Updated for 1999
Lecture Notes - Week 10
Learning - Chapter 14

1) Perceptual learning – ability to learn to recognize stimuli that have been seen before

2) Stimulus-response learning – ability to learn to perform a particular behavior when a certain stimulus is present 3) Motor learning – establishment of changes within the motor system

4) Relational learning – involves connections between different areas of the association cortex

5) Spatial learning – involves learning about the relations among many stimuli

6) Episodic learning – remembering sequences of events that we witness

7) Observational learning – learning by watching and imitation other people


      1. activation of synapses
      2. depolarization of the postsynaptic neuron
1) protein kinase C (PKC) - normally in cytoplasm, activated by calcium to increase synaptic transmission

2) CaM-KII - when activated by calcium it remains active even after calcium is gone, until deactivated by another enzyme

3) tyrosine kinase - also plays a role in long-term potentiation

AMPA receptors - control sodium channels - involved once long-term potentiation has occurred

Long-term depression - low-frequency stimulation of the synaptic inputs to a cell can decrease their strength; opposite of Hebb rule - weak synapses not associated with strong ones become weaker


1) Visual Learning 2) Auditory Learning S-R LEARNING

1) Classical Conditioning

2) Instrumental Conditioning and Motor Learning 1) direct trascortical connections - short-term memory, and with hippocampus involved in episodic memory

2) via basal ganglia and thalamus - used once no longer "new" learning; Parkinson's example

REINFORCEMENT SYSTEM 1) amygdala - involved in detection of CS for reinforcement - if monkeys trained that food follows a visual stimulus, then amygdala lesioned, the monkey forgets the association

2) lateral hypothalamus - neurons become active when monkeys see food, but only when hungry - neurons show sensory-specific satiety; activity related to presence of reinforcing stimuli

3) prefrontal cortex - secretes excitatory glutamate, which triggers bursts of dopamine to be released from neurons in the ventral tegmental area into the nucleus accumbens; may serve as monitor for reinforcement-seeking activity

1) discriminative stimulus activates weak synapse

2) circumstance that causes animal to press lever activates a strong synapse

3) if behavior is reinforced, then neurotransmitter/neuromodulator released (dopamine), causing synaptic changes, strengthening weak synapses