Psychology | Learning & Motivation: Cues, Competition, Modules, Regulatory Behavior, and Systems
P504 | 25983 | Timberlake, W
FALL 2004 SEMINAR
P504: LEARNING & MOTIVATION: Cues, Competition, Modules, Regulatory
Behavior, and Systems
Purpose: The purpose of this course is to explore how assumed
content, procedures, and function have played a critical role in the
definition, study, and practical application of learning. The focus
will be on learning in nonhuman organisms, but humans will be
considered as well.
Considerations: The assumed content of Learning has ranged from
stimulus-stimulus and stimulus-response connections to conditional
probabilities of stimulus and response relations, from stimulus-
context and occasion-setting representations to spatial and temporal
maps, and from simple strengthening of motor output to selection,
regulation, and extension of neural and behavioral systems.
Procedures include Simple and Complex Exposure ,Pavlovian Pairings of
contexts and cues with Reward, Shaping, Operant Discimination and
Linkage, co-regulation of expression. In terms of function, most
views of learning focus on its adaptive and goal-oriented
characteristics, but other views blame learning for maladaptive,
dysfunctional, and costly behavior and beliefs.
Topics and Readings: The largest single source of reading will be
drawn from a text by Shettleworth: Cognition, Evolution, and
Behavior (Oxford University Press, 1998) that covers material on
Perception and Attention, habitutation, discrimination and
classification, memory, spatial learning, timing and conuting,
foraging,and social learning and communication. Additional readings
will cover topics such as the ecolotical-evolutionary basis of tuning
apparatus and procedures, judgements of causality and learning, cue
control of addiction processes, the role of learning in fear and
panic, contrast in valuation, the common substrates of pavlovian and
operant conditioning,and treatments of intrusive behaviors such as
OCD in humans and stereotypy in zoo animals.
Qualifications: Graduate Standing, Advanced undergraduates may be
admitted with instructors permission. It will be very helpful if
students have had exposure to learning in an undergraduate course. In
general, I expect students to have some areas of expertise and
interest that allows them to contribute to the education of the class.
Format and Meeting time: The seminar will meet twice a week for 75
minutes, TR at 2:30 to 3:45 in Room 115. One meeting will most
likely be for lecture/discussion, and one primarily for presentations
by students and dicusssion.
Requirements: In addition to presentations and participating in
discussion, students will be responsible for a research review and
proposal on a topic related to learning. Students may also be
responsible as needed for some brief written exercises to clarify
their understanding of basic material.
Contact: If you have any questions, please contact Bill Timberlake,