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Chapter 9

Intro to Learning - Chapter 9

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Anneke Olthof

Learning – Chapter 9  Extinction – involves omitting US or reinforcer  Forgetting – loss of responding may also occur because of this, not always because of extinction  Effects of Extinction Procedures o Can happen because of two reasons  Target response decreases when response no longer results in reinforcement  Increases response variability (in the beginning) o Laboratory rats study (Neuringer, Kornell and Olufs 2001)  Two groups  One group reinforced for varying response sequences, got food if they varied response  Yoke group – got food as long as they did three responses  Groups were then shifted to extinction procedure, no matter what they did, no food  Produced decline in response in both groups  Increases in response variability in both groups o Extinction produces strong emotional effects  Become upset when reinforcers no longer delivered  Frustration – induced by withdrawal of an expected reinforcer o May be strong enough to induce aggression  Can be a problem when extinction used in behaviour therapy  Extinction and Original Learning o Does not reverse acquisition  Does not erase what has been already learned o Spontaneous Recovery  Extinction effects dissipates with time  Rest periods increase responding recovery  Spontaneous recovery – one of the most basic phenomena of Pavlovian Conditioning  Produced by introduction of rest period from extinction  Prominent phenomenon following extinction of instrumental behaviour o Renewal of Original Excitatory Conditioning  Recovery of acquisition performance when contextual cues present during extinction are changed  Can return context of original acquisition or shift to neutral context  Bouton and King (1983)  Fear conditioning in rats  Conditioned fear was renewed when they were removed from extinction context and returned to conditioning training  Not just evident with external contextual cues, but also with contextual states created by drug states  One explanation  Due to excitatory properties conditioned to renewal context  Important implications for behaviour therapy, rather troubling  Conditioned fear may easily return when they encounter fear CS in different context  Trying to find ways to reduce renewal effect o Extinction training in many different contexts o Conditioned inhibition training, differential conditioning and presenting CS explicitly unpaired with US o Reinstatement of conditioned excitation  Recovery of conditioned behaviour produced by exposures to the US  Challenging phenomenon for therapy 1 Learning – Chapter 9  Responses successfully extinguished during course of intervention can reoccur if individual is exposed to the US again  Context specificity raises possibility that reinforcement is result of context conditioning  Context has relatively little effect on stimuli that don’t have history of extinction o Retention of knowledge of the reinforcer  Knowledge about reinforcer not lost during course of extinction of instrumental response  Determining knowledge about reinforcer by testing effects of reinforcer devaluation  Following extinction, responding may be close to 0, reinforcer devaluation may not be detectable  S-O associations not lost during Pavlovian extinction  Extinguished CS continues to activate representation of US  Information about reinforcer not lost during course of extinction  Extinction procedure did not erase knowledge of which reinforcer had been used with which response during original training  Enhancing Extinction o Number and spacing of extinction trials  Large numbers of extinction trials produces more profound decrease in conditioned responding  Conducting extinction trials closer together in time rather than spaced out increases extinction effects  Massed extinction trials produce more rapid decrement in responding o Temporary performance effect  Responding substantially recovers between sessions o Reducing spontaneous recovery  Reducing spontaneous recover increases impact of extinction procedures  Methods  Repeating periods of rest and training  Interval between initial training and extinction  Effects of extinction in fear conditioning more permanent if extinction conducted right after acquisition  Rescorla 2004b  Increasing interval between training and extinction reduced degree of spontaneous recovery  Introducing cues associated with extinction another method  Can attenuate spontaneous recovery and enhance extinction performance in taste aversion learning and appetitive conditioning preparations o Reducing renewal  Reducing renewal effect increases extinction training impact  Methods  Conducting extinction in several different contexts o Increases stimulus generalization of extinction performance o Outcome not always observable  Present reminder cues of extinction in renewal context o Reactivating extinction performance in renewal context o Compounding extinction stimuli  Presenting two stimuli at the same time that are both undergoing extinction  Can deepen extinction of those cues  Extinction may operate by an error-correction process like the Rescorla-Wegner model  Original acquisition creates expectation that US will occurs, violated during extinction, error is corrected by reducing response in subsequent extinction trials 2 Learning – Chapter 9  Compounding increases resulting error when trial ends without reinforcer o Induces larger correction and greater reduction of responding  Predicts different outcome if extinction cue is compounded with conditioned inhibitor during extinction training  Should be interference rather than facilitation of extinction process o Conditioned inhibitor is a signal for the absence of a US  What is learned in extinction? o Does not involve unlearning  Leaves R-O and S-O associations pretty much intact o Inhibitory S-R associations  Nonreinforcement produces inhibitory S-R association  Suppresses response whenever S is present  Extinction involves special type of nonreinforcement  Effects depend critically on subject’s prior history  Omission of expected reward creates disappointment or frustration
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