sac 3 - learning and memory sac Flashcards Preview

Psychology 3/4 > sac 3 - learning and memory sac > Flashcards

Flashcards in sac 3 - learning and memory sac Deck (39):

what is neural plasticity

the ability of the brain's neural structure or function to be changed in response to the environment, influenced by genetic and environmental factors


what is synaptogenisis

the process by which synapses are forms between neurons, this occurs throughout life but most rapidly during infancy up to 2 years.


what is learning

a relatively permanent change in behaviour due t experience


what is memory

the process of encoding, storage and retrieval of information


in what ways can neural plasticity occur?

- producing growth of new syntactic connections
- pruning away existing (unused) synaptic connections
- modifying the strength or effectiveness of synaptic transmission


what is long term potentiation

long lasting strengthening of synaptic connections resulting in enhanced or more effective synaptic transmission.
-more vesicles, neurotransmitters and receptor sites
- increased communication


what is long term depression

long lasting decrease in the strength of synaptic transmission, resulting from lack of stimulation
-less vesicles, neurotransmitters and receptor sites
-decreased communications



- chemical substance that is released at the synapse to interact between pre and post synapse neuron
- only function as a neurotransmitter
- can dampen or enhance a response
- released quickly and travel short distances



- a chemical substance that is released by a neuron and is secreted into circulation
- can function as a hormone or a neurotransmitter
- can dampen or enhance a response
- slower release and travel longer distances


similarities between neurohormones and neurotransmitters

-chemical messengers
- can enhance or inhibit a response


what is the role of glutamate in memory and learning

- main excitatory neurotransmitter for learning and memory
- promotes growth and strengthening of synaptic connections between neurons
- vital role in LTP and LTD: the more glutamate can excite the post synaptic neuron the more it contributes to LTP(&vice versa)


what is the role of adrenalin in memory and learning

- can enhance the encoding process of log term memories of emotionally arousing experiences
- affects memory by activating the amygdala for a fear response. tends to enhance our memory retention and consolidation


what is consolidation

the process of making a newly formed memory stable and enduring after learning


what is operant conditioning

a type of learning in which behaviour becomes controlled by its consequences. it is a voluntary behaviour


3 phase model of OC

A- antecedent (discriminative stimulus)--Stimulus conditions that exist in the environment prior to response
B- behaviour--Response or voluntary behaviour of the organism
C- Consequence--Consequence that is applied to the response


what are reinforcers

any stimulus that strengthens or increases a response
Positive reinforcement - a reward which strengthens a response by providing a pleasant consequence eg. a star on a chart
Negative reinforcement - the removal, reduction or prevention of an unpleasant stimulus eg taking a panadol for headache, if it works you'll take it again


what are punishers

any stimulus that weakens decreases the likelihood of a. response
Punishment - a behaviour followed by a negative experience eg detention
Response Cost - a form of punishment that entails something pleasurable being removed eg phone taken away


what is classical conditioning

a form of learning where two normally unrelated stimuli are repeatedly linked so that existing reflex responses are elicited by new stimuli; also known as respondent conditioning


what is the neutral stimulus (NS)

a stimulus that does not naturally elicit any specific response eg bell


what is the unconditioned stimulus (UCS)

a specific stimulus that is innately capable of eliciting a reflex response eg food


what is the unconditioned response (UCR)

the natural, automatic response to a specific unconditioned stimulus eg salivation


what is conditioned stimulus (CS)

a stimulus that evokes a specific response due to learning eg bell


what is the conditioned response (CR)

a reflex response to a previously neutral stimulus that occurs after learning has taken place eg salivation


phases of classical conditioning

phase 1 -- before conditioning (before learning)
phase 2 -- during conditioning (During learning) known as acquisition; the learning itself, gaining of knowledge
phase 3 -- after conditioning (after learning)


limitations of punishment

- doesn't teach whats right, only whats wrong
- it could be too harsh or too soft
- might not be the right timing


what is observational learning

when learning occurs by watching others and noting the consequences of their actions, then imitating or not imitating their behaviour


steps in observational learning (ARRMR)

All Rude Rats Make raspberries
-Attention - focus on distinctive features of model’s behaviour.
- Retention -- need to be able to remember model's behaviour
- Reproduction -- must be capable of imitating behaviour
- motivation -- needs to be an incentive in imitating behaviour
- reinforcement -- must be some reward for modelling behaviour (internal satisfaction, vicarious reinforcement or external reinforcement)


comparing classical and operant conditioning

classical is passive, operant is active
classical involves the stimulus then a response, operant is response then stimulus
classical is a reflex so is involuntary, operant is voluntary
classical involves autonomic NS, operant involves somatic NS
classical can substitute one stimuli for another, operant cannot


similarities of classical and operant conditioning

both learning models
both 3 stage models


stimulus generalisation in classical conditioning

when stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus produce the conditioned response


stimulus discrimination in classical conditioning

the ability to discriminate between stimuli so that only a specific stimulus produces the conditioned response


extinction in classical conditioning

gradual decrease in strength or frequency of a CR when the UCS is no longer available


spontaneous recovery in classical conditioning

the reappearance of a CR to the CS after a period of apparent extinction


operant stimulus generalisation

the tendency to respond to stimuli similar to stimuli that precede operant reinforcement


operant stimulus discrimination

the ability to differentiate between similar stimuli to the stimuli that signal reinforcement and non reinforcement


operant extinction

when the learnt response gradually decreases in strength or rate of response after reinforcement stops


operant spontaneous recovery

reappearance of a previously reinforced response after a period of operant extinction


acquisition difference for CC and OC

CC - Association of two stimuli NS and UCS.
OC - Association of response with a consequence.


ethical considerations breach in little Albert

informed consent - alberts mother claims she was not told of what the experiment would entail so there was not adequate permission given
confidentiality- Watson published the results of the experience, Albert wasn't remained anonymous
experience trauma- Albert suffered emotionally after the experiment
debrief- Albert and his mother were not told of the conditioning experiment and what they were actually doing while he was conditioned