Psychology of Learning

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  1. Episodic Memory
    A memory for specidifc autobiographical event, includes information about the spatial and temporal context; where and when the event occured.

    "I remember"
  2. Sematic Memory
    Memories for facts or generall knowledge about the world. Not tagged into time and space

    "I know"
  3. Declarative (explicit) Memory
    Broader term that includes both sematic and episodic memory. Is conscioulsy accessible, you know that you know that.
  4. Nondeclarative (implicit) memory
    Not always consiously accessible or easy to verbalize
  5. Depth of Processing
    The more deeply you analyze information, the more likely you are to encode the information in memory and the more likely you are to remember it.
  6. Consolidation Period
    A lenght of time during which new memories are vulnerable and easily lost. Episodic and sematic memories both have these.
  7. Transfer-appropriate processing
    The principle that retrieval is more likely if the cues available at recall are similar to those that were avialable at encoding.
  8. Free recall
    When simply asked to generate the information from memory
  9. Cued Recall
    Given some sort of prompt
  10. Recognition
    Pick out the correct answer from a list of possible options
  11. Interference
    When two memories overlap in content, the strength of either or both memories may be reduced
  12. Proactive interference
    Whereby old information can disrupt new learning
  13. Retroactive interference
    Whereby new infomation can disrupt old learning
  14. Source Amnesia
    Refers to a more subtle failure, one that we all experience from time to time. We remember a fact or event but attribute it to the wrong source. May even dream about an event and think the expereince was real later on.
  15. Cryotomnesia
    Special kind of source amnesia in which a person mistaenly thinks that his current thoughts are novel or original. May lead to inadvertent plagarism
  16. False Memories
    Memories of events that never actually happened
  17. Hierarchial Semantic Network
    M. Ross Quillan first to suggest that semantic memory is organized in networks. Each object is considered a node that can be associated or linked with one or more features. Nodes are ranged hierarchically
  18. Sensory Cortex
    Involved in processing sensory information such as sight and sound
  19. Association Cortex
    Other cortical areas, meaning they are involved in associatating information within and across modalities. Helps us link the word "dog" with the image of a dog, what they are like, and linguistic info on how to pronounce the word
  20. Agnosia
    Displayed with by people with cortical damage, a relatively selective disruption of the ability to process a particular kind of information
  21. Associative visual agnosia
    Difficulty recognizing and naming objects, even thoug they can "see" the objects (and can usually copy them accurately)
  22. Auditory agnosia for speech
    can hear sounds and scho them, but they are unable to understand the meaning of spoken words, but can often recognize written words
  23. Tactile Agnosia
    May be able to recognize an object by sight or description but not by feel if it is placed in their hands
  24. Medial Temporal lobe
    the inner (or medial) surface of the temporal lobe. Includes hippocampus, amgdala, entohinal cortex, perirhinal cortex and parahippocampal cortex
  25. Anterograde Amnesia
    An inability to from new episodic and smeantic memories
  26. Retrograde Amnesia
    loss of memories for events that occured before the injury. People with head injuries usually developed this.
  27. Standard consolidation theory
    Holds that the hippocampus and realted medial temporal lobe structures are initially required for episodic memory storage and retrieval but their contribution diminishes over time until the cortex is capable of retriving the meory without hippocampal help
  28. Multiple memory trace theory
    Episodic (possible semantic) memories are encoded by an ensemble of hippocampal and cortical neurons and the cortical neurons never, in normal cirumstances, become fully independt of the hippocampal neurons
  29. Frontal Cortex
    Those regions of cortex that lie within the frontal lobes may help determine what we store (remember) and what we dont store (forget)
  30. Korsakoff's disease
    Condition associated with a deficiency in thiamine that sometimes accompanis chronic alcohol abuse. It consistently damages the mammillary bodies and the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus, other brain regions are damged too.
  31. Diencephalon
    A group of structures including the mammillary bodies and the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamas
  32. Basal Forebrain
    a group of strucutes lying as the name suggest at the base of the forebrain
  33. Transiet global amnesia
    Is a transient or temporary disrution of memory. Starts suddenly, persists for several hours and then gradually dissipates over the course of a day of so. During the amnesic episode, the person shows severe anterograde amnesia and is unalbe to learn new autobiographical info
  34. Nicola Clayton- Jay Birds Caching
    • •Researchers
    • allowed birds to hide worms or nuts
    • •Birds
    • allowed to recover food 4 or 124 hrs later
    • •After
    • 4 hr delay, successfully recovered worms, but chose nuts after 124 hr delay
    • (able to remember what type of food stored, and how long ago)
  35. Morris Water Maze
    • •Originally
    • developed by Richard Morris (1981)
    • Circular pool of water with a hidden platform
    • Rats hate water and will attempt to get out; this is how they eventually find
    • the platform
  36. Problems with the Morris Water Maze
    • •During
    • testing, experimenters measure how much time the
    • rats’ spend in the target
    • (i.e., where the hidden platform was during training) and opposite
    • quadrants of the maze
    • – Moretime spent in the target quadrant is assumed to
    • be indicative of better memory
    • Problems with this approach???
  37. How Do We Measure Neurogenesis
    • •BrdU
    • (5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine)
    • Synthetic thymidine analog that gets incorporated into a cell’s DNA during the
    • S-phase of the cell cycle
    • Antibodies against BrdU that
    • are conjugated to fluorescent markers can used to label these cells, thereby
    • providing visual evidence of cell division
  38. Categories of Skill Learning
    • •Perceptual motor skills: learned movement
    • patterns guided by sensory inputs




    • –Biking
    • •Cognitive Skills: solving problems or
    • applying strategies, rather than simply moving your body based on what you
    • perceive

    • –Playing
    • cards

    • –Taking
    • standardized tests
  39. Practice
    • •Which
    • is better… massed practice or spaced practice?
    • Massed practice
    • Produces better performance in the short-term
    • Spaced practice
    • Leads to better retention in the long run
  40. Cue-Dependent Learning
    • •Learning
    • utilizing a specific cue is hippocampus-independent
    • Water maze tasks utilizing a beacon that marks the platform
    • Water maze tasks utilizing a visible platform
  41. Basal Ganglia Neural Activity in Perceptual-Motor Skill Learning
    • •Rats were trained in a T-maze
    • – Upon
    • reaching decision point, they had to turn right or left, depending on a tone
    • (cue) instruction
    • Firing rates of basal ganglia neurons
    • Early in training, higher activity was only observed when rats made the choice
    • to turn left or right
    • Later in training, increased activity was observed at the beginning and end of
    • the task
    • Suggests that the basal ganglia develop a motor plan that the rat’s brain
    • initiates at the beginning of each trial
  42. Role of Control
    • •Perception
    • of control over an aversive situation determines the psychological and
    • physiological responses to stress
    • Experiment
    • Rats were given shocks to the floor of their cage
    • Group 1: Press a lever to shut off shock (have
    • control)
    • Group 2: Same amount of shock, but no lever (no
    • control over shock)
    • Only rats in Group 2 developed one of the classic signs of stress – gastric
    • ulcers
  43. Stress Response – Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis
    • •HPA
    • axis

    • Ultimately, its activation leads to stimulation of the adrenal
    • cortex
    • (outer 80% of adrenal glands), which synthesizes and releases cortisol
    • Release of cortisol is much slower than release of epinephrine and
    • norepinephrine
    • Cortisol is known as a glucocorticoid
    • Profound effects on glucose metabolism; breaks down protein & converts it
    • to glucose
    • Stress hormone?
  44. Hippocampus
    Is Significantly Affected by Cortisol
    • •Hippocampus
    • houses more receptors for glucocorticoids than any other brain region

    • • Two
    • types of receptors for cortisol

    • –Type
    • I: mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs)

    • •Have
    • greatest affinity for binding cortisol

    • •Almost
    • saturated at baseline levels

    • –Type
    • II: glucocorticoid receptors (GRs)

    • •Start
    • to become bound by cortisol during stress

    • •Responsible
    • for negative effects of stress on the brain
  45. Chronic
    Stress Causes Retraction of Hippocampal Neurons
    • •Chronic
    • stress causes retraction of hippocampal dendrites

    • Evidence suggests that this occurs via glucocorticoids decreasing
    • the reuptake
    • of glutamate from the synapse

    • – This
    • permits influx of too much Ca2+ and
    • threatens excitotoxicity of
    • cells

    • Effects of chronic stress on hippocampal dendrites can be blocked via the
    • administration of…

    • – NMDA
    • antagonists

    • Phenytoin (reduces levels of extracellular glutamate)

    • – Tianeptine
    • (regulates NMDA receptors)
  46. Chronic
    Stress Causes Hypertrophy of Amygdala Neurons
    • •Chronic
    • stress enhances dendritic arborization and
    • length in the basolateral
    • amygdala

    • This is the opposite of what happens to the hippocampus

    • What might be the benefit of such a dissociation?
  47. Stress
    Can Impair or Enhance Memory
    • •Acute
    • stress has been found enhance or impair memory

    • •When
    • will stress impair vs. enhance memory processes? The answers depends on a number of factors…

    • –Type
    • of task involved


    • –Intensity
    • of the stress

    • –Temporal
    • proximity of the stress in relation to the learning experience
Card Set
Psychology of Learning
Exam 4
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