Classical Conditioning – Associative Learning (PSY, BIO)

by Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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    00:00 Alright let’s get into Associative Learning.

    00:04 How is that we learn things and how is that we make that connections sometimes? So we’re going to walk in through something you’ve probably seen before but we’re going to do it anyways because it’s really, really interesting and you need it for the MCAT and that’s looking at Classical versus Operative Conditioning.

    00:20 So what we’re talking about here is a process in which two stimulus are paired in such a way that they respond to one of the stimulus is changing.

    00:28 So you’ve heard this before at probably a thousand times in your classes this is the Pavlov’s experiments but we’re going to walk through that and I think it’s going to make a lot sense once we tied all together.

    00:40 So, it’s also known as responding conditioning and this is where the experimenter, Ivan Pavlov used some of his dog experiments and he did a really simple yet refined experiments and where he was able to show how you could take two stimuluses and two stimuli and then use them in terms of pairing together to initiate a response out of your subject or these little doggies.

    01:06 So there's a couple things that this type of conditioning relies upon, so the first you going to need is the neutral stimulus.

    01:13 So this is something that really doesn’t elicit a response at all, okay.

    01:17 They’re going to have an Unconditioned Stimulus or US and this will elicit an unconditioned response.

    01:24 And they were going to have an unconditioned Response, so this is something that’s it’s innate. So it’s not what we said it’s not learned, it’s more biological this is a not something that subject that dog or you yourself had been taught this is something that you do.

    01:40 And we’re also going to have an conditioned stimulus and this is something that was originally neutral so it didn’t really have any effect but now we’ve made it have an effect because we’ve paired it with an unconditioned Stimulus.

    01:54 And then finally we’re going to have a conditioned Response which is the whole kind of point of this exercise and that there's a learned response to the conditioned stimulus, okay.

    02:04 So all these terms do make a lot of sense we walk through actual example here.

    02:07 So let’s take a look at our friend, the dog. So little doggy here is sitting in his cage and before we initiate the experiment, we would give the dog his unconditioned stimulus which is food and we would see an unconditioned response which is salivation or drooling.

    02:25 We’ve all done this you’ve think of about going to mamma’s house and you walk in and you are presented with the food and it’s put on the table and you just see the food and you’re “thhhhht” you are doing this like I can't wait to eat mamma’s food and you start drooling all over the place, right.

    02:41 That is a Unconditioned response because the food is not hasn’t been condition it’s just an automatic biological response that you get of drooling.

    02:52 Now, if you’re to take in neutral stimulus, it’s something that typically shouldn’t really elicit any type of response like a bell or a tuning fork, anything.

    03:03 That bell goes off and you’re saying, “What was that bell all about? I don’t get this.” you’re not going to respond in any other way other than being maybe a little bit puzzled but you’re not going to start salivating or drooling.

    03:12 Now, during the process of conditioning, what we’re going to do is we’re going to take that normal unconditioned stimulus of the food, we’re going to now introduce that neutral stimulus so before this bell it wasn’t really doing anything but we’ve now put the bell with the food and we’re going to see a Unconditioned response.

    03:31 So this is the process of conditioning and little doggy here is “ping” he gets his nice dog chow and all of a sudden it sees the food and also it heard the bell and starts drooling.

    03:43 You do this over and over and repeat it in repeated fashion and every time now the dog starting to learn and it starting to get conditioned that everytime I hear the bell, I get my food and it start to drool and you do this over and over and eventually it will get to a point where we have conditioned to this response.

    04:00 Sorry, we have conditioned the stimulus to get a conditioned response.

    04:04 So the bell “ping” will get you salivation even in the absence of food, okay.

    04:13 So now I’m ringing the bell, I haven’t given the dog’s puppy chow but he's already started to drool because he's learned in the past that when he gets his bell, he gets his food and so we called that a conditioned response, conditioned to the conditioned stimulus which is the bell, okay.

    04:33 So I think we have some figure here to walk you through that, as you can see we have four different situations we’re going to walk you through before, during and after conditioning.

    04:41 So before, the dog would see the food and it would salivate –unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response.

    04:49 Then we have the conditioning, so this is, sorry before conditioning we have this tuning fork or bell or any sound of any kind neutral we should get no response, no conditioned response. Now we start the process of conditioning, the food plus the bell and or tuning fork and we start to see the dog salivate and this is the process of conditioning.

    05:14 And then finally, once we’ve conditioned the dog, we present the tunic fork or a bell and we will see that the dog starts to salivate.

    05:22 So that we’ve now have a conditioned response via a conditioned stimulus.

    05:29 So the process of classical conditioning includes Aquisition. This refers to the process of learning the conditioned response. So it needs to acquire and learn that connection, that bell plus food equals me being happy.

    05:45 There's Extinction. Now, this won’t outlast forever. So if I present the conditioned stimulus and I’ll going to get a conditioned response or unconditioned stimulus and the conditioned stimulus together I’ll get my conditioned response. When you separate that, if you remove the bell from the equation or if you remove sorry the food from the equation, at some point the dog is going to say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah you keep ringing this bell but where’ my food, where’s my puppy chow?” and he's going to stop salivating and it might start getting a little mad and might bark and bite your finger off.

    06:14 So this is a phase during which we have extinction and the dog is let’s say for now for lack of better term is forgetting that conditioned response, it’s forgetting that relationship that you’ve created, okay.

    06:30 Now, we can have something called Spontaneous Recovery and that is when that conditioned response that you once had that was lost can be returned.

    06:38 If you reintroduced the conditioned stimulus so you were doing bell, you were doing bell but there's never any food coming and the dog just says, “Forget it, I’m not salivating, I’m not getting any excited.

    06:47 You’ve been doing that whole bell thing for a while and I haven’t seen any food.” but then maybe after a little while you say, “Okay, I feel bad for you mister puppy so I’m going to ring the bell and I’m going to give you your food.” And the dog gets excited again and this “Oh my God it’s happening again.

    07:00 The bell and the food” and it starts salivating and that’s called Spontaneous recovery because you have recovered that conditioned response.

    07:08 You can also have the phenomenon called Generalization.

    07:10 So this is when the dog will now respond to a related but different conditioned stimulus and you will still get the same response.

    07:21 So on our dog analogy I kept doing the bell or the tuning fork and the dog will get excited when the food came and will salivate and we’ve conditioned that response.

    07:30 Now, what if we go to something that’s not a tuning fork or bell but it’s kind of related like a horn that you have a little bike. so you have a “heho” you have a little horn and the dog starts salivating and you’re like always like I never really presented this horn before but it’s associating a sound to food to the conditioned response of salivating.

    07:52 So we call that Generalization.

    07:53 And then finally we can have Discrimination which is the opposite of that is as you tried to present something related like that horn or a whistle and the dog just looks at you saying, “That’s no bell, that’s no tuning fork and there's no food coming right now. I’m not going to salivate for you” so that’s Discrimination, okay.

    08:11 So all of these are all different aspects of Classical Conditioning.

    08:16 Now here’s a figure that you can see and it’s going to highlight the different phases that its talked about so we can have on the bottom we have Time and on the YX we have the Strength of the Conditioned Response so the salivation.

    08:29 So it can be really, really weak or can be it can be strong.

    08:31 So initially during the Acquisition phase, we have the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus being presented together and we’re getting a conditioned response.

    08:39 Now we see the first dash line is when we’re initiating the extinction phase if we no longer present the unconditioned stimulus so it’s getting just the bell but no food.

    08:52 And slowly you see the response drop off and the conditioned response is lost then we have a gap or a pause that can be weeks, days, months what have you where nothing is done and then all of a sudden we present the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus again And we see some more recovery But then it will go through the same process of extinction if you remove the unconditioned stimulus.

    09:17 Now, what I want you to realize is that return or that spontaneous recovery can happen quite quickly and it doesn’t require a lot and it’s as if the dog remembers that conditioning that has already happened is sort to remember what is already learned happens faster than starting from scratch and having to try to recondition that dog.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Classical Conditioning – Associative Learning (PSY, BIO) by Tarry Ahuja, PhD is from the course Attitude and Behavior Change.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. It does not initially elicit an intrinsic response.
    2. It elicits a conditioned response.
    3. It elicits an unconditioned response.
    4. It is conditioned through a positive stimulus.
    5. It is conditioned through a negative stimulus.
    1. It is based on innate responses.
    2. It elicits a conditioned response.
    3. It initially does not elicit an intrinsic response.
    4. It is based on learned actions.
    5. It disappears when not paired with a conditioned stimulus.
    1. Dissociation of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli leads to extinction.
    2. Dissociation of conditioned and unconditioned responses leads to extinction.
    3. Learning the conditioned response leads to extinction.
    4. Reintroduction of a conditioned stimulus leads to the occurrence of an extinct conditioned response.
    5. A conditioned stimulus is distinct and differentiated from other similar stimuli.
    1. It occurs faster than the acquisition phase.
    2. It is proportional to the time since extinction.
    3. It becomes generalized.
    4. It relies on prolonged re-exposure to a stimulus.
    5. It is faster to disappear after extinction.

    Author of lecture Classical Conditioning – Associative Learning (PSY, BIO)

     Tarry Ahuja, PhD

    Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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    By HASIF HUSSAIN M. on 22. May 2017 for Classical Conditioning – Associative Learning (PSY, BIO)