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Chapter 4

Intro to Learning - Chapter 4

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Anneke Olthof

Intro to Learning – Chapter 4  What makes effective conditioned and unconditioned stimuli? o Initial responses to the stimuli  CS does not elicit CR initially, does so after being associated with US  US is able to elicit target response from onset without any special training  Definitions were stated in terms of elicitation of the response to be conditioned  Identifying potential CS and US requires comparing resposes elicited by each stimulus before conditioning  Makes it relative  Event may serve as CS relative to one stimulus and a US to another o Novelty of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli  Important in classical conditioning  Latent inhibition or CS preexposure  Latent- inhibition effect / CS-preexposure effect – if stimulus is highly familiar, will not be as readily associated with CS as novel stimuli  Involve two phases o Subjects first given repeated presentations of CS by itself  Preexposure phase because it comes before Pavlovian conditioning trials  After preexposure, CS paired with US using conventional classical conditioning procedures  Subjects slower to acquire responding because of CS preexposure o Disrupts or inhibits learning  Similar to habituation o Both serve to limit processing and attention to stimuli presented by themselves and therefore inconsequential  Dominant interpretation is that CS preexposure reduces attention to the CS o Disrupts subsequent learning about this stimulus  The US preexposure effect  Experiments on importance of US novelty similar to CS-preexposure experiments o Subjects first given repeated exposure to US by itself  Then paired with US and progress of learning is monitored  Familiarity with US before pairing with CS slows down response to CS than novel CS- US pairings o US-preexposure effect o CS and US intensity and salience  Another important stimulus for classical conditioning is intensity of the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli  Most biological and physiological effects related to intensity of stimulus input  Stimulus intensity contributes to stimulus salience  Can make stimulus more salient or significant by making it more intense and more attention- getting  Can also make it more relevant to biological needs of organism  Another way to increase salience of CS to make it more similar to kinds of stimuli an animal is likely to encounter in its natural environment o CS-US relevance or belongingness  Another variable that governs rate of classical conditioning is the extent to which CS is relevant to or belongs with US  Garcia and Koelling 1 Intro to Learning – Chapter 4  Compared learning about peripheral pain (shocks in feet) and learning about illness (induced by irradiation or drug injection) in a study conducted on rats  Likely to get sick after eating poisonous food, encounter peripheral pain after being chased and attacked by predator o Flavoured solution of water – CS o Audiovisual signal – CS  Rats drink from tube, then activated an audiovisual stimulus, either received shock or made sick  Learning depends on relevance of CS to US that was employed  Taste associated with illness, audiovisual associated with shock  Rapid learning only occurred if CS was combined with appropriate US  Phenomenon reflects genetic predisposition for selective learning of certain combinations of CS and US  Stimulus-relevance effects also prominent in acquisition of fear in primates  Fear conditioning more rapid with fear-relevant cues than with fear irrelevant cues  Seems to reflect evolutionary adaptation to detect dangerous stimuli and acquire fear to such cues o Learning without an unconditioned stimulus  If Pavlovian conditioning only applicable to situations that involve a US, it would be limited  Two different forms of classical conditioning without a US  High-order conditioning  Irrational fears develop through this form  Occurs in two phases o Cue (CS1) paired with a US often enough to condition a strong response o CS1 paired with CS2 elicits the CR  CS2 conditioned with a US  Conditioning operates at different levels  Second-order conditioning o One conditioned CS (CS1) paired with US, and second CS (CS2) is paired with CS1 without the US  Whether first- and second-order stimuli are presented simultaneously or one after another important variable  With higher-order conditioning, classical conditioning can happen without primary US as long as there is a previously conditioned stimulus  Sensory preconditioning  Associations can be learned between two stimuli, each eliciting only a mild orienting response before conditioning  Two stage process o Association between CS1 and CS2 established during sensory preconditioning phase (no association to US) o CS1 or CS2 is linked to an aversive or appealing stimulus  Response of the other CS to the US reflects whether pairing has been made  Helps make sense of things we like or dislike for no apparent reason  What determines the nature of the conditioned response? o The stimulus-substitution model  Most enduring explanation for nature of conditioned response  Association of CS with US turns CS into surrogate US  CS has same functions like the US 2 Intro to Learning – Chapter 4  New connection develops between circuits activated by CS and circuits previously active only by US  Presentation of the CS activates the same response as the US  US as a determining factor for the CR  Different US elicit different URs  If conditioning turns CS into surrogate US, CS conditioned with different US should elicit different types of CRs  Jenkins and Moore (1973) o Compared Pavlovian conditioning in pigeons with food vs water as US  Pigeons change beak opening size based on size of grain  Lowering beak with it mostly closed to drink water o URs of drinking and eating differ in both speed and form o CS was illumination of pecking key for eight seconds  Paired with presentation of grain or access to water  With grain, pecks were rapid with beak open at moment of contact  With water, pecking was slower with beak closed o CR was similar to form of UR o Learning and homeostasis: special case of stimulus substitution  Introduced by Canon to refer to physiological mechanisms that serve to maintain stability of critical physiological functions  Achieving homeostasis requires challenge to homeostatic level trigger compensatory reaction that will neutralize disturbance  Lowering of body temperature in warm-blooded animals  Reactions include o Peripheral vasoconstriction and shivering o Operates through negative feedback loop  Homeostatic mechanisms conceived to operate similar to thermostat  Pavlovian conditioning provides the means for such feed-forward anticipation  CR to physiological challenge is the same as the reflexive compensatory response to challenge o CR is the same as UR but UR is compensatory reaction to physiological disturbance  Conditioned homeostatic responses examined most extensively in studies of how organisms respond to administration of a psychoactive drug  Drugs cause physiological challenges to homeostasis that trigger unconditioned compensatory reactions  Administration of drugs constitutes conditioning trial in which cues related to drug administration are paired with pharmacological effects of the drug  Drug-conditioned responses  Tested men with history of free basing and smoking cocaine (no heroin use), control group never used cocaine or heroin  Tested under 3 conditions o Cues related to cocaine use were presented, listened to people talk about buying/using cocaine o Cues related to heroin use presented in same manner as cocaine stimuli o Control stimuli unrelated to drug use were presented  Physiological responses and self reports of feelings recorded  Provided evidence that cocaine-related stimuli elicited conditioned responses 3 Intro to Learning – Chapter 4  Environmental cues conditioned by psychoactive drugs can elicit craving emotions related to drug US  CS as internal sensation (introceptive cue)  Conditioned craving elicited by small dose of drug makes it difficult for addicts to use drugs in moderation o Abstinence best hope for controlling cravings  Conditioning model of drug tolerance  Drug tolerance accompanies drug addiction  Develops when repeated administrations of drug has progressively less effect  Results from pharmacological proceses  Can result from conditioning of homeostatic compensatory processes  Administration of drug causes physiological changes that disrupt homeostasis o Triggers unconditioned compensatory adjustments to counteract the disturbance  Stimuli that accompany drug administration become conditioned to elicit compensatory adjustments o Counteracts the impact of drugs effect  Building tolerance  Conditioning model attributes tolerance to compensatory responses conditioned to environmental stimuli paired with drug administration  Tolerance reduced if participants receive drug under novel circumstances or absence of usual drug-predictive cues o The CS as a determinant of the form of the CR  US not only important factor, form of CR influenced by nature of the CS  Timberlake and Grant  Classical conditioning in rats with food as US  CS was presentation of another rat just before food delivery  CS did not elicit gnawing and biting, but elicited social affiliate responses (orientation, approach, sniffing, social contacts) did not develop if CS rat was not paired with food or presented at times unrelated to food o Conditioned responding and behaviour systems  One or two responses isolated and investigated in detail to provide info about learning  Becoming evident that single-response approach provides incomplete picture  Behaviour systems theory assumes presentation of S in a Pavlovian conditioning procedure activates behaviour system relevant to that US  Food-unconditioned stimuli activate foraging and feeding system  Sexual US activates sexual behaviour system  Classical conditioning involves superimposing CS-US relationship on behavioural system activated by US
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