur, you need distributed practice, rather than having repeated stimulus in
very quick succession
-when do children start learning the association between a physical object and the word
associated with it
the looking time for the infants decreases as the toys and word associations are shown to
however, when the names associated to the objects are switched, they look more at the
object because they notice that the object now has a different name
-experiment with children showed that if you put a rod behind a box, if the child gets habituated
with the rod and views it as a whole object rather than two individual rods, then when the child
is exposed to both, a continuous and 2 halves, then they will look longer at the two halves
because they are habituated to the continuous rod already
Emotional effects of repeated exposure to stimuli
-Opponent-process model- homeostatic theory explains why emotions do not spiral out of
control where the a process and the b process are opposit to each other
-a process is the first experience/ response to a stimuli, and it can either be pleasant or
unpleasant (b process counteracts the a process)
-b process returns the emotional response to baseline, and then continue slowly under
-with repeated exposure, the a process is the same, but the b process becomes strengthened
(lasts longer, starts faster, more intense), e.x. addictions like drugs, exercise, [limits: phobias]
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