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What is neuroscience?

the study of the brain and the nervous system


What were the 4 methods that human neuroscience relied on several decades ago?

examining autopsy tissue, testing the behaviour of patients with damage to certain parts of their brain, recording brain activity through electrodes attached to the surface of the scalp, animal studies


What is neuroimaging?

techniques that allow for studying brain activity and structure by obtaining visual images in awake humans


What is an EEG?

electrodes attached to scalp, output is brain waves, measures electrical activity in the brain


What is a CT Scan?

x-ray type images that may require dye, take lots of images and layer them to create cross section, measures brain structure


What is a MRI?

uses magnets and scans, builds 2D or 3D image, very clear image, measures brain structure


What is a PET Scan?

small dose of radioactive substance injected that emits positrons, different colours on scan indicate tissues, measures brain function


What is an fMRI?

uses magnets, measures activity in the brain based on amount of oxygen in the blood, displays function and structure


What is learning?

process by which experience produces a lasting change in behaviour, something you didn't do before but now did, observable


What is Behaviourism?

focus on how organisms learn and the processes by which experience influences behaviour

treated organism as tabula rasa, explained learning in terms of directly observable events


What is Classical Conditioning? What can it also be called?

aka Pavlovian or Respondent

learning based on association of 2 stimuli
premise - some things we encounter in the world naturally elicit a response in us


What is an example of Classical Conditioning?

UCS - meat powder
UCR - salivation

after repeated pairings of meat powder with the neutral stimulus of the scientist, the dog eventually began to salivate at the sight of the scientist

CS - scientist
CR - salivation


What are the 4 key components in Classical Conditioning?

unconditioned stimulus (UCS), unconditioned response (UCR), conditioned stimulus (CS), conditioned response (CR)


What did Pavlov's study discover?

studied dog's salivary responses, notice dogs salivate at sounds (ex. footsteps or tone) without prior learning


What are the phases of Classical Conditioning?

acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery


Explain the acquisition phase of Classical Conditioning.

results from repeated USC-CS pairings

optimal learning occurs when there is a short delay between unconditioned stimulus and conditioned stimulus are presented

(ex. tone presented first but still present while food is presented)


Explain the extinction phase of Classical Conditioning.

inhibits responding but does not erase by reducing or removing learned behaviours

CS is presented in absence of UCS, CR weakens


Explain the spontaneous recovery phase of Classical Conditioning.

after a rest period and without any new learning trials, the reappearance of previously extinguished CR


What is Generalization?

when stimuli similar to the initial CS elicit a CR


What is Discrimination?

when the CR occurs after only one stimulus but not another


What is Operant Conditioning? What can it also be called?

aka Skinnerian or Instrumental

learning as a result of consequences that follow
emit a behaviour (operate on the environment) and then associate this behaviour with a positive/negative outcome


Explain Thorndike's Law of Effect.

response followed by a satisfying consequence becomes more likely to occur

response followed by an unsatisfying consequence is less likely to occur


What is the difference between a reinforcer and a punisher?

reinforcer - increases likelihood of a behaviour
punisher - suppresses behaviour


Describe primary and secondary positive reinforcers.

primary - stimuli that has survival value so is intrinsically rewarding (ex. food)
secondary - neutral stimulus that becomes rewarding when associated with primary reinforcer


Describe reinforcement and punishment from both a positive and negative approach.

positive reinforcement - adding to environment, increasing behaviour (ex. candy, smile)

negative reinforcement - removing from environment, increasing behaviour (ex. buzzer, pain)

positive punishment - adding to environment, decreasing behaviour (ex. slap, shout)

negative punishment - removing from environment, decreasing behaviour (ex. time out)


What is Chaining?

reinforcing each response with the opportunity to perform the next response, develops a sequence of behaviours


What variables increase effectiveness of training?

- continuous: every response of a particular type are reinforced
- partial: only some responses reinforced

- ratio: certain % of responses reinforced
- interval: certain amounts of time must elapse between reinforcement
- fixed: reinforcement occurs after a fixed number of responses or fixed time interval
- variable: reinforcement occurs after an average number of responses or passage of time


What are some applications of operant training?

specialized animal training, education/workplace, token economies


What is Social Learning?

learning through observation of others


How does conditioning affect arousal?

anything can be conditioned to have meaning and stimulate arousal

classically conditioned associations result in fetishes