Learning and Complex Behavior


   1. Explain what the reading means by: "This guidance is based exclusively on brief sequences of events."

     2. The present and subsequent chapters shift from a primary concern with selection—E-B and E-E relations—to a concern with the e___________ of selection. Explain this statement.

     3. Operationally, to what does the nontechnical term "memory" refer? Why is "memory" likely to be a theoretically incoherent term?

Memory as Environmentally Guided Behavior

Memory as a Cumulative Product of Selection

     4. In general, what must be true if a response is to occur? Answer this question on both the behavioral and neural levels.

What is selected?

     5. Criticize the following statement: Selection changes the strengths of responses.

     6. When a response occurs, are the same neural pathways always activated? Explain your answer.

     7. How can environment-behavior relations be reliable if the neural pathways that mediate them are variable?

     8. What is a major lesson to be learned from observations of the brain-damaged woman who sometimes "knew" the word sugar and sometimes did not?

     9. Cognitive psychology often refers to "memories" as being "stored" (either in some hypothetical structure such as long-term memory or, less often, in the real brain). From the biobehavioral perspective, where are "memories" when we are not having them? Explain your answer.

Under what conditions do "memories" occur?

     10. Criticize the following statement: When we remember something, we retrieve the memory from the location where it is stored in the brain.

     11. In your own words, what are some of the variables that affect the environmental guidance of behavior? Use the term cue in your answer. The term is c____.

     12. In additional to the nominal discriminative stimuli, or cues, describe the role of contextual stimuli in guiding behavior.

     13. Differential training causes cues increasingly to block control by contextual stimuli. Does this mean that the context has no role in the guidance of behavior? Explain.

What determines the constituents of "memories"?

     14. In terms of environment-behavior relations, what tends to distinguish episodic memory from other "types"? Under what conditions are e_________ "memories" apt to be formed (i.e., selected)?

     15. What are flashbulb memories? Give an example from your own experience of such a f_____________ "memory". Indicate the conditions that are likely to exist when such "memories" are selected.

     16. In terms of environment-behavior relations, what are the differences between semantic and episodic "memories"? Give an example of each to illustrate the distinction between s____________ and e____________ memories. Are two different sets of biobehavioral processes involved in the two cases? Explain.

     17. Are all "memories" acquired in the same way? Explain your answer referring to the distinction between c_____________ shaping and r______ g____________ in your answer.

The Durability of Memory

     18. A "memory" response will occur so long as the environment contains ___________________________ and the nervous system contains ______________________________.

Autobiographical "memories"

     19. Summarize the methods and major findings from studies of a_________________ "memory". (See Figure 8.1.) Comment on the ecological validity of these studies.

     20. What are the major conclusions from studies of autobiographical memory.?

     21. What are the conclusions from the study in which the subjects judged the familiarity of faces depicted in pictures? Comment on this study in terms of the notion of verbal bias that was introduced in an earlier chapter.

Do "memories" weaken over time?

     22. Answer the question posed in the heading, making reference to specific findings presented in the readings.

     23. What was the reason for comparing performance after sleeping with the passage of a similar amount of time after waking? (See Figure 8.2.)

Stimulus Change and Retention

     24. Are "memories" affected by the particular conditions present when selection occurred? Answer making reference to studies in which subjects learned to read upside-down, mirror images of printed text or recognize photographs of people engaged in various actions.

     25. What accounts for the fact that many of our "memories" seem quite general, i.e., not tied to the particular circumstances in which the behavior was selected?

Effects of Later Learning on Retention: Retroaction Effects

     26. Under controlled conditions, "memories" often seem to last indefinitely. Why do "memories" appear to weaken more rapidly in the natural environment?

     27. After reading the next section, give a verbal interpretation of why the sheep "remembered" the leg flexion response so well even years later.

Retroactive interference and facilitation

     28. Describe a paired-associate method for studying r__________________ effects. Indicate word-pairs of your own construction that would likely produce retroactive i___________________ and ones that would likely produce retroactive f___________________________.

     29. Comment on the ecological validity of the p_______________ -a______________ learning method. Include in your answer an evaluation of the use of nonsense syllables in this work.

     30. Can adaptive neural networks simulate interference effects? Make reference to Figure 8.3 in your answer.

Context and retroaction

     31. Summarize an experimental method and result that illustrate the effect of environmental context on "memory". (See Figure 8.4.)

     32. Can the intra-organismic context in which selection take place affect "memory"? Indicate how the incident in The Moonstone illustrates such an effect.

     33. From what you know about s_______ - d_________________ forgetting, comment on the practice of ingesting caffeine (through coffee drinking) so that you can stay up late in order to cram for an examination the next day.


     34. Explain why the response to the question "When was the last time you went to the shopping mall?" cannot be treated as a straightforward example of the environmental guidance of behavior. Make up another question that has the same characteristics.

     35. As used here, what is the basic distinction between r____________ and r_________________?

     36. Suppose that a person who lived in a city some years ago was asked directions about how to get from the airport to the downtown area. Comment on whether this response is likely to be an instance of reminding or remembering. Explain your answer.

     37. What is the major distinction between e__________ "memory" and i____________ "memory"? In terms of what you know about polysensory regularities, which of the following "types" of behavior are most apt to involve the selection of such regularities, and why?

     38. Is the distinction between reminding and remembering a distinction between two different "types" of behavior involving different principles for their understanding? Explain.

     39. Referring back to your answer to question 36, is behavior in the natural environment generally an instance or either reminding or remembering, or both?

Methodological Implications of the Reminding-Remembering Distinction

     40. What two conditions make it likely that retention involves reminding rather than remembering? Why is this so?

     41. Indicate how the first of these conditions could be implemented, and why it might be effective?

     31. Indicate how the second of these conditions could be implemented, and why it might be effective?

     32. Does the implementation of these two conditions guarantee that only reminding processes affect the behavior? Explain your answer.


     33. Looking ahead in this section, what are the three types of procedures that are used to study reminding?

Reminding in Short-Term Memory Procedures

     33. Describe a typical s_______ - t______ memory procedure and result. Use the technical term d______________ task in your answer.

Proactive effects

     34. What are p_________ interference effects? Describe findings that indicate how such effects affect performance in a short-term memory procedure. (See Figure 8.5)

     35. Does proactive interference occur only in laboratory situations? Explain your answer, making reference to the findings in Figure 8.6.

Reminding in Serial-Recognition Procedures

     36. Describe the s__________-r________________ procedure, using technical terms such p_________ stimulus, t____________ stimulus, and interstimulus interval.

     37. How does the performance of humans and other animals compare with the serial-recognition procedure? (See Figure 8.7 and 8.8.) That is, what are the similarities and differences among the serial-position curves of pigeons, monkeys, and humans?

Serial-position curves

     38. What are the major results from varying the retention interval on the primacy and recency effects? (See Figure 8.8.) Use the terms s_________-p_____________ curve as well as r____________ and p___________ effects in your answer.

     40. Describe how the effects of the retention interval may be interpreted as a context effect?

Remembering in serial-recognition procedures

     41. What happened to retention with humans when familiar stimuli were used and the time between the presentation of stimuli in the target set was increased? What happened when longer intervals were used with monkeys? How might this difference be interpreted?

     42. Describe what happened when unfamiliar kaleidoscope pictures were presented to humans at these longer intervals between the target stimuli? Describe the procedure that was instituted so that retention with kaleidoscope pictures was affected in the same way as familiar pictures? Taken together, how can these findings be interpreted?

     43. Could a study involving remembering processes be carried out with monkeys? Explain your answer.

Reminding in Cued-Recall Procedures

     44. Describe in general terms and also give and example of a cued-recall procedure.

     45. Using a c_______ - r_________ procedure, what was the effect on retention of giving a cue word? How did the experimenters increase the likelihood that the beneficial effect of the cue word was due to selections that had occurred prior to the study? Did these pre-experimental selections have any effect on retention? Explain.

     46. Procedurally, what is the difference between a recognition test and a recall test of retention? What kind of retention tests are multiple-choice and essay tests? Explain your answer.

     47. Using technical language, e.g., discriminative stimulus, describe the difference between r_________________ and r_______ tests of retention.

     48. Is retention always better on a recognition than a recall test of retention? Explain your answer referring to experimental findings.

Remembering in cued-recall procedures

     49. In what way do cued-recall procedures resemble reminding procedures? In what way do they resemble remembering procedures? Could remembering occur in the study comparing recognition and recall measures of retention (see question 7)? Explain your answer.

     50. Describe the purpose, method, and findings from the study in which category names were given as cues in the retention test.

     51. How could the above results be interpreted as an example of reminding? As an example of remembering?

     52. Explain why the accounts of retention in the previous experiments are interpretations rather than experimental analyses? (See Figure 8.9.) Comment on whether this is a "weakness" that is peculiar to a biobehavioral approach.

     53. How do these interpretations differ from accounts given by inferred-process approaches in which the environment-behavior relations are discussed in terms of underlying "cognitive" or "mental" processes?

     54. What does it mean to say that interpretations may be "sufficient to encompass the observations, but the observations may not be necessary consequences of the experimental-analytically based processes"?