Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Learning: learning is acquiring the ability to establish relationships between signs, symptoms or symbols and objects. This also includes e.g. recognition and recollection of patterns, similarities, sensory perceptions, self-perception, etc. In the ideal case, the ability to apply generalizations to future cases is acquired while learning. See also knowledge, knowledge-how, competence.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Chris Frith on Learning - Dictionary of Arguments

I 112
Learning/Frith: most of what we learn as children, we learn without a teacher.
I 117
Learning/cats/Thorndike/Frith: Thorndike showed that cats do not learn by imitation, e.g. "problem cages".
Example: a cat tried to get out of the cage by scratching the bars and biting them. It was by accident that it came to pull the string. Later, it tried everything else first, but always came faster to the string.
Association: this is also associative learning. All animals learn this way.
>Associative Learning
, >Association.
I 118
Def extinction/Frith: associations can be forgotten.
I 119
Superstition/animal/learning/Skinner/Frith: e.g. "Skinner-Box": at regular intervals, which had nothing to do with the behavior of the dove, there was food.
"Superstitious learning": the dove later repeated the movements which it had carried out just before receiving the food.
I 120
Future/learning/Frith: one could say that we learn to "predict the future", but that is nothing we do consciously or deliberately.
Learning/brain/Frith: how does the brain learn?
I 121
Neurotransmitter: a neurotransmitter is a chemical compound that diffuses through a gap and stimulates the behavior of the next neuron.
I 122
Self-stimulation: e.g. a rat gets the opportunity to get neurotransmitters. It then finds it more attractive than food and sex.
I 123
Reward: it was found that dopamine cells did not act like "reward cells". After the training, they stopped responding at the corresponding time. Instead, they moved to a signal before the food, a flash. But when the food did not come they gradually reduced their activity.
Signal/dopamine/reward: here no reward is signaled, but that there is an error in the prediction of the reward. When the juice arrives, the dopamine cells are silent. In the absence of reward the activity of the dopamine cells decreases.
Learning/associative/N.B.: exactly this enables learning without a teacher. If our prediction is wrong, it is a sign that we need to do something to improve our prediction.
I 125
Learning/machines: there are algorithms that allow machines to learn in the same way.
>Machine learning, >Artificial neural networks, >Neural networks.
Def value/associative learning/Frith: e.g. the unconditional stimulus (in Pawlow) has an intrinsic value, a positive value for food (reward), and a negative value for electric shock (penalty). The value works so that everything we get just before the reward becomes more valuable.
I 131
Associative Learning/Frith: associative learning explains how our brain acquires knowledge (unconsciously) for us.
I 225ff
Learning/teaching/child/language/language learning/language acquisition/Frith: a mother who speaks with her baby speaks with a higher voice and emphasizes the differences between the vowels more strongly ("baby talk", "motherese").
>Motherese, >Language acquisition, >Language.
Animal: when the same person talks to a pet, she also speaks in a higher voice, but without emphasizing the vowels. She does not expect to be imitated.
>Development phases.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Frith I
Chris Frith
Making up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World, Hoboken/NJ 2007
German Edition:
Wie unser Gehirn die Welt erschafft Heidelberg 2013

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