What we learn and how we learn is what this course is about. Learning is a biological
process that facilitates that adaptation to one’s environment. Finely tuned physiological
process like breathing and respiration are necessary to live BUT they do not provide an
adaptive function that is required. Even that physiological process that is finely tuned to a
certain environment can be made better by learning such as reproduction.
If is common to think learning involves the acquisition of new behavior BUT that is not
true as it can involves decrease or loss of previously learned behavior (such as learning to
NOT cross the street when you have red right). Thus learning to WITHHELD response is
just as important as making a response. Another misconception is that learning involves
learning things that are complex and require special training BUT there are things like
avoiding HOT stove that we learn without any coach or mentor. Thus there is Procedural
learning: does not require awareness ( this is what most of our daily life is about) and
declarative and episodic learning that is more assessable to consciousness.
Before Descartes, people believe that human behavior was entirely determined by
conscious control. Descartes challenged this idea challenged this idea in that their was
automatic reaction to external stimuli. BUT he did not abandon the idea of free will and
conscious control and proposed DUALISM. According to this, there are two classes of
behavior, the involuntary and the volunteer. Involuntary are triggered by external stimuli
and is mediated by reflex. Voluntary occurs due to conscious intent to act.
Involuntary: stimuli in environmental by organs ( this is assumed to be the cause of ALL
involuntary behavior)▯brain ( some to mind so mind could be aware of things in the
body)▯muscles thus an involuntary response is created. He argued that there is only one
nerve that does all this so that’s why you get this fast response. He assumed that animals
have only this as they don’t have soul and mind and thus are not capable of involuntary
Volunteer actions were initiated in the mind P ▯ ineal gland, which connect the brain with
the mind, which is a nonphysical entity ▯ brain ▯ muscles.
Thus this lead to the mentalism (content and working of the mind) and reflexology
Historical development in the study of the mind
Descarte: believe that some content of the mind came from sense experience since that
mind was connected to the brain However, many of the contents