PSYA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Nmda Receptor, Reinforcement, Classical Conditioning

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Published on 28 Apr 2011
Chapter 7
Simplest form of learning
Learning not to respond to unimportant events that occur repeatedly
Example: a dog getting startled by a noise that happens in the house all the time
Learning; adaptive process w/ the tendency to perform a particular behaviour that is changed by experience
Performance; behavioural change caused by internal changes brought about by learning; otherwise, the
evidence that learning has occurred
Orienting response; any response where we become alert and turn our heads towards the direction of the
Humphrey-he conducted a snail experiment; snails ended up showing temporary habituation b/c they
eventually show fear within the next day if startled w/ noise again
Worms have 302 neurons in their entire nervous system
Short term habituation
Where thegetting used to certain noises or taps or startles is only temporary
oExample: snails- after millions of times they get used to the taps and dont hide in their shell
anymore but if you stop for a couple of days, they have to learn habituation again. They get
startled again
oThey dont remember what they’ve learned
oNormally have simple nervous systems like worms and snails
Long term habituation
Animals that have complex nervous systems have long term habituation
What makes short term different from long term; pattern of experience
oStimuli that is massed/ accumulated into quick repetitions, habituation is rapid TF short term
oStimuli that shown in small groups spaced in time, habituation is slower TF long term
Involves learning about conditions which can be used to predict that significant event which will occur
Define: process by which a response normally draw out by 1 stimulus (the unconditional stimulus or UCS)
comes to be controlled by another stimulus (conditional stimulus or CS)
Most of our behaviour is learnt through classical conditioning
oYou drool when you smell food
oYou experience weird emotions of pain when you see someone you recently argued w/
Physiologist who wanted to discover the neural mechanisms controlling glandular secretions during digestions
Discovered a form of learning through dogs who salivate when they hear a bell
This type of learning= classical conditioning AKA Pavlovian conditioning
Conditioning only occurs when the food followed the bell within a short time, any long delay btw sound and
food or you give food first then sound (backward conditioning); they will never learn to salivate
Sequence and time of events are important factors
Helps understand cause and effect relationships btw environmental events
Basic classical conditioning procedure
Unconditional stimulus (UCS)- a stimulus that naturally brings out or elicits reflexive behaviour/response ex: food
Unconditional response (UCR)- the response that is caused by UCS example: saliva
Conditional stimulus (CS)- neutral stimulus paired with UCS (CS + UCS) that creates a response of CS
Conditional response (CR)- the response caused by CS
Prior to conditioning
UCS UCR- salivation
CS- tone hear sound but no saliva
CS-tone + UCS (food in mouth) UCR (saliva)
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After conditioning
CS (tone) CR (salivation)
The biological significance of classical conditioning
His experiments demonstrated that an innate reflexive behaviour (like salivation) can be brought out by
Classical conditioning accomplishes 2 functions
o1: the ability to learn to recognize stimuli that predicts the occurrence of an important event will allow
the learning to make the right response faster+ more efficiently
o2: through classical conditioning; stimulis that were considered unimportant now are important b/c
they are able to modify behaviour
Basic principles of classical conditioning
Pavlov’s research lead to discovery of
oAcquisition; learning phase of classical conditioning, where CR first appears and increases in strength
2 factors that influence strength of CR
intensity of UCS + the timing of the CS and UCS
Classical conditioning is faster when the CS is before the UCS an when both end at the same
oExtinction; when a response is eliminated because the CS is repeatedly presented w/o UCS to follow
afterwards eliminates the CR
Only occurs when the CS no longer signals the UCS
BUT if neither stimulus (the CS or UCS) is presented then extinction will NOT occur
oSpontaneous recovery; CRs reappearance after atimeout
Example: if CR disappears, the CR often reappears the next time the dog was placed in the
experiment; they salivate when they hear the bell
If the CS and UCS were presented again, animals acquire the condition faster than they did
the 1st time
oStimulus generalization; CRs occurs by a stimuli that resembles the CS used in training (sound of a
bell but diff tone)
oDiscrimination; to be able to distinguish btw similar but different stimuli
Accomplished when using 2 diff CSs during training (1 CS is always followed by UCS whereas
the other CS never has UCS with it)
Its the process to learn to respond to one stimulus and when not to for the other one
Example: CS+ w/ low pitched tone + a puff of air
CS w/ High pitched tone
At first they blink every time, eventually animal only blink w/ CS+ TF learns discrimination
Conditional Emotional response
Todrank, Byrnes, and Rozin 1995 showed that stimulis paired with other stimuli will elicited strong
emotional reactions
oExample: to hear a song which originally had no significance now how have emotional significance
attached to it
Ppl sorted through pictures, and rated them with attractiveness, it was found that when they added another
stimuli of smell to each picture, the one they originally thought as least attractive suddenly became attractive
b/c of smell
Therefore, classical conditioning play a role in development of personal likes and dislikes or in the emotional
rxn to other stimuli, including those that cause pain
Phobias; unreasonable fear of specific objects or situations such as bugs, animals, which is learned through
classical conditioning
ocan be learned through actual experience i.e stuck in elevator now youre afraid of elevators
ocan be learned through indirect experience i.e to see our parents become fearful of certain things and
were not scared
ocan be learned by hearing or reading stories that vividly describe unpleasant ideas
classical conditioning is responsible for development of phobias, but knowledge of the principles of learning
can be used to eliminate them
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What is learned in classical conditioning
in order classical conditioning to occur, the CS must be reliable predictor of UCS
oexample: in a scary movie, the surrounding music is always reliable, b/c popcorn, the date you go with
isnt as reliable. It doesnt elicit the scary feelings compared to the music which ALWAYS works
a neutral stimulus becomes a CS only when:
othe CS regularly occurs prior to presentation of the UCS
othe CS doesnt regularly occur when UCS is absent
blocking; the prevention of or decrease in learning that occurs to a neutral CS when it is conditioned in the
presence of a previously conditioned stimulus
owhere a previously conditioned CS can lessen or attenuate the conditioning of a neutral CS
classical conditioning provides the what and the when of future events
owhat: allows animals to learn that a particular event is about to occur; which is determined by
memory of the event
owhen: the timing of the event
backwards conditioning
othe UCS first then the CS (opposite of what normally occurs, CS then UCS)
oinhibitory conditional response: response tendency conditioned to a signal that predicts the absence of
the UCS; generally not observed directly but assessed through other tests
oexcitatory conditional response: a response tendency conditioned to a signal that the UCS is about to
occur, this type of CR is shown by Pavlov`s salivation response
Teaches us the relations btw environmental stimuli and our own behaviour
`operant`= an organism learns through responding, through operating on the environment
The law of effect
Edward Thordike
idea that consequences of a behaviour determine whether it is likely to be repeated
law of effect lead to studies aimed to understand behaviour environment interactions, today known as
behaviour analysis
Burrhus Skinner perfected the laboratory study of the law of effect + created the applications of behaviour
analysis + methods to solve human problems
Devised research methods
Wrote a novel Walden Two- shows how his discoveries can be used to better society
Devised operant chamber; an apparatus where an animals behaviour can be easily observed, manipulated
and recorded
oExample: rats who learn to press the lever to get food
Also created cumulative recorder; devise that records each response as it occurs
Skinner development of operant chamber and cumulative recorder is better than Thordikes research methods
oParticipants can emit responses more freely over a greater time period
oAnd participants can be studied for longer periods of time w/o interference of research handling or
interacting w/ them btw trials
Skinner devised this 3 trial contingency
The relation among discriminative stimuli, behaviour and consequence of that behaviour
Consists of
1.Preceding event- discriminative stimulus ; makes us respond b/c in the past when that stimulus
occurs, the response had certain consequences
Example: phone rings- we answer it b/c we learn that by picking up, there are consequences
2.Response- operant behaviour; picking up the phone and saying hello when it rings
3.Following event- the voice on other line is the consequence of that operant behaviour
3 term contingency = discriminative response (operant behaviour) produces Following event
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Document Summary

They get startled again: they don"t remember what they"ve learned, normally have simple nervous systems like worms and snails. Unconditional stimulus (ucs)- a stimulus that naturally brings out or elicits reflexive behaviour/response ex: food. Unconditional response (ucr)- the response that is caused by ucs example: saliva. Conditional stimulus (cs)- neutral stimulus paired with ucs (cs + ucs) that creates a response of cs. Conditional response (cr)- the response caused by cs. Prior to conditioning: ucs ucr- salivation, cs- tone  hear sound but no saliva. Conditioning: cs-tone + ucs (food in mouth) ucr (saliva) www. notesolution. com. Basic principles of classical conditioning: pavlov"s research lead to discovery of, acquisition; learning phase of classical conditioning, where cr first appears and increases in strength.  intensity of ucs + the timing of the cs and ucs.  only occurs when the cs no longer signals the ucs.

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