Introduction to Learning and Behavior , Third Edition

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Millions of people live with various types of mental illness and mental health problems, such as social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, drug addiction, and personality disorders. Treatment options include medication and psychotherapy. In this unit, we will aim at understanding different perspectives on psychological disorders, learning to identify characteristic symptoms of each. As you review this final unit, think about all the factors that may contribute and alleviate the major mental disorders discussed.

An Introduction to Learning and Memory

What is the interplay between biology, social support systems, and other environmental factors in how human beings cope? These study guides will help you get ready for the final exam. They discuss the key topics in each unit, walk through the learning outcomes, and list important vocabulary terms. They are not meant to replace the course materials! Please take a few minutes to give us feedback about this course. We appreciate your feedback, whether you completed the whole course or even just a few resources. Your feedback will help us make our courses better, and we use your feedback each time we make updates to our courses.

If you come across any urgent problems, email contact saylor. Your grade for the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you can take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you pass this final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate. Take this exam and these Saylor Direct Credit Quizzes if you want to earn college credit for this course. If you are seeking credit for this course, your grade will be calculated based on three Saylor Direct Credit Quizzes and the Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam as follows:.

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Instinct and Learned Behavior - Mr. Pearson Teaches 3rd Grade

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Completing this unit should take you approximately 6 hours. Unit 2: Neuroscience What makes you "you"? Completing this unit should take you approximately 10 hours. Unit 3: Sensation and Perception As human beings, we perceive our world through our senses. Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours. Unit 4: Learning and Memory Psychologists are concerned with how people learn and create memories of their experiences.

Unit 5: Development The physical, mental, and emotional changes that an individual undergoes over the course of his or her lifetime raise a number of questions about who we are and how we develop as human beings. Completing this unit should take you approximately 7 hours. Unit 6: Personality In the last unit, you learned about several theories of human development. Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours. Short term, or working memory, works like a scratch pad where information, such as a learning a sequence of numbers, is held long enough to carry out a task-like reciting the numbers-and then discarded.

Long term memory is for storing information for days, weeks, or even a lifetime.

Psychology of Learning for Instruction, 3rd Edition

One subtype of long term memory is explicit or declarative memory. These memories are conscious recollections that can be either episodic memories of specific events, like a party, or semantic memories of specific knowledge about a subject you have learned. The second sub-type is implicit or procedural memories that are unconsciously expressed. An example would be motor memory of a difficult motion such as balancing on a balance beam.

Now that we have reviewed some of the concepts in learning and memory, let's examine some key scientific questions asked by behavioral scientists. Some scientists are interested in how learning and memory are affected by one's environment. Scientists may ask how emotions influence learning and memory performance. Emotional images have been shown to be remembered better than neutral images.

Scientists may also ask if sleeping helps with remembering. In this study, participants that slept after training were better at remembering than those that did not sleep, as shown by the difference between the red and gray lines. Other researchers are interested in determining the functional and molecular mechanisms of learning and memory. They may ask what brain regions are active, shown in yellow, during specific learning and memory tasks, and what is the relationship between the regions.

Some researchers study learning and memory in other animals such as rodents, birds, and flies. By studying animals, insight is gained into the physiological processes, like neuronal activity, and specific molecule involvement that govern learning and memory formation in humans. One important question in learning and memory research is to figure out the changes that occur as we age.

It is well known that memory performance and retention diminishes with age. For this reason, scientists are actively working to uncover ways to lessen the effects of aging on learning and memory. Now that you have a feel for some of the key questions asked about learning and memory, let's look at some of the prominent methods that are used by behavioral scientists.

There are many behavioral tests used to investigate learning and memory in humans, and rodents. One popular test used to study classical conditioning is fear conditioning, where, in the example shown here, a mouse learns to associate a sound with a foot shock. Mazes, either in the water or on tracks, are used extensively to study operant conditioning and spatial memory.

Fostering Sustainable Behavior

Here a rat has learned to move to the appropriate spot in the maze depending on the cue. Short term memory, or working memory, can be assessed using what is called a N-back task, where the subject indicates whether or not the current image appeared n-images previously.

The more images between repeats, the harder it is to remember. Behavioral scientists are also interested in the brain mechanisms that enable learning and memory. Today there exists a variety of non-invasive methods to investigate the neural correlates. Functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, tracks blood oxygen levels as a proxy for brain activity. Magnetoencephalography, or MEG, maps brain activity by recording changes in magnetic fields produced by the electrical activity in the brain.

Another method used by behavioral scientists to assess brain activity during learning and memory tasks is electroencephalography, or EEG, which uses electrodes on the skull to monitor electrical activity across the brain. Now that you have a feel for the prominent methods used to study learning and memory, let's look at some actual experiments. One area of investigation is to figure out the effects and possible treatments of aging on learning and memory.

For this investigation, some scientists use a route-learning task in a maze with mice of varying ages. The time and the routes taken to complete the maze are recorded. Results show that older mice, represented by the black bar, took nearly twice as many days to learn the correct route through the maze than the younger mice. A second area of exploration is to see if memories, especially traumatic memories, can be manipulated or erased after they have been formed.


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One approach is to investigate whether there are critical time periods after an event in which the memory can be diminished or erased. In this study, subjects learn to associate a specific colored square with a mild shock to the fingers in what is called fear conditioning. Next, various inhibitory learning protocols are used to create new, safe memories of the shock-associated color.

go site The results demonstrate that, if safe memories are created ten minutes after fear conditioning, then the fear memory can be extinguished. A third area of investigation is to make learning more efficient. Finucane, M. The affect heuristic in judgments of risks and benefits. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making , 13, Fisher, G.

Advising the behavioral investor: Lessons from the real world. Ricciardi Eds. Fiske, S. Social Cognition 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. Frederick, S. Time discounting and time preference: A critical review. Journal of Economic Literature, 40 , Hedonic adaptation.

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