Current theoretical approaches and issues in classical conditioning
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Current Theoretical Approaches and Issues in Classical Conditioning. Psychology 3306. Everything you know is wrong. So, the number of pairings is an important, maybe all important, variable in determining the amount of conditioning, right? Fine, then explain Kamin Blocking to me….

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Everything you know is wrong
Everything you know is wrong Conditioning

  • So, the number of pairings is an important, maybe all important, variable in determining the amount of conditioning, right?

  • Fine, then explain Kamin Blocking to me…


Kamin 1968
Kamin (1968) Conditioning

L = Light T = Tone + = CS (shock)


Blocking is rocking
Blocking is rocking Conditioning

  • Same number of tone shock pairings in both groups

  • It is NOT just number of pairings

  • The tone predicts nothing in the blocking group (nothing extra anyway)

  • These results, and some others, lead to the Rescorla Wagner Model


You said there d be no math
You said there’d be no math! Conditioning

  • Yes, it is a math model

  • Trial by trial

  • Assumes you can get excitatory conditioning, inhibitory conditioning or nothing

  • All based on what the CS predicts

  • Let’s look at the rules


The rules
The Rules Conditioning

  • If the strength of the US is greater than expected then excitatory conditioning to the CS is the result

  • If the strength of the US is LESS than expected, then you will get inhibitory conditioning

  • The larger the discrepancy between what is observed and what is expected, the greater the conditioning


More rules
More rules Conditioning

  • The more salient the CS, the more conditioning you will get

  • Two or more CSs together, their strength is additive

  • This is, in essence, a model of surprise! The more surprised the animal, the more it learns


The model makes some groovy predictions
The model makes some groovy predictions Conditioning

  • Slope of the acquisition curve

  • Blocking

  • Conditioned inhibition

  • Overshadowing

  • Overexpectation


Overexpectation
Overexpectation Conditioning


The model
The Model: Conditioning

  • ΔVi – Si(Aj-Vsum)

  • i = CS

  • j = US

  • S = Salience

  • A = Value of the US

  • V = amount of conditioning

  • These quantities are, of course, hypothetical


An example
An example Conditioning

  • OK, say a food pellet = 100

  • Say salience of a light CS = .2

  • Vsum = 0 (at the start of the experiment, there is no conditioning yet


Ok now for the numbers
OK, now for the numbers Conditioning

  • Trial 1

  • ΔVi – Si(Aj-Vsum)

    • =.2(100 – 0)

    • =20

  • Trial 2

    • ΔVi = .2(100-20)

    • =16


Continued
Continued…. Conditioning

  • Trial 3

    • ΔVi – Si(Aj-Vsum)

    • ΔVi = .2(100-36)

    • -12.8

  • And so on….

  • Less and less conditioning as time goes by

  • Coo eh


Overshadowing
Overshadowing Conditioning

  • CS1 -> Light, S = .2

  • CS2 -> Noise, S= .5

  • 2 CSs, so two calculations per trial

  • Trial 1

    • ΔVLight = .2(100-0) = 20

    • ΔVNoise = .5(100-0) = 50


Overshadowing1
Overshadowing Conditioning

  • Trial

    • ΔVLight = .2(100-70) = 6

    • ΔVNoise = .5(100-70) = 15

  • OK, how does blocking work?

  • Well there is no strength left

  • Conditioned inhibition?

  • Negative for old CS

  • Additive model


Stuff it cannot deal with
Stuff it cannot deal with Conditioning

  • CS preexposure

  • Change S?

  • Mackintosh’s attentional theory does this, S becomes an attention parameter

  • Pearce Hall model

  • Gallistel’s model


Types of associations
Types of associations Conditioning

  • First order conditioning is S-S

  • Second order is S-S and S-R

  • CS - context associations too

  • US context associations

  • Context Blocking

  • CS CS associations in compound stimulus experiments

  • Occasion setting (Holland)


Constraints on pavlovian conditioning
Constraints on Pavlovian Conditioning Conditioning

  • Taste aversions

  • Not just sickness

  • Not the aftertaste

  • Only to certain elements of the food, which depends on the species

  • Special?

  • Could just be a quantitative difference (Andrews and Braverman, 1975)


Form of the cr
Form of the CR Conditioning

  • CR is often like the UR but not always

    • Weaker

    • Opposite direction

  • Drug tolerance

  • Compensatory CRs with opiates

  • Context as CS

    • Shooting gallery effect

  • Could depend on drug action being in PNS or CNS (Stewart et al)


Physiological basis
Physiological Basis Conditioning

  • New synapses formed in Aplysia

  • Increase in transmitter release in neurons sensitive to CS (very cool)

    • Just like habituation!

  • What about more complex creatures


Five points about physiology and conditioning
Five points about Physiology and conditioning Conditioning

  • 1) CR and UR pathways are often different

  • 2) CR production is distributed

  • 3) Conditioning is distributed

  • 4) Different CRs, different brain regions

  • 5) Sometimes it is individual neurons

  • My conclusion then is that we have a very basic mechanism at work here


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