Problem 5 Flashcards Preview

Learning and memory > Problem 5 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Problem 5 Deck (55)
Loading flashcards...


Refers to a cluster of 3 distinct but interrelated sets of phenomena

a) physiological responses
b) overt behavior
c) conscious feelings

--> induced by an emotional stimulus

--> innate + universal but outward expression may be modified by cultural learning


Fight-or-flight response

Refers to a collection of BODILY REACTIONS that prepare one to face a challenge/threat

--> either by fighting or running away

ex.: blood pressure, increased heart rate


Autonomic nervous system

Refers to a collection of nerves + structures that send signals to the adrenal glands, which in turn release stress hormones

--> operate without conscious control


Stress hormones

Hormones that turn the fight or flight response on or off

ex.: epinephrine/adrenaline, glucocorticoids


James-Lange theory of emotion
(Somatic theory of emotion)

States that conscious feelings of emotion occur when the mind senses the physiological responses associated with a certain kind of arousal

--> Physiological responses to stimuli come first, these determine/induce emotions

ex.: making an angry face, will elicit anger


Cannon-Bard theory of emotion

Stimuli simultaneously evoke both emotions + arousal, with neither causing the other


Two factor theory of emotion

States that our conscious emotional feelings depend not only on our biological responses but also on how we INTERPRET the SITUATION


Given that fear is a negative emotion, why do people still want to see horror movies, that induce fear ?

Strong biological responses caused by a terrifying movie are similar to strong biological responses caused by intense joy/sexual pleasure

--> viewers will interpret the movie as pleasurable rather than threatening, due to safe environment



Refers to a fear response in mammals in which body hair stands on end, making the animal look bigger + more threatening than it is


Do physiological responses automatically equate with emotions in humans ?

No they don't

--> the same physiological response can evoke many different emotions

ex.: When going out for a run, the increased heart rate doesn't necessarily relate to fear


Do animals show the same emotional responses as humans ?

1. Physiological responses seem consistent across mammals
--> but can't be sure which exact feelings are elicited

2. Laughter like vocalizations were recorded


What is the reason for the "freezing response" ?

It is an innate fear response to a threatening situation which helps small animals too avoid predators

--> one can allocate full attention to sensory inputs to help it determine what + where the threat is


Conditioned Escape
(Operant conditioning)

Refers to an experimental design in which animals learn to make particular responses in order to

a) escape from
b) terminate

aversive stimuli


Conditioned avoidance
(Classical + Operant conditioning)

Refers to an experimental design in which animals learn to make particular responses to

a) avoid
b) prevent exposure

to aversive stimuli


Two factor theory of avoidance learning

States that avoidance learning involves an interaction between classical + operant conditioning

--> explains why avoidance behaviors can be persistent


Cognitive expectancies

Belief that animals learn the expected outcomes of responding/not responding and then make a decision to respond/not respond based on a comparison between the two


Learned helplessness

Exposure to an uncontrollable punisher teaches an expectation that responses are ineffectual, which in turn reduces the motivation to attempt new avoidance responses

ex.: prior exposure to an inescapable shock will teach the animal thad they can't escape any shock
--> even in operant learning phase


Which effect do emotions have on memory storage + retrieval ?

1. Emotional events are more likely to be discussed more often
--> memories are repeatedly retrieved, rehearsed, strengthened

2. Strongest memories are associated with strong emotions (positive/negative)

3. Strong memories of strong emotional content comes at the cost of weaker memory for surrounding details


Mood congruency of memory

Principle that it is easier to retrieve memories that match our current mood/emotional state

ex.: Depressed people are more likely to recollect sad memories (vicious cycle)


Flashbulb memories

Refers to a memory formed under conditions of extreme emotions that seems especially vivid + long lasting


Can flashbulb memories be trusted ?

Not necessarily,

1. They are merely EMs experienced with great vividness + confidence

2. Not easy to say whether details are fully correct
--> can be incomplete or contain inaccurate details


What are usually the causes for the inaccuracy in flashbulb memories ?

1. Source monitoring

2. False memories
--> when discussing memories, one might unconsciously fill in little gaps



Lies anterior to the hippocampus and has different separate nuclei with different input + output pathways

Critical in learned emotional responses + in emotional modulation of memory storage + retrieval


Lateral nucleus

Is the primary ENTRY point for sensory information into amygdala

--> contains the direct + indirect pathways which play an important role in responding to fear-evoking stimuli


Central nucleus

1. Receives input from other amygdala nuclei
2. Projects out of amygdala --> ANS + Motor centers

--> drives the expression of physiological + behavioral responses

ex. arousal, release of stress hormones + freezing, startle


Basolateral nucleus

1. Receives input from lateral nucleus
2. Projects out of amygdala -->

a) Cortex
b) hippocampus
c) Basal ganglia

--> drives modulation of memory strorage + retrieval


Skin conductance response

Refers to a tiny but measurable change in the electrical conductivity of the human skin that occurs when people feel arousal

--> mediated by Central nucleus of amygdala


Indirect Pathway of the amygdala

Allows us to terminate the fear response if the stimulus isn't threatening at all, by providing extra info

= Thalamus --> Cortex --> amygdala
"Slow but accurate"


Direct pathway of the amygdala

Allows us to react quickly in a life + death situation

= Thalamus --> amygdala
"fast and rough"



Refers to a technique which causes specific cells to become sensitive to light, after which researchers can use light to turn those specific neurons "on" + "off" at will

--> used to manipulate individual neurons projecting to hippocampus + amygdala