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Psych 1X03 C01 Professor Kim & Professor Cheal 05/07/12

Module 2: Generalization and Discrimination


World War II Conditioning in real world more complex than in lab o CS signal may not be identical each time its presented Wartime bombing of London in WW2 people developed conditional fear response to whistling sound made by falling bombs o Still the case if whistling sound was different from one bomb to another (distance, type, weather) o Variable CS = fear response Stimulus Generalization Stimulus generalization: classical conditioning of learned responses to a variety of different small stimuli o Training 1 specific CS paired with US to produce contingency o Stimuli similar to CS will often produce CR As a child, bitten by black dog. Now as an adult sight of black dog (CS) = fear response (US) & as well as the sight of other dogs (CR) Same fear response to other dogs Advanced Topics Stimulus generalization and discrimination, applications in therapy & theories of homeostatic processes The Generalization Gradient Stimulus generalization in lab o Fear conditioning experiment, 500Hz tone (CS) paired with mild electric shock o As training continues 500Hz tone (CS) alone = fear conditional response o In humans, this CR can be measured through Galvanic Skin Response o In animals, this CR can be measured through freezing behavior

Once contingency between 500HZ tone CS & the shock (US) has been tested, we can test for stimulus generalization by presenting various tones and measuring the fear (CR) o Fear response (CR) plotted along spectrum of different tones = generalization gradient (red line) o Strongest CR elicited by original 600Hz training CS (center arrow) 1 of 7

Psych 1X03 C01 Professor Kim & Professor Cheal 05/07/12 o CS similar to original tone CS (475/525) = fear CR @ similar levels o Lower or higher frequency, progressively less fear elicited Stimulus Generalization adds flexibility and efficiency to classical conditioning Potentially harmful US not required to separate conditioning experiences to learn relationship; instead, generalize learning to avoid similar CS that cue potential danger

Generalization and Extinction Red line represents established generalization gradient During extinction, subject exposed to training CS in absence of US Now generalization gradient is blue line o Strength of CR flattened Largest loss strength between original CS Other points diminish as well Dog therapy extinction of stimulus o See picture of dog, hear dog noises, told to be calm, hear ocean sounds Compliment to stimulus generalization is stimulus discrimination o Stimulus generalization variety of CS to elicit CR o Stimulus discrimination restricts range of CS that can elicit CR Under therapy, repeatedly shown images of dogs @ far end of gradient Discrimination training narrows range of CS which can elicit CR 500Hz tone can eliminate subjects fear of 600Hz tones while maintaining fear of 500Hz tones by repeatedly presenting 600Hz tone in absence of electric shock o Conditioned fear response to 600Hz tome will diminish, other fear responses elicited by rest of stimuli along gradient stay intact

CS+ Predicts occurrence of US activates behaviour related to US CSSuppresses behaviour related to US

The CS + & the CS Achieve precise discrimination present 600Hz tone CS in absence of US & alternate with trials in which 500Hz tone CS still paired with a shock US Discrimination procedure 2 Variables; CS - & CS+ CS+ predicts presence of US 2 of 7

Psych 1X03 C01 Professor Kim & Professor Cheal 05/07/12 CS- predicts absence of US

What happens when CS+ & CS- presented at the same time? o Intermediate fear; somewhere between the 2 cues

Module 3: Phobias & Therapies


Conditioning and Fear Snakes CS: snake CR: fear US: bite UR: fear Phobia: exaggerated, intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things or people Ophidiophobia: fear of snakes Aviophobia: fear of flying on a plane Person may have traumatic experience with a snake which produces long lasting fear o Can later be elicited by stimuli that reminds him of experience Phobias can arise from simply hearing about painful experience fear response to cues that remind you of that experience Treating Phobias 1) Implosive 2) Systematic Desensitization - These are two commonly used methods to treat phobias

Implosive Therapy Individual with particular phobia is encouraged to confront fear CS evoking their anxiety CS is presented in absence of associated US o Germ phobia asked to sit with hands covered in dirt for as long as possible & accept that sickness/danger will not follow may lead to extinction but can be traumatic Systematic Desensitization More gradual exposure to feared CS Imagine generalization gradient begin with extinguishing CS at far end, gradually working towards the middle o Germ Phobia covering hands with paper confetti, and relax to prevent anxiety 3 of 7

Psych 1X03 C01 Professor Kim & Professor Cheal 05/07/12 o Work through increasingly fearful stimuli; Final stage would be hands in dirt Easier for patients Other Conditioning Therapies Therapies relying on classical conditioning extend beyond treatment of phobias o Excessive alcohol drinking controlled with drug (Antabuse) Drug mixed with alcohol = nausea Alcoholic slips from recovery experience sickness while taking this treatment; sickness associated with drinking & avoided in future Challenges Antabuse many alcoholics would choose to avoid taking medication Treating phobias with implosive therapy or systematic desensitization requires patients to voluntarily endure anxiety before extinction begins o Therefore, conditioning therapies are often used together with other methods

Module 4: Homeostasis & Compensatory Responses


Homeostasis Homeostasis: process regulating body temperature, glucose & many other processes o more efficient through classical conditioning Compensatory Responses Internal events engaging homeostatic mechanisms when drinking sugary drink o Internal blood glucose levels surge o Blood glucose levels rise above baseline o Insulin released into blood stream to take excess glucose to be stored This process allows blood glucose levels to be regulated & homeostasis to be maintained Release of insulin compensatory response (process counteracting a challenge to homeostasis) The role of Conditioning US = ingestion of sugar (raises blood glucose levels) Rise in blood sugar causes insulin release to counter (UR) Taste of cola (CS) predicts spike in blood sugar (US) Learn contingency between sweet taste & sugar spike after many trials o Later, CS flavor cues alone will elicit CR of insulin release Classical conditioning allows body to prepare for homeostasis challenges What happens when you give up regular cola for sugar free diet cola? o Weight increase instead of weight loss familiar sweet taste in mouth released insulin (CR) o Extra insulin = decrease in blood sugar on regular basis o Body struggled to restore normal blood sugar induce hunger to increase eating 4 of 7

Psych 1X03 C01 Professor Kim & Professor Cheal 05/07/12 Addictions Drug taking = cued process; like citric acid in your mouth is signaled by sight of lemon Chemical changes associated with drug administration are signaled by environmental cues o Particular circumstance, time of day, paraphernalia associated with drug intake, taste Effects of drug = US challenge to homeostasis o Countered with counter adaptations (US) usually opposite to drug effects Morphine effects of decreased respiration/pain body counters with increased respiration and pain (UR) Environmental cues act to signal drug effect that follows Over many drug taking trials, environmental CS becomes paired with drug effects o Contingency is learned o Presentation of cues is enough to trigger CRs (compensatory response preparing body for drug effect) Withdrawal & Environmental Specificity Over course of repeated drug exposure, drug effects gradually decrease Drug Tolerance: first time drug users experience strong drug effects; subsequent dosages have less effect o Usually observed if user takes drug in familiar drug-taking environment Conditional analysis suggests this is because drug tolerance = reflection of both UR & CR that counteract drug effects Each drug-taking trail CR strength increases When drug user experienced with drug, effects are countered by bodys natural UR and by growing CR to the cues that signal drug effects Familiar Environment Tolerance (CR) Decreased drug effect Addictions Drug Taking Environment (CS) Counter-adaptations (CR) Desire to take drugs When addict stops taking drugs, the experience withdrawal syndrome o Ex. Morphine addict; addict feels increased pain, watery eyes, fever, diarrhea Exposure to drug taking environment (CS) elicits counter adaptations (CR) o Absence of drug, the unopposed CR is expressed as withdrawal o Cue-induced response = intense craving for drug o Taking drug counters CR which returns user to baseline levels 5 of 7

Psych 1X03 C01 Professor Kim & Professor Cheal 05/07/12 Vietnam war veterans addicted to heroin very common during war o After war, authorities concerned with returning heroin addicts o This was never a problem most soldiers moved on from addiction Drug tolerance built in specific environment during period of intense stress (Vietnam jungles) Not the same environmental cues at home minimizes craving/withdrawal symptoms Implications Relapse = significant problem for addict trying to quit o Drug treatment focusing only on detoxification may be ignoring learning mechanism which can trigger withdrawal/cravings o In rehab, drug addict may not have same environmental cues paired with drug o May feel fine but once released from clinic, may be exposed to cues again causing relapse o More intense training needed that includes extinction training with drug related cues Overdose Most cases of overdose have the addict taking normal amount previously tolerated o Immediate medical attention is needed may be able to survive These patients claim that same dosage was taking under unusual circumstances Taking drug in new environment means effects countered only by natural UR o Absence of normal environmental cue means CRs not elicited CS-US pairing (familiar setting with heroin) normally causes compensatory response that counters the effects of the drugs here the US is presented alone Therefore drug effects are stronger than usual, more risk of overdose

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Psych 1X03 C01 Professor Kim & Professor Cheal 05/07/12

Tutorial Notes Monday May 7th


Cats and tuna can US Tuna UR Salivation in preparation for eating tuna CS sound of the can opener CR Salivation in preparation for eating tuna ; meowing for tuna, approaching tuna Generalized response to all sorts of things, discriminated response that opening jar is different to cans of tuna Example 1 Every time someone flushes the toilet in an apartment building, the shower becomes very hot and causes the person to jump back. Overtime, the person begins to jump back automatically after hearing the flush, before the water temperature changes. US Hot water UR feeling pain & jumping back CS sound of the flush CR jumping back Example 2 People who receive chemotherapy often vomit during or shortly after the procedure. After several chemotherapy sessions, people begin feeling sick at the sight of the treatment room. US chemotherapy UR feeling sick CS sight of treatment room CR feeling sick Video from the Office US Receiving an Altoid UR pleasant taste CS windows sound CR bad taste in mouth, no mint

Phobias and Treatment


Phobia: exaggerated intense and persistent feat of certain situations, activities, things or people Implosive Therapy: encouraged to confront the fear CS that evokes their anxiety Repeated exposure to CS without negative response should distinguish the association Extinction fear of condition will decrease over time with # of exposures Systematic Desensitization: gradually exposing patients to a phobic object until it can be tolerated Involves teaching coping strategies for anxiety relaxing breathing, cognitive reappraisal More willing to do to most patients, not willing to face fear all at once, but this seems not as threatening

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