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Steve Joordens

CHAPTER 7: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOUR Learning: adaptive process in which tendency to perform particular behaviour is changed by experience Performance: behavioural change produced by internal changes brought about by learning (evidence for learning, but imperfect) HABITUATION Orienting response: any response by which an organism directs appropriate sensory organs towards the source of a novel stimulus Habituation: simplest form of learning, learning to not respond to an unimportant event that occurs repeatedly George Humphrey showed this in early psych textbook, experiment of tapping glass plate of snails and withdrawing into their shells Rankin experiments on worm from class Nematoda. Same as snails but still reflexes to heat showing its not fatigue that causes it. Does with only 302 neurons in nervous system Most common is short-term habituation if you tap snail shell few days later, response will be back Animals with more complex nervous system capable of long term habituation i.e. hunting dog not responding to gunshots even between hunting seasons, and noises in new house keeping people awake When stimuli presented quick and large, short term, small and spaced out, long term. Different part of nervous system produces each. CLASSICAL CONDITIONING Classical conditioning: process by which response normally elicited by one stimulus (UCS unconditioned stimulus) comes to be controlled by another stimulus as well (CS conditional stimulus) Pavlov’s Serendipitous Discovery Pavlov a Russian physiologist, chief ambition to discover neural mechanisms controlling glandular secretions during digestion Originally, placed dried food powder in dog’s mouth and collected saliva from tube, after several testings, dogs started salivating at sight of assistant, Pavlov aimed to find out why dogs started salivating at unrelated stimulus Sequence and timing of events important factors, food must immediately follow bell Unconditional stimulus (UCS): stimulus that naturally elicits reflexive response such as salivation Unconditioned Response (UCR): a response such as salivation caused by a UCS Conditional Stimulus (CS): stimulus that because of its repeated association with the UCS eventually elicits a conditional response (CR) Conditional Response(CR): response elicited by the CS The Biological Significance of Classical Conditioning Classical conditioning accomplishes two things: 1) ability to learn to recognize stimuli that predicts occurance of an important event to make appropriate response faster, {Hollis - Siamese fighting fish, if given signal that male fish approaching, more likely to win, if female, more likely to mate faster and produce more babies} 2)stimuli that were unimportant gain important properties and able to modify behaviour Basic Principles of Classical Conditioning Acquisition: the time during which a CR first appears and increases in frequency Single pairing of CS with UCS not sufficient for learning to take place, only repeated pairings does the CR usually appear Two important factors that influence strength of CR: intensity of UCS and timing of the CS and UCS, more intense UCS produce more rapid learning and the CR 0.5 second pause between CS and UCS is optimal Extinction and Spontaneous Recovery Extinction: elimination of a response that occurs when the CS is repeatedly presented without being followed by the UCS Extinction will only happen if the CS is still there, needs to learn that the stimulus won’t be followed Spontaneous recovery: after an interval of time, the reappearance of a response that had previously been extinguished relearns it much faster Stimulus Generalization and Discrimination Generalization: CR’s elicited by stimuli that resemble the CS used in training Organism can also be taught to distinguish between similar stimuli Discrimination: appearance of a CR when one stimulus is presented but not another Discrimination training done by using two CSs during training, one always follows UCS, one never does Conditional Emotional Responses Examples: songs or places causing emotional responses because they are paired with certain experiences Todrank, Byrnes, Wrzesniewski, Rozin – show pictures to participants of Europeans and asked if they like them, took three neutral attractiveness picture and associated them with good, bad or neutral smell. This directly affected their attractiveness rating which shows personal likes or dislikes may be caused by classical conditioning Phobias: unreasonable fears of specific objects or situations such as insects, animals, enclosed spaces, learned through classical conditioning Phobia’s don’t need to be learn through experience, can be learned through seeing parent’s fear of something or hearing stories about something What is Learned in Classical Conditioning Neutral stimulus only becomes a CS when CS regularly occurs prior to presentation of UCS, the CS does not regularly occur when UCS is absent Blocking: prevention of or attenuation in learning that occurs to a neutral CS when it is conditioned in presence of a previously conditioned stimulus An additional stimulus will not cause the CR if the other CS is already conditioned Classical conditioning shows the what and when of future events Shown in Siamese fish, the CS doesn’t cause the CR but a memory of what the CS predicts Inhibitory conditional response: response tendency conditioned to a signal that predicts the absence of the UCS; generally not observed directly but accessed through other tests Excitatory conditional response: response tendency conditioned to a signal that the UCS is about to occur, This is the type of CR exemplified by Pavlov’s dogs OPERANT CONDITIONING Operant conditioning: form of learning in which behaviours affected by its consequences. Favorable consequences strengthen behaviour, unfavorable weaken The Law Of Effect Discovered by Thorndike in Jame’s basement at age 24 Placed cat inside puzzle box, eventually learned to operate a latch to get out Law of effect: Thorndike’s idea that consequences of a behaviour determine whether it is likely to be repeated Skinner and Operant Behaviour Skinner championed lab studies of law of effect and advocated applications of behaviour analysis and its methods to solving human problems Operant chamber: apparatus in which animal behaviour can be easily observed, manipulated and automatically recorded Behaviour analysts manipulate environmental events to determine effect on response rate (number of responses emitted during given time, increase=strength, decrease=weaken) Cumulative recorder: mechanical device connected to operant chamber to record operant responses as they occur in time The Three Term Contingency Discriminative stimulus: stimulus that sets the occasion for responding because in past behaviour has produced certain consequences in presence of that stimulus Three term contingency: relation among discriminative stimuli, behaviour, and consequences of behaviour. Motivated organism emits specific response in presence of discriminative stimulus because in past response reinforced only when discriminative stimulus is present Discriminative stimulus: sets occasion for responding because in past, responding lead to certain consequences Response: the operant behaviour, the response we make Following Event: the voice on the other end of phone is consequence of operant behaviour Reinforcement, Punishment and Extinction Positive Reinforcement: increase in frequency of a response that is regularly and reliably followed by an appetitive stimulus If appetitive stimulus follows a response and increases the frequency then it is positive reinforce Negative Reinforcement: increase in frequency of a response that is regularly and
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