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PSYCH 261 - Week 10 Textbook Notes (Modules 13.1-13.2)

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University of Waterloo
Daniel Smilek

PSYCH 261Physiological PsychologyModule 131 Learning Memory Amnesia and Brain FunctioningLocalized Representations of MemoryClassical conditioning pairing two stimuli changes the response to one of them o First present conditioned stimulus which initially elicits no response then present unconditioned stimulus which elicits unconditioned response o After several pairings a conditioned response results o Seen in Ivan Pavlovs experiments with dogsInstrumental conditioning response leads to reinforce or punishment o Also called operant conditioning o Reinforcer an event that increases future probability of the response o Punishment an event that suppresses the frequency of the response o Individuals response determines the outcomeAnimals have specialized methods of learning that may not fall under classical or instrumental conditioningLashleys Search for the EngramPavlov proposed that classical conditioning reflects a strengthened connection between the conditioned stimulus center and the unconditioned stimulus center in the brain o Excitation from conditionedunconditioned center evokes unconditioned responseEngram physical representation of what has been learnedLashley proposed two prinicples about the nervous system o Equipotentiality all parts of the cortex contribute equally to complex behaviours like learning and parts of the cortex can substitute for each other o Mass action cortex works as a whole and more cortex is better o Rest on two assumptions cerebral cortex is best place to search for engram and all kinds of memory are physiologically the sameThe Modern Search for the EngramRichard F Thompson sought engram of memory in the cerebellumLateral interpositus nucleus is essential for learning o When suppressed training had no effect learning occurs at same speed as those that have had no previous training o Medial geniculate nucleus provides major input to the LIPSuppressing the red nucleus temporarily prevents response but does not prevent learning o Therefore learning occurs in LIP and not red nucleusCerebellum is critical for classical conditioning but only if delay between onset of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli is shortShortTerm and LongTerm MemoryLongterm memory has a higher capacity than shortterm memoryShortterm memory depends on rehearsal and decreases based on distractions o You can recall longterm memories that you havent thought of in yearsWith shortterm memory once you have forgotten something its lost o Longterm memory may be reconstructed through hintsInformation enters shortterm storage where it stays until brain can consolidate it into longterm memory o If rehearsal is interrupted before consolidation information is lostEmotionally significant memories for quickly because they influence epinephrine and cortisol release which activates the amygdala and hippocampus o Prolonged stress impairs memory
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