Animal Learning and Cognition (4)

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Hernstein, Loveland & Cable 1976 rewarded pigeons for certain categories of pictures, what did they find?
The pigeons could correctly transfer categories to novel pictures
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What were the results of Cerella's study (1979)?
Pigeons correctly differentiated between oak leaves and non oak leaves. A variety of species can do this with natural and non natural stimuli
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Cognitive Psychologists suggest categorisation may be innate, what is the problem with this?
It doesn't explain why animals can categorise different man made objects
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What is the exemplar learning explanation for categorisation?
Snapshot memory. Each picture has unique properties and animals are trained to discriminate between properties of those which reward and those which don't.
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What is the problem with the exemplar learning theory of categorisation?
It doesn't explain the transfer to new examples, as they haven't learnt the properties of these pictures
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What is the feature learning theory of categorisation?
They learn individual features of the photos and form positive associations with them, and inhibitory associations with the features which are not rewarded
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What is the problem with the feature learning theory of categorisation?
It should produce perfect transfer, which you don't get
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What is the exemplar learning + stimulus generalisation theory of categorisation?
they learn the exact properties of a photo and generalise it to new photos (explains why transfer isn't perfect)
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What is habituation?
a reduction in responsiveness to a stimulus as a result of its repeated presentation
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What does a plethysmograph measure?
blood flow (used by Whitlow 1975 to measure how startled rabbits were)
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What did Whitlow 1975 find?
Vasoconstriction (startle) of rabbits reduced the more a tone was played every 60 seconds
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What did Wagner 1976 find?
At intervals longer than 60 seconds, animals were startled by the tone again
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What are the three possible explanations for Wagner's findings?
Effector fatigue, receptor fatigue, short term memory interference
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What is the theory of effector fatigue?
Animals don't response to the tone because the system is in a refractory period and needs time to recover until it can respond again
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How did Whitlow and Wagner show that effector fatigue is not the explanation?
They have tone 1, then a different tone after 60 seconds, which the animals did respond to, so their effector system could respond
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What is the theory of receptor fatigue?
the receptor system is fatigued rather than the effector system
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How did Whitlow and Wagner disprove the receptor fatigue theory?
A distractor tone is given in-between tone 1 at 0secs and 60secs and the animal responds to tone 1, showing the receptors weren't fatigued
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What is the explanation for Wagner's findings?
short term memory had been interfered with through retroactive interference
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what is retroactive interference?
interference with the memory after it has been made
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According to Olton 1978 (radial maze) what is the capacity, duration and content of animals short term memory?
8 items, up to 4 hours, landmarks
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What did Wagner suggest short term memory is?
a decaying memory trace
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Are rats STMs resistent to retroactive interference?
Yes
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What is long term memory assumed to be due to?
changes in the CNS
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What do consolidation theories of LTM suggest?
permanent changes between the connection of neurons in the cortex create memories. As long as this occurs, retention and retrieval will occur
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What do retrieval theories of LTM suggest?
Consolidation occurs no matter what, memory only fails if memories can't be retrieved
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Card 2

Front

What were the results of Cerella's study (1979)?

Back

Pigeons correctly differentiated between oak leaves and non oak leaves. A variety of species can do this with natural and non natural stimuli

Card 3

Front

Cognitive Psychologists suggest categorisation may be innate, what is the problem with this?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is the exemplar learning explanation for categorisation?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is the problem with the exemplar learning theory of categorisation?

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Preview of the front of card 5
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