Ch. 5 - Chapter 5 Learning Learning and Reflexes Learning...

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Chapter 5 Learning
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Learning and Reflexes Learning can take place at the level of the spinal cord Reflex arcs Brainstem reflexes Orienting reflexes (auditory and visual)
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Definitions Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior or behavior potential as a result of experience. (Pastorino text) Learning is the adaptive process through which experience modifies pre-existing behavior and understanding . (RLS)
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Early Thought On Learning Aristotle: Humans are born “tabula rasa”. All knowledge is formed based upon learned associations : Similarity Contrast Contiguity Temporal Contiguity
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Very Simple Learning Accomplished by mere exposure No active process Habituation Sensitization
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Habituation Occurs when repeated exposure to a given stimulus causes an animal (e.g. a person) to stop responding to it Living by the train tracks
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Dishabituation = Behavioral Sensitization May occur with “overly salient” stimuli PTSD
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Associative Learning Pairing/Temporal Contiguity (Aristotle) In time… Your dog’s HR when the doorbell rings. Your GSR when you smell the perfume/cologne of a longed-for lover. Physiological changes (HR, BP, GSR, PET, fMRI) when you see the mascot or symbol of your school’s biggest rival.
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Sought to rid the scientific study of psychology completely of any references to mental states, emotions, ideas, cognitions, etc Stated that psychology could only become a legitimate science if it focuses its efforts on examining the effects of observable environmental stimulation on measurable behaviors. Defined all
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Pavlov’s Research A Serendipitous Discovery Noticed that salivation occurs in the absence of the sight, smell or taste of food Footsteps of research assistants became associated with the presentation of food. Dogs come to salivate like crazy whenever they hear the footsteps.
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Pavlov’s Experiment Hypothesis: Dogs would learn, via association alone, to salivate in response to an initially neutral stimulus if that stimulus is “paired” repeatedly with the presentation of food powder. Stimulus: a bell (tested—no salivation) Stimulus paired repeatedly just prior to food powder. Eventually, presenting the bell alone will elicit salivation.
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Acquisition of a Conditioned Response (CR) Acquisition of the CR is Accomplished by repeated pairing of the CS with the UCS.
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+ + Neutral stimulus No (target) response CS CS CS UCS UCS UCR CR/UCR CR
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Conditioning “Trial” One coupling of the CS with the UCS
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Conditioning Phenomena Extinction Spontaneous Recovery Reconditioning Generalization
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The weakening of a CR when the UCS is no longer presented with the CS. The degree of conditioning to the CS is
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Ch. 5 - Chapter 5 Learning Learning and Reflexes Learning...

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