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Learning and Memory

Vocabulary for Theme 4

TermDefinition
Classical Conditioning A learning procedure in which associations are made between a natural stimulus and a neutral stimulus.
Neutral Stimulus A stimulus that does not initially elicit any part of the unconditioned response.
Unconditioned Stimulus [UCS] An event that elicits a certain predictable response typically without previous training.
Unconditioned Response [UCR] An organism's automatic [or natural] reaction to a stimulus.
Conditioned Stimulus [CS] A once-neutral event that elicits a given response after a period of training in which it has been paired with an unconditioned stimulus.
Conditioned Response [CR] The learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus.
Generalization Responding similarly to a range of similar stimuli.
Discrimination The ability to respond differently to similar but distinct stimuli.
Extinction The gradual disappearance of a conditioned response when the conditioned stimulus is repeatedly presented without the unconditioned stimulus.
Operant Conditioning Learning in which a certain action is reinforced or punished, resulting in corresponding increases or decreases in occurrence.
Reinforcement Stimulus or event that follows a response and increases the likelihood that the response will be repeated.
Primary Reinforcer Stimulus that is naturally rewarding, such as food or water.
Secondary Reinforcer Stimulus such as money that becomes rewarding through its link with a primary reinforcer.
Fixed-Ratio Schedule A pattern of reinforcement in which a specific number of correct responses is required before reinforcement can be obtained.
Variable-Ratio Schedule A pattern of reinforcement in which an unpredictable number of responses are required before reinforcement can be obtained.
Fixed-Interval Schedule A pattern of reinforcement in which a specific amount of time must elapse before a response will elicit reinforcement.
Variable-Interval Schedule A pattern of reinforcement in which changing amounts if time must elapse before a response will obtain reinforcement.
Shaping Technique in which the desired behavior is "molded" by first rewarding any act similar to that behavior and then requiring ever-closer approximations to the desired behavior before giving the reward.
Response Chain Learned reactions that follow one another in sequence, each reaction producing the signal for the next.
Aversive Control Process of influencing behavior by means of unpleasant stimuli.
Negative Reinforcement Increasing the strength of a given response by removing or preventing a painful stimulus when the response occurs.
Escape Conditioning Training of an organism to remove or terminate an unpleasant stimulus.
Avoidance Conditioning Training of an organism to withdraw from or prevent an unpleasant stimulus before it starts.
Social Learning Process of altering behavior by observing and imitating the behavior(s) of others.
Cognitive Learning Form of altering behavior that involves mental processes and may result from observation or imitation.
Cognitive Map A mental picture of spatial relationships between events.
Latent Learning Alteration of a behavioral tendency that is not demonstrated by an immediate, observable change in behavior.
Learned Helplessness Condition in which repeated attempts to control a situation fail, resulting in the belief that the situation is uncontrollable.
Modeling Learning by imitating others; copying behavior.
Behavior Modification Systematic application of learning principles to change people's actions and or feelings.
Token Economy Conditioning in which desirable behavior is reinforced with valueless objects, which can be accumulated and exchanged for valued rewards.
Memory The storage and retrieval of what has been learned or experienced.
Encoding The transforming of information so the nervous system can process it.
Storage The process by which information is maintained over a period of time.
Retrieval The process of obtaining information that has been stored in memory.
Sensory Memory Very brief memory storage immediately following the initial stimulation of a receptor.
Short-Term Memory Memory that is limited in capacity to about seven items and in duration by the subject's active rehearsal.
Maintenance Rehearsal A system for remembering that involves repeating information to oneself without attempting to find meaning in it.
Chunking The process of grouping items to make them easier to remember.
Semantic Memory Knowledge if language, including its rules, words, and meanings.
Episodic Memory Memory of one's life, including time of occurence.
Declarative Memory Memory of knowledge that can be called forth consciously as needed.
Procedural Memory Memory of learned skills that does not require conscious recollection.
Recognition Memory retrieval in which a person identifies an object, idea, or situation as one he or she has or has not experienced before.
Recall Memory retrieval in which a person reconstructs previously learned material.
Reconstructive Processes The alteration of a recalled memory that may be simplified, enriched, or distorted, depending on an individual's experiences, attitudes, or inferences.
Confabulation The act of filling in memory gaps.
Schemas Conceptual frameworks a person uses to make sense of the world.
Eidetic Memory The ability to remember with great accuracy visual information on the basis of short-term exposure.
Decay Fading away of memory over time.
Interference Blockage of a memory by previous or subsequent memories.
Elaborative Rehearsal The linking of new information to material that is already known.
Mnemonic Devices Techniques for using associations to memorize and retrieve information.
Created by: tderue