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Chapter11learning.rtf

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2210
Professor
Tony Neild
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 11: Comparative Cognition animal cognition or comparative cognition: comparing the cognitive processes of different species,including humans- the study of how species receive, process, store and use information about their world can give us a better perceptive on those abilities that we have in common with other species and it can also help us understand what makes the human species unique Memory and Rehearsal long term memory: has a very large capacity and can retain information for months, years, or longer although some information is lost through interference or forgetting short term memory: can only hold information for a matter of seconds and has a very limited capacity Short-term or Working Memory working memory is used to guide whatever tasks the individual is currently performing the information must be continually updated Delayed Matching to Sample matching to sample: reinforcement is delivered if the subject chooses the comparison stimulus that matches a sample stimulus Example: three response keys on one wall, centre key is lit with one of two colours (Sample stimulus), the pigeon has to peck at this key to light the two side keys, the two colours of the side keys are called the comparison stimuli, the pigeons task is to peck at the side key that has the same colour as the centre key delayed matching to sample: a sample stimulus is presented, followed by a delay with no stimuli; then two comparison stimuli are presented, and a choice of the comparison that matches the sample is reinforced Example: the sample is presented for a certain period of time, then there is a delay during which the keys are dark, and finally the two side keys are lit by using delays of different durations in the DMTS procedure, we can measure how long information about the sample is retained in working memory DMTS improves if the sample is presented for a longer duration retroactive interference: occurs when the presentation of some new material interferes with the memory of something that was learned earlier Example: A person memorizes List A, Then List B, then tested on List A, memorization of list B will impair the subjects memory of List A Proactive interference: previously learned material impairs the learning of new material conditioned discrimination task: it is not possible to follow a general rule about sameness retrospective coding: involves looking backward and remembering what has already happened prospective coding: involves looking forward and remembering what response should be made next The Radical-Arm Maze (Olton, Collison, and Werz) simulates a situation in which an animal explores a territory in search for food entire platform rests few feet above the floor, no walls, so rat can see objects that may be in the room end of each arm, cup of food, food is not replaced after rat collects it rat placed in centre given time to explore and collect food to collect food efficiently, it must remember from which arm it has collected food or which arm it needs to collect food from in another study rats visited four out of 8 arms, and were returned to the maze 4 hours later, the rats were almost perfect in their selection of the four arms they had not visited rats usually use retrospective coding in beginning, than switch to prospective near the end Rehearsal we repeatedly recite whatever we wish to remember Rehearsal has two main functions: it keeps information active in short-term memory, and it promotes the transfer of this information into long term memory with animals, rehearsal is more difficult to define but it refers to an active processing of stimuli or events after they have occurred maintenance rehearsal: serves to retain information in short- term memory associative rehearsal: promotes long term associative learning To demonstrate the existence of rehearsal in animals, researchers have tried to show 1) that animals can choose whether to engage in rehearsal, just as they can choose whether to preform and operant behaviour 2) rehearsal can be disrupted by distracting the animal Evidence for Maintenance Rehearsal researchers have attempted to show that animals have at least partial control over how long information is retained in working memory they believed that an animal can actively maintain information in working memory best evidence for maintenance rehearsal is directed forgetting: can be demonstrated with the conditional discrimination procedure, the purpose is to teach the animal that on some trials it is important to remember the sample stimulus, while on others it is safe to forget (“remember cue” or “forget cue”) the remember cue tells the animal to remember the sample because a test is coming up, while the forget cue tells the animal that it is safe to forget the sample because there will be no test refer to page 257 for Maki and Hegvik study Evidence for Associative Rehearsal human memory has shown that rehearsal increases the strength of long term memory Wagner, Rudy and Whitlow demonstrated thAt rehearsal also contributes to the strength of long term learning in classical conditioning they demonstrated that acquisition of a CR precedes more slowly if some post trial episode (PTE) that distracts the animal occurs shortly after each conditioning trial also showed that surprising PTEs are more distracting than expected PTEs first developed 2 surprising PTEs and 2 expected PTEs The expected PTEs were sequences of stimuli that rabbits had seen many times, and the surprising PTEs were rearrangements of these stimuli that the animals had not seen before test phase: a new CS was paired with a US (mild shock, in eye) found that eyeblink conditioning to the CS developed more slowly in the subjects that received surprising PTEs Used to following reasoning to interpret their findings: 1) in order for a longterm CS-US association, an animal needs a distraction free period after each trial, in which rehearsal takes place 2) this rehearsal process uses the animals working memory, which has limited capacity 3) attending to an event such as a PTE also uses the animals working memory, so processing of PTE competes with the rehearsal of the previous conditioning trial 4) surprising events attract more attention than do expected events, so they have greater disruptive effect on the animals rehearsal of the previous conditioning trial Long-term Memory or Reference Memory longterm memory has also been called reference memory because an individual must refer to the information in long term memory when performing almost any task distinction between long-term and short-term memory is their different storage capacities Examples 259-261 free recall procedure: when people are asked to remember a list of items then recall them in any order primacy effect: remembering the items near the beginning of the list recency effect: good recall of words at the end of the list animals rely on longterm memory for background information about the current task and short term memory for information about what haas already happened and what is likely to happen Time, Number, and Serial Patterns Experiments on an “Internal Clock” on a fixed interval schedule, responding typically gets faster and faster as the time for reinforcement approaches Dews has shown that for pigeons the passage of time serves as a discriminative stimulus that controls this response pattern animals can estimate intervals fairly well peak procedure: studying animal timing abilities; the peak of the response-rate function tells us how accura
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