Cognitive and Biological Processes That Affect Associative Learning – Associative Learning (PSY, BIO)

by Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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    00:00 So let’s take look at the role of cognitive processes in associative of learning.

    00:05 So this couple of different models and couple of ways to look at we’re gonna break down each.

    00:08 The first are behaviorists like Skinner, they focus solely on observable behaviors and look at the consequences.

    00:14 Whereas cognitive psychologists focus on the brain, cognition, and their effects on how we interact with our environment.

    00:20 So that’s a little bit more convoluted.

    00:22 Then there’s insight learning when previously learned behaviors are combined in unique ways.

    00:27 So you piece in to gather that stuff that you’ve learned with this what I’ve learned and that allows you to actually process.

    00:34 Then there’s a latent learning is when something is learned but is not expressed as an observable behavior until it’s required.

    00:41 So say for example, as a youngster, you sat in a car with your parents and you’ve seen how they drive.

    00:47 And I think you pretty much just by observing.

    00:49 You’ve captured really what you need to understand how to drive a car.

    00:54 Methodologically speaking, you understand the steps, right? So, one foot on the gas.

    00:59 One foot on the breaks.

    01:00 Hands on the steering wheel.

    01:01 You get that.

    01:02 You might understand the intricacy of action doing it coz’ you’ve never done it.

    01:07 But you haven’t tucked away.

    01:08 Then, one day when you’re underage, and your parents have decided to go away on vacation, and you feel like, I feel that this might be the opportunity for me to drive the car.

    01:16 You’re tapping into that latent learning.

    01:18 So nobody actually sat there, walked through right now live how to drive the car.

    01:22 You’re tapping that into latent learning.

    01:26 So, conditioning is not simply behavioral learning but instead has a cognitive component.

    01:31 And that’s really important aspect.

    01:33 Coz’ a lot of times, people assume its sole behavioral learning.

    01:38 And instead, you have to realize that there are some cognitive aspects that need to be considered.

    01:42 So learning is limited by the biological constraints of the organism.

    01:46 So what do we saying here? We’re saying that an organism can only learn what is biologically allowed.

    01:52 So they might not have the cognitive abilities because of a deficiency in their biology. Right? So, they might not have a well develop structure that allows for that type of learnings.

    02:04 So there is a biological limit to how much an organism can learn.

    02:08 Now, associative learning is best achieved when using stimulus that are related to survival.

    02:14 So we understand that if you paired together something that is survival based, they acquired the learning much more.

    02:21 So much more quickly if it’s biologically relevant.

    02:24 An example is when the first time you ever eaten some that’s made you, completely noxious.

    02:30 So let’s say maybe you’ve had some raw fish that is passed its best due date.

    02:40 And you eat it.

    02:40 And you get violently ill.

    02:42 And you’re throwing up and stuffs coming out of every orifice.

    02:44 It’s not a good situation.

    02:46 And you feel in your mind, when you’re on a bathroom floor vomiting, you’re going “Oh my God, I’m gonna die.” And after you recover, you never forget what you had or what you’ve eaten that made you sick.

    02:56 And you have this taste of version. Just a smell sometimes of raw fish or fish period. People like, “Oh, I can’t even look at fish.” Now, the reason is that is develop is that you’ve learn that raw fish, me almost died, I now hate fish.

    03:12 And so that learning is extremely fast and is extremely profound because your body and brain has realized that, this is biologically relevant, this may kill me.

    03:23 And you see this very, very common in the wild with animals is that they will avoid certain plants and certain animals that they know might be toxic or might kill them because they have learned that illness makes me sick.

    03:41 And they will no longer forge for that type of plant and or animal.

    03:46 We have a phenomenal call instinctive drift.

    03:49 And this is the tendency of an organism to revert to instinctive or innate behaviors that interfere with a conditioned response.

    03:54 So if recall from conditioning that is when I compare together a learnings.

    03:59 So, hear the bells, pull the lever, get a piece of food.

    04:04 Or in terms of this kind of box the removal of the electric shock.

    04:08 At the end of the day, the animals gets conditioned and learns what it needs to learn.

    04:12 Now, in times of extreme stress or in situations where they don’t have the time to think, they actually river pack to going to something that they found normally.

    04:26 So say normally the rat in moments of stress is not thinking I get a pull lever.

    04:30 It might curl up in a ball in the corner and have self-growing behavior or looking its pause.

    04:35 And that’s something that a rat might do innately or instinctively.

    04:39 And instead of going to the condition response they go back to reverting to that earlier instinctual response.

    04:48 You see this with humans as well, in times when somethings happened the tendency is to go back to crying in the corner and asking from mum.

    04:58 Right. So, this is linked back to this being pre-wired. And we call it instinctive drift.

    05:05 So now, we’re gonna linked learning to specific brain regions.

    05:08 Cerebellum-motor tasks, amygdala-fear response, these are pairings of the actual task of a motor task and a brain region in emotion and fear to amygdala.

    05:20 So, we clearly know that there is a link in terms of brain structures to learning.

    05:26 And the reasons that’s relevant is anytime you compare a behavior or something like learning to a specific brain region.

    05:33 You can validate it and it gives you some sense that okay this is isn’t just a model.

    05:38 There’s some consistency and there’s something that I can look at.

    05:41 We know this to be true as well because if there’s ever truama or damage to the cerebellum well the amygdala, we notice that there’s a change and the ability to learn.

    05:51 And learning and memory are also dependent upon modulation of synaptic connections.

    05:55 And this was illustrated in the sections that we talked about in learning that where we talk about the LTP phenomena and we’ve also talk about the same memory and thing going from coming in and being perceived and then going through short-term memory and then until long term memory.

    06:09 This process we know is synoptically driven.

    06:14 So we know that short term memory passing information on long term memory is done through the process of LTP which is the Long Term Potentiation and this where memories were consolidated.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Cognitive and Biological Processes That Affect Associative Learning – Associative Learning (PSY, BIO) by Tarry Ahuja, PhD is from the course Attitude and Behavior Change.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. This form of learning is displayed when previously learned behaviors are combined in unique ways.
    2. It is based on associative learning.
    3. It is group-driven behavior that encourages individuals to engage in behaviors or acts otherwise considered atypical.
    4. It allows for linking a neutral stimulus to an unconditioned stimulus.
    5. It has mental frameworks that are formed and shaped by experience.
    1. Latent learning
    2. Intrinsic knowledge
    3. Extrinsic knowledge
    4. Passive learning
    5. Active learning
    1. Stimuli related to increased food availability
    2. Stimuli leading to more money
    3. Stimuli leading to a happier mental state
    4. Stimuli leading to an increase in the size of a shelter/dwelling
    5. Stimuli leading to a decrease in reflexes.

    Author of lecture Cognitive and Biological Processes That Affect Associative Learning – Associative Learning (PSY, BIO)

     Tarry Ahuja, PhD

    Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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