neurophysiological theory Essay examples

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Neurophysiological and Evolutionary Theories Paper

For one who may be interested in the neurophysiological or evolutionary theories of psychology, one need not look any further than Donald Olding Hebb who has been described as the father of neuropsychology and Robert C. Bolles who did most of his work in experimental psychology. Hebb is best known for his theory of Hebbian Learning which was introduced in his 1949 work: The Organization of Behavior. As far as his contributions to learning and cognition, his most important contribution was his conceptual demonstration that we could study higher cognitive processes by using single neurons and synapses as
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This is often paraphrased as “neurons that fire together wire together.” The combination of neurons which could be grouped together as one processing unit were called “cell assemblies.” Their combination of connections makes up the ever changing algorithm which dictated the brains response to the stimuli. To Hebb, the cell assembly is the neurological basis of an idea or thought. This is how he explains why houses, cows, or loved ones need not be present for us to think of them (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2013). Hebb argued that in infants and children, learning involves setting up new cell assemblies. In adults, however, learning more often includes fine-tuning existing cell assemblies. As for Robert C. Bolles, learning involves the development of expectancies. That means that organisms learn that one kind of event reliably precedes another event (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2013). Expectancy learning in Bolle’s theory does not require reinforcement. The temporal order and contiguity between two stimuli or between a response and its consequence determine the nature of the learned expectancy. For example, a flash of lightning becomes a predictor for thunder. Some major theoretical concepts associated with Robert C. Bolle’s model is
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