Biological Constraints in Classical Conditioning

1993 Words Mar 29th, 2013 8 Pages
What are the biological constraints in Classical Conditioning? Report the procedure and results of two studies supporting your answer.

Word count: 1500 words excluding references

A biological constraint in learning theory refers to an inherited tendency to learn and create certain relationships, and it has been said that some species are much more readily than others in learning such behaviour. Therefore it involves the factors which make populations resistant to evolutionary change and the animals biological make up. In this paper I will attempt to explain the bases of the original biological approaches to learning in classical conditioning in humans and animals, make comparison between animals and the association of fears
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Garcia et al research (Mazure, 2004) proves otherwise, as he shows rats initially made to drink the saccharine-flavoured water, injected with the poison after a delayed interval between the drinking and the drug, developed aversions to the saccharine flavoured water even after 24hours of delay. This illustrates, even when the CS-US is delayed, learning takes place and the ability to do so is adaptive in all species supporting that a general process learning theory is effective. The rat’s biological make-up has an innate tendency to associate illness with the taste of food previously eaten after one trial. Pairing a light with a paw shock, on the other hand, takes several trials to acquire and has low tendency to associate illness with visual or auditory stimuli. Whereas the rats are more likely to associate a painful event like shock with external auditory and visual than with taste stimuli. This revolves around preparedness and we can say that the laws of learning may vary with preparedness of the organism for the association and for those different physiological and cognitive mechanisms (McGowan, & Green, 1971). Louge (1981) also supports taste aversion as a classical conditioning biological constraint learned behaviour on humans as he carried out a questionnaire which resulted in students declaring they were aversive to certain foods. Characteristics, such as smell, sight and texture were also discovered.

The equipotentiality principle on
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