chapter 13 notes

chapter 13 notes - CHAPTER 13 Learning and Memory Nature of...

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CHAPTER 13: Learning and Memory Nature of learning: Learning is the process by which neural circuits are altered based on our experiences. Memory is the process that encodes, stores and retrieves the learning experience. Habituation is a simple kind of learning whereby repeated stimulation causes decreased sensitivity. 4 basic forms of learning: Perceptual learning → learning to recognize stimuli that have been perceived before. Primary function of perceptual learning is the identification and categorization of objects/people and situations. Appears to be accomplished primarily by changes to sensory association cortex; ie recognition of complex visual stimuli involves changes in visual association cortex. Stimulus-response [association] learning → performance of a particular behaviour when a particular stimulus is present. Involves connections btw circuits involved in movement and involved in perception. Could be an automatic response (eg defensive reflex) or complicated sequence of movements. Involves 2 major categories: classical conditioning and instrumental conditioning. 1. classical : an unimportant stimulus acquires important properties and is able to evoke a particular behaviour. Eg Pavlov's dogs. Puff of air to rabbit's eye (unconditional stimulus) causes a blink (unconditional response; defensive/appetitive). Training: a 1000 Hz tone is played each time before a puff of air; gradually, rabbit begins blinking before the puff of air is even released → the conditional stimulus (the tone) elicits the conditional response (the blink). During classical conditioning synapses btw the 2 stimuli are made v. strong. Hebb rule: hypothesis that the cellular basis of learning involves strengthening of a synapse that is repeatedly active at about the same time that the post-synaptic neuron fires. 2. instrumental/operant : procedure whereby the effects of a particular behaviour in a particular situation increase (reinforce) or decrease (punish) the probability of the behaviour. Classical involves automatic, species-typical responses; instrumental involves behaviours that have been learned: association btw a response and a stimulus. Organism adjusts behaviour according to consequences of that behaviour: good ones are reinforcing stimuli, bad ones are punishing stimuli. Hungry rat placed in operant chamber (Skinner box); it is not likely to press lever on wall; however, if it receives food upon pressing it, this likelihood increases. Still, the actual sight of a lever is necessary for behaviour of pressing to occur. This process of reinforcement strengthens a connection btw neural circuits involved in perception (e.g sight) and those involved in movement. Motor learning
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chapter 13 notes - CHAPTER 13 Learning and Memory Nature of...

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