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BROWN U / OTHER / CLPS 100 / Where does the ci act?

Where does the ci act?

Where does the ci act?


School: Brown University
Department: OTHER
Course: Learning and Conditioning
Professor: Professor
Term: Spring 2020
Tags: learning, conditioning, and pavlovian conditioning
Cost: 50
Name: CLPS 100 Midterm #1 Study Guide
Description: This study guide covers the material that will be on the first exam.
Uploaded: 02/14/2020
5 Pages 144 Views 7 Unlocks

CLPS 100 Study Guide: Exam #1 

Where does the ci act?

Three Learning Processes 

● Present a Stimulus

○ The stimulus is not paired with anything; nothing needs to be done in order to receive the stimulus

● Arrange a relationship between 2 stimuli (Pavlovian Conditioning)

○ Presenting one stimulus predicts the second stimulus will come next

● Arrange a relationship between behavior and a stimulus (Operant Conditioning) ○ A behavior needs to occur in order for the stimulus to be presented

Why is Learning Important? 

● Familiarity → learning allows us to become familiar with things and recognize objects/places ○ Rats show thigmotaxic behavior in which they stay close to walls and corners (why? → they are not familiar with the environment and are intimidated because they don’t know if it is safe)

How quickly can we condition x and y with the us?

Don't forget about the age old question of What is the chemical synapse between a motor neuron and a muscle?

● Predictability → be able to predict what will happen next or when an event will occur ○ Rats prefer knowing that they will be safe rather than receiving a signal that tells them when they will receive a shock. (why? → signal is aversive) We also discuss several other topics like How are changes in psychological intensity related to changes in physical intensity?

● Adapt, manage, control → we want to be able to have some control over our environment ○ Rats who were previously constricted in a wheel with no control have a harder time controlling their environment when they are set free (why? → they got used to not having control over their environment)

Drug and Tolerance 

● Why does it happen?

○ Our bodies respond to drug effects with compensatory responses in order to regain homeostasis. As we administer more drugs, the compensatory responses increase in strength which weakens the experienced effects of the drug. After many exposures to the drug, we need more drugs in order to produce the same effects.

What removes habituation?

● Importance of context

○ Context matters. If we are used to receiving the drug in a certain context, the compensatory responses are easily triggered in that setting. Whenever we try the drug in a new setting, the compensatory responses might not activate, causing an overdose. ● Tolerance If you want to learn more check out Define taxonomy.

○ Drug effects are attenuated by compensatory responses which increase in strength ○ Can contribute to drug overdose

● Withdrawal

○ Drug-associated cues (i.e. setting/location) trigger compensatory responses but there are no drug effects to counteract the compensatory responses

The T1-T2 Design for Learning 

● Subjects are randomly assigned to an exposure group or control group

○ T1: exposure & control

○ Exposure: give them something to learn

○ Control: get nothing

● Both groups are given the same test at the end of T1

○ T2: assessment given to both groups

● Experience in T1 is varied, but test in T2 is the same for all groups We also discuss several other topics like What are the critical things to place in a comprehensive essay?

● This allows us to test if anything was learned during the exposure phase in T1


● Habituation: an operation in which a stimulus is repeatedly presented

○ The consequence/outcome is a decrease in the response elicited by the stimulus ○ Stronger stimuli produce more habituation than weaker → best way to produce habituation is to gradually increase the strength of the stimulus each time it is presented Don't forget about the age old question of What did cicero believe was the responsibility of romans?

● Habituation and punishment

○ Gradually increasing the intensity of the punishment will result in habituation in which the subject will no longer respond to more intense punishment

● What removes habituation?

○ Time → spontaneous recovery

■ Stimulus is presented → subject habituates to it → stimulus is no longer

presented → time passes → stimulus is presented again → subject will respond to the stimulus again

○ Dishabituation → presentation of a novel stimulus

■ Stimulus is presented → subject habituates to it → same stimulus is presented again → presentation of a novel stimulus → test the original stimulus → the

subject will respond to the stimulus again

● Dishabituation → Why do we see no response to the stimulus?

○ Sensory adaptation: by presenting a stimulus over and over you have saturated all the sensory neurons and they no longer fire (decrease in sensitivity); it is as if you are not giving the stimulus at all

○ Affective (Motor) Fatigue: you have made this response so much that your muscles are too tired to do it anymore

Grove &Thompson’s Dual Process Theory (of habituation) We also discuss several other topics like What adaptations do cuttlefish have to enable them to blend into their background? how have they used their ‘electric skin’ for a new purpose?

● Assumes that different types of underlying neural processes are responsible for increases & decreases in responsiveness to stimulation

● 1) Presentation of a stimulus (S1) triggers

○ The habituation process → decrease in response to stimulus

■ Occurs in the S-R pathway

● 2) Presentation of strong stimuli, some drugs, some emotions trigger

○ The sensitization process → increase in response to stimuli

■ Occurs in the state system that controls arousal

○ Opposite of habituation → amplifies responses; exaggerated/enhanced response ● Response to a stimulus is the net sum of these two processes (habituation & sensitization) ○ Behavior that you see is the effect of a decrease in the pathway and the increased arousal caused by sensitization

● Explaining dishabituation

○ The novel stimulus (the dishabituator) triggers sensitization

○ Response to the previously habituated stimulus will now increase

● A dishabituator MUST activate the state system

● CLAIM: dishabituation is caused by stimuli that trigger sensitization

● “Learning”: reducing the efficacy between the stimulus and response

● ISI: short interstimulus intervals are better than long ISI for producing habituation ○ Habituation will fade over time

● Self-generated priming: recent prior presentation of that event primes itself

Wagner’s Memory Model (of habituation) 

● Only respond to unexpected or surprising events

○ A stimulus presentation is surprising if its representation is absent in STM ■ A surprising stimulus elicits a response

○ A stimulus presentation is expected if its representation in present in STM ■ An expected stimulus does not elicit a response

■ You are already thinking about it → no response

● Dishabituator → has removed the habituated stimuli from STM; you are not thinking about it anymore so when it comes back you respond to it again

○ Sensitization is not a necessary condition; state system does not need to be activated ● You will not see an increase to the response in a novel stimulus bc there’s nothing to replace in STM

● “Processing the stimulus” in STM: learning about the association between that stimulus and the context in which it is occurring

○ “Learning” is about the stimulus & where it occurs → associate the stimulus w context ○ Retrieval generated priming → what is underlying habituation

○ Self-generated priming → stimulus is just being presented; second sound won’t trigger a response or processing because the first one is still in STM

● ISI: long interstimulus intervals are better than short ISI for producing habituation ○ Learning is better with spaces → not massed

○ Learning association between context and stimulus leads to habituation

○ Retrieval-generated priming: presentation of a cue associated with an event will prime that event

Pavlovian Conditioning 


● Conditioned Stimulus (CS): a stimulus that is continuously paired with the US in order to elicit a response

○ E.g., the tone/bell used in Pavlov’s Dogs experiment; it was paired with the food and soon enough the bell alone elicited salivation

○ The CS was previously a neutral stimulus (NS)

● Unconditioned Stimulus (US): a stimulus that naturally elicits a response without any prior training

○ E.g., the food in Pavlov’s Dogs experiment elicited salivation naturally

● Unconditioned Response (UR): the response that is naturally elicited by the US ○ E.g., the salivation elicited by the food in Pavlov’s Dogs experiment

● Conditioned Response (CR): the response that is elicited by the CS after various pairings with the US

○ E.g., the salivation that was produced by the sound of the tone/bell alone in Pavlov’s Dogs experiment

● Pavlov’s 3 Questions & Answers

○ Conditions: when does association develop? → Temporal contiguity

■ CS and US must occur together in time with the US following the CS by 0.5 seconds

○ Content: what is learned? → Association

■ The association between the CS and US is learned.

○ Expression: what does the CR look like? → principle of Stimulus substitution ■ CS excites the representation of the US. The CS is a substitute for the US and should therefore invoke the same response as the US. (CR=UR)

● We can use Pavlovian (Classical) conditioning for taste aversion and fear conditioning ○ E.g.: getting sick after eating a certain food → we attribute sickness to food and avoid it ○ E.g.: bad experience with a certain stimulus → we begin to fear it & avoid it (Little Albert)

Fear conditioning 

● Fear is due to our experiences not innate/genetics

○ Tabula rasa: we are a blank slate, we learn everything due to our experiences and our environment is more powerful than genetics

● Fears are learned, can be generalized (to similar stimuli), and can be extinguished ● Conditioned Emotional Response (CER) → conditioned suppression

○ Measures conditioned fear by observing how the CS suppresses ongoing behavior ○ Suppression ratio: B/(A+B)

■ B = the number of times the behavior that is being measured occurs during the CS

■ A = the number of times the behavior that is being measured occurs during the pre-CS period

○ Strong fear conditioning to the CS → suppression ratio should be close to 0 ○ No fear conditioning the CS → suppression ratio should be around 0.5


● Experiment performed by Kamin examined Pavlov’s principle that learning depended on CS-US temporal contiguity.


Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Exp. Group

Noise → shock

Noise w Light → shock


Control Group


Noise w Light → shock


● According to Pavlov: we should see the same amount of fear to the light in both groups because the light was paired with the shock the same number of times

● Reality: the control group showed more fear to the light; experimental group did not show fear conditioning

○ Why? → experimental group was pre-trained to understand that noise = shock, not the light

○ The control group never experienced the shock before so they attribute it to both the noise and the shock

● Blocking: the presence of a previously conditioned stimulus (noise) blocks the acquisition of a response to the added cue (light)

○ We see little CR to the light in the experimental group because the noise was already a good predictor of the US; so the US is no longer surprising

● Revolutionary findings

○ Showed that pairings of a CS with a US is not sufficient for a CR to occur

○ US has to be surprising in order to produce learning

Conditioned Inhibition 

● Conditioned inhibitor (CI): a stimulus that signals the omission of an expected US ○ Notation: A+, AX-

○ When A is present alone → the US is received

○ When A is paired with X → the US is not received

● Skinner’s Challenge → did not believe that stimuli had the capacity to produce inhibition ○ Believed the X stimulus was neutral, not inhibitory

○ Believed A+ cue showed excitation and AX- showed nothing because the excitation & exhibition cancel each other out

Summation Test

Phase 1

Phase 2 - Summation Test


A+, AX-, Y-, B+



● X paired with A → they expect to get US, but they don’t

○ X is becoming a conditioned inhibitor

● Y should remain a neutral stimulus because it does not predict the US

● Compare the reduction of CR to B in the presence of X and Y:

○ If X reduced CR to B more than Y does, suggests X is an inhibitor

● Results: we do see more responding to BY than BX

○ Means X is an inhibitor and Y is neutral

○ Skinner is wrong → stimuli can be conditioned inhibitors!

Retardation of Acquisition Test

Phase 1

Phase 2


A+, AX-, Y-

X+, Y+

X+ < Y+

● Compare the acquisition of CR to X and Y

○ How quickly can we condition X and Y with the US?

● Predictions: If X is a conditioned inhibitor then X should take longer (more trials) to condition a response to the US

○ If X is a neutral stimulus then X and Y should take the same amount of time/trials to condition a response to the US

● Results: it does take a lot more trials to condition X to produce a response to the US ○ This means that X is not a neutral stimulus; X is in fact a conditioned inhibitor (CI) Where Does the CI Act?

● The CI suppresses the representation of the US → it acts on the US

● This is because A is being presented without the US which means we don’t get a response ● Next time A is presented with X, we will not see a response because it is a CI and suppresses the representation of the US (they know not to expect the US to happen)

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