PSYC 1100 Section 2.4 Simple Forms of Learning

  1. Non-associative Learning
    • Habituation: decrease in responsiveness with repeated stimulation
    • - Ignoring things you now don't think as important
    • Sensitization: increase in responsiveness with repeated stimulation
    • - Horror movies make you more sensitive
  2. Associative Learning
    • -Two or more stimuli are associated
    • -The most fundamental form of learning is classical or Pavlovian conditioning
    • -Operant or instrumental conditioning
    • -Pavlov won the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine for his study of reflexes. He was one of the first people to study learning scientifically
  3. Classical Conditioning
    • Alphabet soup:
    • US - unconditioned stimulus: food
    • UR - unconditioned response: salivation to food (reflex)
    • CS - conditioned stimulus: tuning fork (neutral stimulus before conditioning)
    • CR - conditioned response: salivation to tuning fork
  4. Classical Conditioning
    • 1. reflux: US => UR
    • 2. take a previously neutral stimulus (CS)
    • 3. and if CS is repeatedly paired with US
    • 4. then eventually, CS elicits CR
  5. What are the temporal conditions that allow for classical conditioning to take place?
    • - Simultaneous: US and CS presented at the same time
    • - Backwards: US is presented before CS
    • - Short delay: CS is presented before US
    • - Long delay: CS is presented way before US 

    • Short delay conditioning is more effective
    • temporal contiguity - important factor for classical conditioning
    • Order (CS before US)
    • - predictability, anticipation
  6. Classical Conditioning Phenomena
    • Acquisition: CS presented with US
    • Extinction: A reduction in the CR occurs when the CS is presented without the US
    • - presenting the tuning fork without the food for a long period of time
    • Spontaneous recovery: the reappearance of an extinguished CR following an interruption of extinction
    • - presenting the tuning fork again the next day leads to a slight response recovery although the response decreased the day before
    • Generalization: After conditioning to a specific CS, organism responds to a different CS
    • -  the different CS is usually similar to the first CS (blue light and similar blue light)
    • Discrimination: organism perceives the difference between the two CS's, and behaves differently depending on which is presented.
    • - the different CS is different than the first CS (blue light vs. red light)
  7. Broad Significance of Classical Conditioning
    • More than just salivation in dogs…
    • Many different types of CSs and USs,
    • Many different types of CRs and URs,
    • Very general across most animals, including humans.
  8. Semantic Conditioning
    human classical conditioning, words are used as the CS
  9. Studies show large generalization to the meaning of the word
    • CS = "surf" visually presented, classical conditioning is acquired 
    • What did it generalize to?
    • - Largest generalization to:
    • "wave" and "beach"
    • CS = "cow", generalization occurred to "grain", "tractor", and "corn"
    • Indicates that conditioning occurred to the meaning of a word
  10. Conditioned Emotional Response (CER) Conditioning
    • Classical conditioning in which the UR and the CR involve emotional responses
    • Emotional responses can be conditioned in the lab (early work of Watson; associated fear in a baby with a pet rat, it later generalized to a seal skin coat)
    • Many researchers think that phobias can be conditioned
    • - e.g. association of stimuli with traumatic stress (combat sounds, bridges associated with earthquake)
  11. Immune System Conditioning
    • CS (saccharine)
    • US (drug cytoxan; decreases T-lymphocytes)
    • UR => immune system suppression after cytoxan injection
    • After several CS-US pairings, tasting saccharine solution decreases number of T-lymphocytes
    • - psychoneuroimmunology
    • - classical conditioning can lead to physiological changes 
    • It's possible that conditioning mechanisms could contribute to development of infectious diseases, by leading to immunosuppresion
Card Set
PSYC 1100 Section 2.4 Simple Forms of Learning
Sec 2.4