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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Classical Conditioning.docx

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PSYC 2330
Francesco Leri

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Chapter 3 Classical Conditioning: Foundations The Early Years of Classical Conditioning - Studies of classical conditioning began with the work of Russian physiologist Pavlov. o Started when he noticed that dogs created psychic secretions every time they were presented food. Discoveries of Vul’fson and Snarskii - Performed the first systematic studies of classical conditioning. - Vul’fson focused on salivary glands. o Studied salivary responses to various substances placed in the mouth: dry food, wet food, sour water and sand for example. o If they had the food placed in their mouth repeatedly, the mere sight of these foods was enough to make them salivate. - Snarskii extended the studies with the use of artificial substances. o Used different colors to color bowls of water. - Some substances produced distinctive taste and texture sensations in the mouth, known as orosensory stimuli. - First time only the feeling of sand in dogs mouth elicited salivation, however after the sand had been placed in the mouth several times the sight of sand also came to elicit salivation. o The association of one feature of an object with another is called object learning. - To study the mechanisms of associative learning, the stimuli to be associated have to be manipulated independently of one another. o Pavlov used procedures in which the stimuli to be associated came from different sources. The Classical Conditioning Paradigm - Involves two stimuli: one of these stimuli is a tone or a light. The other stimulus is food or the taste of sour solution placed in the mouth. In contrast to the light or tone, the food or sour taste elicits vigorous salivation even the first time it is presented. o The light or tone referred to as conditional stimulus b/c the effectiveness of this stimulus in eliciting salivation depended pairing it several times with the presentation of food. o The food or sour taste was called the unconditioned stimulus b/c its effectiveness in eliciting salivation did not depend on any prior training. o The salivation that eventually came to be elicited by the tone or light was called the conditioned response, and the salivation that was always elicited by the food or sour taste was called the unconditioned response. Experimental Situations - Pavlov used dogs using salivary-fistula technique. - Most contemporary experiments on Pavlovian conditioning are carried out with rats, rabbits, and pigeons. Fear Conditioning - Little Albert Experiment o Conditioned rat (CS) with loud abstract noise (US) and made little Albert afraid (CR) of the rat. - When rats are scared they become immobile. - Two different indirect measures of immobility known as conditioned suppression procedures are: o Lick Suppression Procedure: rat licking a spout of water, then presented with a fear CS (i.e. tone). Now measure how long it takes to lick a certain amount of times. o Conditioned Emotional Response: rats are first trained to press a response lever for food reward in a small chamber. Once the rats are pressing the lever at a steady rate fear conditioning is introduced consisting of a tone or light paired with a brief shock. As they acquire the conditioned fear, they come to suppress their level pressing during the CS. They calculate a ratio and compare to the normal baseline. Eye Blink Conditioning - Puff of air to the eye (US) was given when a tone was heard (CS). Eventually began to blink when they heard the tone. Sign Tracking - One experimental paradigm that has contributed significantly to modern conceptions of Pavlovian conditioning is the sign tracking (autoshaping). o Not a highly reflexive response like salvation and blinking. - Sign tracking is investigated by presenting a discrete, localized visual stimulus just before each delivery of a small amount of food. o I.e. Pigeon in a chamber with a small circular key that could be illuminated and that the pigeons could peck. Periodically the pigeons were given access to the food for a few seconds. The key light was illuminated for 8 seconds immediately before each food delivery. o Instead of using the key light to tell them when they should go the food dish, they started pecking the key itself. o Interesting behavior discovery b/c the key was not needed to gain access to the food. - For sign tracking to occur the CS has to be of the proper modality and configuration. Learning What Tastes Good or Bad - A conditioned taste aversion is learned if ingestion of a novel flavor is followed by an aversive consequence such as indigestion or food poisoning. - In contrast a taste preference may be learned if a flavor is paired with nutritional repletion or other positive consequences. o This can happen in just one trial and the learning can even occur if the illness is delayed several hours after ingestion of the food. - In 20% of the cases, individuals believed that their illness was not the result of the food they ate. This indicates that food aversion learning can be independent of rational thought processes and can go against a person’s conclusions about the causes of their illness. - I.e. eating before chemotherapy, most people think their loss of appetite is caused by the chemo, but it could be that eating before produced a taste aversion. - Taste aversion learning is a result of the pairing of a CS (taste) and a US (drug injection or radiation exposure) in much the same manner as in other examples of classical conditioning. However it does have some special features: o 1. Strong taste aversions can be learned with just one pairing of the flavor and the illness. o 2. Taste aversion learning occurs even of the illness does not occur until several hours after exposure to the novel taste. - Evaluative Conditioning: when our evaluation or liking of a stimulus changes by virtue of having that stimulus associated with something we already like or dislike. o Used extensively in the advertisement industry. Excitatory Pavlovian Conditioning Procedures - So far we have been learning excitatory Pavlovian conditioning. - In excitatory conditioning, organisms learn an association b/w the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli. o As a result of the association, presentation of the CS activates behavioral and neural activity related to the US in the absence of the actual presentation of the US. Common Pavlovian Conditioning Procedures - Major factor that determines the course of classical conditioning is the relative timing of the CS and US. - Five Common Classical Conditioning Procedures: o Short-delayed Conditioning:  Most frequently used.  Involves delaying the start of the US slightly after the start of the CS on each trial.  Critical feature is that the CS starts each trial and the US is presented after a brief delay. The CS may continue during the US or end when the US begins. o Trace Conditioning:  Similar to short delayed procedure.  However in trace conditioning, the US is not presented until some time after the CS has ended.  This leaves a gap b/w CS and US called the trace interval. o Long-delayed Conditioning:  In this case the US is delayed much longer (5-10 mins) than in the short delayed conditioning.  Does not include a trace interval.  The CS lasts until the US begins. o Simultaneous Conditioning:  Presents the CS and US at the same time. o Backward Conditioning:
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