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PSY 220
Mc Cabe

Laws of Learning 11713 1104 AM We have the ability to store and retrieve memories so quickly it is fascinating and its understanding will probably be one of the biggest breakthroughsThe Laws of Learning are the relationships between stimuli and learning that people have discovered over the yearsLearning is an enduring change in the mechanisms of behavior as a function of experience Enduring means longlasting nontransient Mechanism is the nervous system Function of experience means that it is acquired through experiences it does not already exist in the nervous system or a property of genetics There are three types of learning1 Nonassociative learning does not associate stimuli and behavior but instead learns something about a SINGLE stimulus o If we swipe a mouses whiskers the mouse will bite the probe etc Eventually if we keep doing it he will stop responding habituationWhen given repetitively habituation a response decrement to a repetitive stimulus means he learns that the stimulus is not important o We are constantly evaluating stimuli and determining their importance o If the intensitytiming changes for example one can dishabituate The property of the stimulus changes and the habituation is goneIf you fall asleep with music playing once the music shuts off you will wake up because the stimulus you have habituated to has now changedo You can also have sensitization opposite of habituation which is an increase in response to a stimulus This is common with strong stimuliA lightning bolt in the distance is not important but if it is very close nearby we become very heightened in sensitivity o There are critical periods where imprinting can occur This is a VERY strong form of nonassociative learning that occurs during usually nervous system developmentOriginally studied by Lorenz and Tinbergen one of only Nobel prizes for behaviors using ducks and geese Shortly after hatching ducks and geese learn to follow the first moving object that they see usually this would be the mother He was even able to imprint himself on them and they would follow him and when older even try to mate with himMost studies are on associative learning o There is instrumental learning operant conditioning Future behavior depends on the consequences of past behavior After you produce a behavior is it reinforced or punished You associate the following stimuli with the behavior and the reward or punishment and then use this to decide if you do the behavior againIf you are presented with something it can be appetitive positive reinforcement or aversive punishment If something is taken away it can be appetitive omission training frustrative nonreward extinction training or aversive negative reinforcementNegative reinforcement is the withdrawal of an aversive stimulus If youve been positively reinforced for an action but one time the reward doesnt happen this is omission training to stop the stimulusThrough shaping animals can be taught to do complex tasks These do work for us gambling They have tried to use this idea for smoking eating etcYou reward small increments towards the ultimate goal behaviorhow you train dogso There is also classical Pavlovian conditioning A meaningful stimulus means something to the organism and elicits a response A neutral stimulus does not and does not elicit a response By repetitive pairing the organism learns to associate these two stimuli so that the neutral stimulus can elicit a learned responsePavlov tried to investigate psychic factors and ended up spending 30 years developing classical conditioning theory Extinction is not forgetting what we learn We know this because all it takes is one trial to get spontaneous recovery Whatever was initially learned is NOT goneYou can generalize across a class of stimuli that are similar to the stimulus Little Albert and white furry stimuli Sort of phobias or fetishesCS should NOT be after US backward conditioning the animal has the food why does he care about the CS Simultaneous or delayed is good and robust Trace conditioning has a large delay between CS and US this is not as robust because it is more difficult to associate CS and US memory traceIs all saliva response due to learning Probably not Pseudoconditioning compares MULTIPLE animals You can give paired stimuli and unpaired stimuli and look at the difference of the CR saliva to see how much was due to learningDifferential conditioning gives a CS paired with a US In the SAME animal there is a CS that is NOT paired with a US The job of the organism is to discriminate between the stimuli This will give a large response to the CS and a small response to CS with the difference due to learning o Lashleys engram is a physical representation of learning When we learn there must be a physical change in the brain Learning occurs in many different places They had no control over what the animal was learning and didnt know what the engram was so they had no idea what they were looking for We are working on learning paradigms so we can look for the correct thingsIf we are going to learn to associate things it must converge in some way Hebb wrote The Organization of Behavior where he hypothesized what might be going on in the brain When the axon of neuron A repeatedly takes part in firing of cell B some growth process or metabolic change takes place that increases As ability to stimulate B There is a growth process or metabolic change that increases one neurons ability to excite the other neuron changes in synapses strengthening synaptic connections as a function of synapsesCells that fire together wire togetherIf you give an airpuff and a tone the tone will be able to cause an eyeblink but not other behaviors This depends on the wiring of the neurons
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