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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Classical Conditioning Video Lecture Psych 1X03..
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McMaster University
Joe Kim

Video Lecture Psych 1X03 Chapter 3: Classical Conditioning Classical Conditioning 1  Classical Conditioning – allows us to associate two related events  Instrumental Conditioning – allows us to associate actions and consequences Classical Conditioning  Ivan Pavlov o Russian physiologist, 1890s and 1900s o Foundations for classical conditioning o Made observation – dogs would salivate even before the delivery of food in their mouth, as if an early step in the process of digestion was triggered even before the food stimulus arrives o Experiment:  Sound of a metronome signaled to a dog that food was about to be delivered  Prior to training, the sound of the metronome has no observable effect on the dogs behavior  Following training, a dog would begin salivating in response to the sound of the metronome alone  behavior was called conditional reflex  Studying a contingent relationship  Contingent Relationship: The presentation of one stimulus reliably leads to the presentation of another o Eg/ Flash of lightning before crash of thunder o When an organism learns the association between a signal and an event – a contingency has formed between the two stimuli o When a contingent relationship is learned, an organism can respond to the signal before the event occurs o Often preparatory in nature and can promote survival  Classical Conditioning: the learning of a contingency between a particular signal and a later event that are paired in time and/or space  Unconditioned Stimulus (US): Any stimulus or event; occurs naturally, automatically triggers a response prior to learning o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Food placed in dogs mouth  Unconditioned Response (UR): The response that occurs after the US; occurs naturally, prior to any learning o Often a biologically programmed reflex or natural response o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Salivation in the dogs mouth  Conditioned Stimulus (CS): Paired with the unconditioned stimulus to produce a learned contingency; previously neutral stimulus that after becoming associated with a US eventually comes to trigger a response of its own o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Sound of a metronome  The CS typically appears before the US o May take several trials of training in which the CS and US are paired before the CS alone elicits a response  When this occurs, the organism has learned a contingent relationship between the two stimuli  Conditioned Response (CR): The response that occurs once the contingency between the CS and US has been learned o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Dog salivation at sound of metronome Acquisition  Acquisition: The process by which a contingency between a CS and US is learned o Pavlov characterized the process of acquisition as following a negatively accelerating curve Video Lecture Psych 1X03 o Most learning happens during the early trials – during each additional trial there is some learning, but not as much as the early trials o Special Case – Rats  Developed special learning mechanisms for food selection to help them survive  Can learn the contingency between food and sickness in a single trial  Dietary Neophobia - Generally avoid unfamiliar food to avoid eating poison  When rats try new food, they only consume small quantities – they are able to effectively pinpoint specific food with illness so that they will not consume that food again  US Sickness from food, UR Aversion  CS Taste, CR Aversion Extinction  If conditions chance such that the CS is no longer a reliable cue for the US, the CR will eventually fade  Extinction: The loss o the CR when the CS no longer predicts the US o Presenting the CS alone (without the US) repeatedly over many trials o At first, the CS will elicit a CR but over several trials, the CS will elicit a CR that is weaker and weaker until it eventually disappears  Unlearning or new learning? o Spontaneous Recovery suggests that extinction involves a new inhibitory learned response  CS is presented repeatedly (without the US) until the CR fades – but following rest periods, the CS is presented once more and it once again elicits a CR  Suggests that original learned association between the CS and US is not unlearned  Rather, extinction seems to promote a learned inhibitory response that competes with the original learned contingency Classical Conditioning 2  Fundamentals to Classical Conditioning are vital to learning new information – this type of learning is an adaptative process which helps an organism to survive Generalization and Discrimination  Stimulus Generalization: Classical conditioning of learned responses to a variety of different stimuli; during training, one specific CS may be paired with a US to produce a contingency – stimuli similar to the CS will often also produce a CR o Eg/ Child bitten by black dog  sight of any dog elicits a fear response, even though you haven’t been bitten by this type of dog o CR can be measured in humans through Galvanic Skin Response o CR can be measured in animals by freezing behavior  Eg/ CS 500 Hz tone, paired with mild electric shock – eventually the presentation of the 500 Hz tone CS alone will lead to a fear CR o Graph shows fear response (CR) along the spectrum of different tones  Normal distribution – generalization gradient  Strongest CR is elicited by the original 500 Hz training CS  Farther you get from 500 Hz, weaker level of fear  Stimulus Generalization adds flexibility and efficiency to classical conditioning  If a US is potentially harmful, you will not require separate conditioning experiences to learn that relationship – you will generalize your learning to avoid similar CS’s that cue potential danger Video Lecture Psych 1X03  Graph o Red line represents an established generalization gradient o During extinction training, the subject is exposed to the training CS in the absence of the US o If we test a variety of CS’s to construct a generalization gradient, our data fit the blue line o The strength of the CR is flattened along the original red generalization gradient curve o The largest loss in the strength of the CR is actually for the original CS (which originally elicited the strongest CR) o The generalized CR to non-training stimuli is also diminished  Stimulus Discrimination – compliment to stimulus generalization o Stimulus Generalization – allows a variety of CS’s to elicit a CR to some degree  Provides efficiency and flexibility  Eg/ Dog bit you as a child: Show you a picture of the dog that bit you without the US (bite) o Stimulus Discrimination – restricts the range of CS’s that can elicit a CR  Refines the learning process  Eg/ Dog bit you as a child: Show you a picture of a dog unlike the one that bit you without the US, then slowly get closer to the dog that bit you CS+ and CS-  CS+ stimulus – predicts the presence of a US o Eg/ Antelope shows fear response and predicts that a lion is coming based on sights, smells and sounds signaling a lion  CS- stimulus – predicts the absence of the US o Eg/ Antelope shows no fear response that a lion is coming based on time of day indicated by the sun, presence of other animals etc Phobias and Therapies  Phobia: An exaggerated, intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things or people  Implosive Therapy – an individual with a particular phobia is encouraged to confront the fear CS that evokes their anxiety o CS is presented in the absence of the associated US  Eg/ Germ phobia – sit with their hands in dirt for as long as possible o May lead to extinction of the CR but can be traumatic o Requires patient to voluntarily endure anxiety before extinction begins; some patients may be unwilling or unable to complete the treatment  Systematic Desensitization – gradual exposure to the feared CS; begin with extinguishing a CS at the far end of the generalization gradient, working their way to the middle of the curve o Eg/ Germ phobia – sit with their hands in confetti, working their way toward dirt o Requires patient to voluntarily endure anxiety before extinction begins; some patients may be unwilling or unable to complete the treatment  Drug Treatment o Eg/ Alcoholics and Antabuse – antabuse produces extreme sickness if alcoholic slips up and drinks alcohol; sickness caused by mixing antabuse and alcohol will be associated with drinking behavior and avoided in the future  Alcoholics could simply not take antabuse, and drink Homeostasis and Compensation  Homeostasis – body is actively working trying to keep body processes within strict parameters Video Lecture Psych 1X03 o Eg/ Glucose and Insulin – when you eat, the sugar in the food goes into your blood stream, raising the blood sugar level, insulin is them releases which causes the cells of the body to increase uptake of glucose, glucose levels return to normal  compensatory response  Addictions o The various naturally occurring effects of a drug are collectively the US o These US drug effects are a challenge to homeostasis – the body tries to counteract the drug effects with UR counter adaptations (opposite to drug affects) o The environment alone can elicit the CR  Eg/ US  Drug, UR  Counter Adaptations, CS  Environment, CR  Counter Adaptations o Withdrawal – when an addict stops taking a drug, the exposure to the drug-taking environment elicits a CR, which would normally oppose the drug effect  One of the cue-induced responses is an intense craving for the drug – taking the drug can counter the CR and return the use to a baseline  Rehabilitation o A drug treatment may focus on detoxification from that drug – bt this may be ignoring the critical learning mechanisms which can trigger withdrawal and elicit cravings o Rehab Center – drug addict may not be exposed to the drug-taking cues that were paired with the drug effects, but once he returns to his natural habitat he may be exposed to these cues and risk relapse  Overdose o Taking a drug in a novel environment means that the drug effects are only countered by the natural UR o The absence of the normal environmental cues means that the CR’s are not elicited Instrumental Conditioning 1  Classical Conditioning – organisms learn the contingencies between biologically important stimuli and events; can occur in the absence of overt training – simply presenting together two biologically important stimuli leads to their association  Instrumental Conditioning – involves explicit training between voluntary behaviors and their consequences; learning contingency between behaviors and their consequences  Edward L Thorndike experiment o Cats in a puzzle box (small chamber with a door that could be opened by performing a specific behavior such as pulling a rope), outside the box was a small dish of food that provided motivation for the hungry cat to escape o Over several trials, the cat was placed in the puzzle box as Thorndike carefully observed their behaviors and recorded their escape time o At first, the hungry animal would engage in random behavior – it would happen upon the correct solution (pulling the string) o Prediction: The cat would escape immediately when placed in the same puzzle box, once it had discovered the solution the first time o Reality: Frequency of random behaviors gradually decreased over time – never a distinct “aha” moment o Rope pulling behavior – stamped in Video Lecture Psych 1X03 o Random behavior – stamped out  Law of Effect: behaviors with positive consequences are stamped in, those with negative consequences are stamped out Four Consequences  Behavioral responses are changed by both positive reinforcers and negative reinforcers, each of which can either be presented or removed  Reward Training – presentation of a positive reinforcer; behavior is likely to increase o Eg/ For every A grade Billy receives, he is given $5  Omission Training – Removal of a positive reinforcer; behavior is likely to decrease o Eg/ Time Out o Eg/ IF Billy fails a test, he doesn’t get any dessert that night  Punishment – presentation of a negative reinforcer; behavior is likely to decrease o Can be controversial, must consider ethics o Eg/ If Billy fails English, he will have to cut the grass every week in the summer  Escape Training – removal of a negative reinforcer; behavior is likely to decrease o Eg/ Rat Cage – one side delivers an electric shock, shock can be avoided by staying on the other side of the cage o Eg/ When Billy gets a good report card, he doesn’t have to do his chores for a week  Punishment ≠ Omission  Instrumental conditioning proceeds best when the consequence immediately follows the response Contingencies  Classical Conditioning – the process of acquisition, in which an organism learns the contingency between a stimulus and a biologically important event  Instrumental Conditioning – the process of acquisition, which leads to learning the contingency between a response and its consequences o Researchers often measure the rate of responding to the new behavior  Using a cumulative recorder; long piece of paper flows through the machine at a constant rate as a pen draws a straight line – which each response made by the subject, the pen moves up a notch leading to a characteristic patter of acquisition  Flat horizontal line – indicates when the subject is not responding  Upward slope – indicates when a response has been made  The pattern of responding depends on a number of factors including the subject, the complexity of the behavior and type of reinforcement used AutoShaping  AutoShaping – behaviors can be learned without explicit training guided by a researcher o Eg/ Pigeon, peck keyhole and sand falls down, eventually stop pecking keyhole  Not all behaviors can be AutoShaped  Rewards some behavior that night occur spontaneously Shaping  Complex behavior can be organized into smaller steps which gradually build up to the full response we hope to condition – each step can be reinforced through reward training o Eg/ Pigeon Ping-Pong; Peck ping pong table  peck stationary ball  peck moving ball  peck moving ball to across the table  Rewards successive steps towards a behavior that the one wouldn’t normally do Instrumental Conditioning 2 Generalization and Discrimination Video Lecture Psych 1X03  Discriminative Stimulus – signals when a contingency between a particular response and reinforcement is “on” o Eg/ Child who is rewarded with a treat for eating his vegetables at home, but isn’t rewarded at his grandparents house Environment of his home – SD for the response of vegetable eating behavior, which is reinforced a with access to a dessert reward o Eg/ Pigeon pecks at keyhole and receives food Green light is on – indicates that food will be received  SD  S delta (δ)– a cue which indicates when the contingent relationship is not valid o Eg/ Environment of the grandparents home becomes an Sδ for he response of vegetable eating, child will learn that under these conditions, eating vegetables will not lead to a dessert reward o Eg/ Pigeon keyhole Green light off, clicking sound on  Sδ  SD Generalization Gradient – similar stimulus to the SD, the farther you get from the original stimulus, the less response o Eg/ Pigeon keyhole Bird learns to respond to green light with pecking the keyhole Bird will also peck with lights of similar wavelength to the original SD  Extinction o Eg/ Sarah’s parents reward Sarah with praise and attention when she is polite, but as her parents get busier, they are unable to pay as much attention to her – Sarah may stop responding with polite behavior o Eg/ Sarah responds politely to authority figures, but she goes to her relatives, and because they are not used to children, they do not pay attention to her polite behavior = Sarah may restrict her polite behavior responses to the presence of the original SD (her parents) Classical vs. Instrumental  Classical Conditioning o The
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