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Lecture notes midterm 1.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Anneke Olthof

PS 261 Chapter 1  Historical antecedents o Descartes  Before it was commonly believed that all human behaviour was governed by free will  Cartesian dualism  Human behaviour can be caused by the external world or by the mind  Two classes of human behaviour o Involuntary & voluntary  Some behaviours are automatic reactions to stimuli (reflex)  Voluntary behaviour  Initiated by the mind, conscious intent  Animals are not capable of this  Involuntary behaviour (reflexive)  Something in external environment causes reaction  Automatic reactions to external stimuli and mediated by REFLEX  Assumed mechanism of behaviour is the only one available to animals other than humans o Nativism  Some ideas are innate (god) geometry (shortest distance between two points is a straight line  Rationalism o Empiricism  John Locke  Born with tabula rasa (blank slate)  Born knowing nothing  Simple sensations combined into more complex ideas by associations o Hedonism  Thomas Hobbes  People do things to receive pleasure and avoid pain  Mind operates just as predictably as a reflex o Rules of associations  Primary rules  Aristotle  Contiguity, similarity, contrast  Contiguity: if two events repeatedly occur together in time they will become associated  Secondary rules  Brown  Intensity, frequency, recency  Nonsense syllables  Devoid of any meaning to show learning o Reflex  Decartes was wrong about animal spirits (hollow tubes)  Swelling creates movement  Bell and Magendie separate sensory and motor paths for information to and from the CNS  Sechenov provided a reflexive model of voluntary behaviour  Connection between mind and physiology  Stimuli do not always elicit reflex response directly; sometimes should release response of inhibition  Voluntary thoughts are elicited by inconspicuous faint stimuli  Pavlov showed not all reflexes are innate  Lines of work that led to the study of animal learning o Comparative cognition  Darwin  Natural selection implies continuity between human and animal  Mind is a product of evolution  Romanes  Intelligence in terms of ability to learn  Anecdotal stories, what abilities caused that behaviour  Gave more credit for abilities  Mental representations surrounding environment  Morgan  A behaviour should not be explained by a complex mental process if it can be explained with a simpler one  Morgan’s canon o Functional neurology  Pavlov  Committed to the principle of nervism o All physiological functions are governed by the nervous system  Studied the conditioning of reflexes to learn about the function of the nervous system. Behaviour is controlled by the brain/nervous system o Animal models  Investigation of learning under conditions that are simpler, easily controlled and less expensive  Valid model comparable to target  Similarity between model and behaviour of interest  Simpler, more easily controlled and less expensive  Major players in early learning experiments o Thorndike  Cats in puzzle box  Expected to see moment of insight when they open box  Law of effect  Trial and error, consequence of response that becomes associated  Cued by the box to get out not by the food  The consequence of a response becomes associated with the response  Animals do not understand consequence of behaviour, but quickly learn  Change in behaviour due to consequences o Pavlov  Noticed dogs salivated in response to cues that preceded the delivery of food o Watson ( behaviourism)  Psychology should study only observable behaviour  Little albert  Important influence of environment on development, all learning o Skinner  Radical behaviourism  Skinner box, behaviour modification (consequences)  Study voluntary behaviour  Mind controls beahviour o Tolman  Accepted unobservable events in the explanation of behaviour  Mentalistic events (cognitive maps, spatial representations)  Reinforcement is not necessary for learning to occur  Cognitive explanation for behaviour  Learning about Learning o Learning and performance are not always correlated  Change in the mechanisms of behaviour to direct change in behaviour o Definition  Learning is an enduring change in the mechanism of behaviour involving specific stimuli and or response that results from prior experience with those or similar stimuli and responses o Performance  An organisms actions at a particular time  Many factors o Other sources of behaviour change  Fatigue  Physical exertion results in gradual reduction in the vigor of a response because the individual becomes tired  Change in conditions  Something happens in the environment  Alterations in physiological or motivational state  Hunger and thirst  Maturation  Occurs with the passage of time o Levels of analysis  Methodological aspects o Study of causal factors o General-process approach  Formulate general laws that can organize and explain diversity of behaviour  Can use few experimental paradigms and species  Evidence of learning processes studied in many different species and situations suggests generality  Make inferences, assuming same learning mechanisms  Two Basic Learning Paradigms o Pavlovian/ Classical  When animal learns to associate two stimuli in its environment  Allows animals to anticipate and deal with upcoming biologically significant events o Instrumental/ Operant  Occurs when animal learns to associate a behaviour with a consequence  Perform behaviour that lead to good consequences and avoid those that lead to bad o Differences between the two types  What is learned  Pavlovian conditioning= learn about stimuli  Instrumental conditioning = learn about responses  Procedures to study  P = biologically relvant stimulus follows the neutral stimulus, regardless of the subject’s response  I = subject has to respond to produce biological stimulus o Importance  Allows a means to adapt to an ever-changing environment  P = learn to approach or avoid stimuli that signal relevance  I = learn to perform behaviours that produce good consequences and avoid bad ones  Controversy of Animal Research o Because research on learning focuses on what causes the behaviour to occur, it must use experimental techniques o Rationale for using animals in research  Need experimental control to study learning  Demand characteristics easier than with humans  Studies can use few species and paradigms  What we learn can be applied to complex cognitive abilities o Lab animals  Rats as degenerated strain of inbreds?  Success similar to wild rats in survival o Public debate  Humane treatment  Federal standards  Good science needs healthy animals  Ethical treatment  Humane treatment  Research constitutes <0.1% of the ways humans use animals Chapter 2  The nature of elicited behaviour o The reflex: specific relation between a stimulus and a corresponding response that is a consequence of the organization of the nervous system o The reflex arc  Cross section of the spinal cord (image)  Sensory neuron picks up info from outside towards CNS (afferent nerves)  Motor neuron carries signal away from CNS to make muscles move (efferent nerves)  Interneuron acts as communication between the afferent and efferent nerves  Reflex is the simplest form of elicited behaviour  Fewest neural connections necessary for reflex action o Modal action patterns  Response sequences that are typical of a particular species  Threshold for eliciting such activities varies  Eliciting stimuli  Sign stimulus (releasing stimulus ) o Specific features that were found to be required to elicit the modal action pattern  Supernormal stimulus o Exaggerated sign stimulus that elicits an especially vigorous response o Not found often in nature  Sequential organization of behaviour  Appetitive o Early components of behaviour o Depends on the situation, learning plays a role  Consummatory behaviour o Final components of a behaviour sequence o Highly stereotyped, species specific behaviour  Foraging response pattern o General search mode  Does not know where to look for food o Focal search mode  Spatial specificity o Food handling and ingestion mode  Effects of repeated stimulation o Salvation and hedonic ratings of taste in people  Epstein measured to lemon flavour for 10 trials, then lime on the 11  Habituation effect  A decrease in responding that occurs with repeated presentation of a stimulus  Stimulus specific  When received the lime flavour responding increases dramatically o Effects of repeated stimulation  Visual attention in infants  4 month old shown a 4x4 or 12x12 checkered pattern  Measure fixation time  Habituation to the 4x4  Initial sensitization for 12x12 followed by habituation o Race effect  3.5 month white baby shown white or Asian face until fixation decreases  Habituated to white faces increased looking time to new face  Habituated to asian face didn’t increase looking time to new face o Startle response in rats  Stimuli once per day, then every 3 seconds then back to once per day  Habituation then rapid habituation until response is almost zero, spontaneous recovery when returned to original routine o Sensitization and the modulation of elicited behaviour  Sensitization effect  Increase in responding that occurs with repeated presentation of a stimulus  Nature of the change in response to the startle tone across trials determined by the nature of the background stimulus  Louder background noise will create stronger response o Adaptiveness and pervasiveness of habituation and sensitization  Prioritize and focus behaviour on the appropriate stimuli  Occur in any situation that involves repeated exposures o Habituation versus sensory adaptation and response fatigue  Habituation involves neurophysiologial changes  CNS, o Signal is received but not paid attention to  Sensory adaptation: nervous system is too tired, signal is not reaching target  Fatigue: too tired unable to respond  Rule out sensory adaptation  Habituation is response specific  Rule out fatigue  Habituation is stimulus specific  Dual-process theory of habituation and sensitization o The dual process theory  Assumes that different types of underlying neural processes are responsible for habituation and sensitization effects  Habituation: produces decrease in responsiveness  Sensitization: produces increase in responsiveness  Both processes can be activated at the same time  Both processes combined to get the net effect , what is seen o S-R system  Enables animals to make the specific response that is elicited by the stimulus of interest  Habituation process  Shortest neural path that connects the sense organs activated by the eliciting stimulus and the muscles involved in making that response  Presentation of an eliciting stimulus activates the S-R system and causes a buildup of habituation  Similar to reflex arc o State system  General readiness to respond  Where the sensitization process occurs  Activated by the arousing events, determines organisms general level of responsiveness  Altered by drugs, emotional state etc o Applications  Visual attention  4x4, visual attention decreased = S-R  12x12, increase then gradual decrease = S-R & State  Startle response  60dB: Only activated the SR  80dB: state more active o Important features  S-R activated every time stimulus elicits response  State system becomes involves only in special circumstances  Both habituation and sensitization processes decay overtime  Habituation is stimulus specific  Sensitization is not stimulus specific  Opponent process theory of motivation o Emotional reactions and aftereffects  Intense reactions biphasic  One emotion occurs during eliciting stimulus  Opposite emotion occurs when stimulus ends  Emotional reactions change with experience  Primary reaction weaker  After reaction stronger o Opponent process theory  Homeostatic  Observable behaviour is net results of two processes  Primary A-process o Emotional state occurring with the presentation of an eliciting stimulus  Opponent B-process o Elicited by the a-process to generate the opposite emotional reaction o Initial stimulus exposure  Eliciting stimulus activates a-process  Primary reaction peak quickly  A-process activates b-process  Not strong enough to eliminate a-process  A-process ends when stimulus does, but b-process lingers (nothing to oppose now)  Emotions that are opposite o Extensive stimulus exposure  With practice a-process remains unchanged while the b-process becomes  Activated faster, more powerful, slower to delay  Eventually the b-process able to block a-process partially  Primary reaction not experiences  After-reaction is very strong o Opponent aftereffects and drugs  Drug tolerance  Decline in effectiveness of drug with repeated exposure  Keep taking to escape the aversive after-reaction Chapter 3: Classical Conditioning  The early years o Discoveries of Vul’fson and Snarskii  Salivary response, dogs would salivate to mere sight of the substance o Classical conditioning paradigm  Two stimuli and subject’s responses to each of those stimuli  One stimulus is not leaned about = unconditioned stimulus (US)  Response to the US is the UR  The other stimulus is learned about = conditional stimulus (CS)  Response to the CS is the CR  Pavlov’s dogs  US: stimulus that would elicit a response without any learning at all (food)  UR: the response to the US (salivating to food)  CS: a stimulus that needs to be paired with the US in order to elicit a response (bell)  CR: the response to the CS (salivating to the bell)  Experimental situations o Fear conditioning (conditioned suppression)  The more the rat freezes (doesn’t press lever) during the CS, the more afraid they are  CS( light or tone), Us (brief shock)  Lick-suppression procedure  Conditioned emotional Response (suppression ratio)  # lever presses during CS (divided by)  # lever presses during CS + # of lever presses pre-CS  Ranges from 0 to 0.5 (high to low)  Two pairings of CS and shock per day for 5 days  No suppression on first day but gradual increase in f
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