Fundamentals of Learning and Memory

Fundamentals of Learning and Memory

2nd Edition - January 1, 1981

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  • Author: John P. Houston
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483277561

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Fundamentals of Learning and Memory, Second Edition provides information pertinent to the basic conditioning processes. This book presents an integration of the fields of animal and human learning. Organized into six parts encompassing 17 chapters, this edition begins with an overview of the definition of learning that encompasses many of the elements of alternative definitions. This text then considers the processes of acquisition, including a detailed discussion of contiguity, practice, and reinforcement. Other chapters include an extensive discussion of issues, problems, and alternative theories within the field of retention. This book discusses as well the problem of transfer, with emphasis on stimulus generation and transfer of training. The final chapter deals with behavior modification as a general method for understanding, altering, and controlling behavior, which differs dramatically from more traditional clinical or therapeutic approaches. This book is a valuable resource for psychologists, behavior therapists, behavior modification theorists, and psychology students.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    Preface to the First Edition

    Part I. Introduction

    Chapter 1. What Is Learning? A Word Definition and Some Examples

    A Verbal Definition of Learning

    Examples of Learning


    Chapter 2. Classical and Instrumental Conditioning

    Operant and Respondent Conditioning

    Classical Conditioning

    Selected Examples of Instrumental Conditioning


    Chapter 3. Learning Tasks: Some Similarities and Differences

    Is Paired-Associate Learning Related to Either Classical or Instrumental Conditioning?

    Classical and Instrumental Conditioning Compared

    Similarities Among Paired-Associate Learning, Classical Conditioning, and Instrumental Conditioning



    Chapter 4. Biological Limits

    The "Interchangeable-Parts" Conception of Learning

    The Continuum of Preparedness

    Bait Shyness: Taste Aversion

    Species-Specific Defense Reactions

    Instinctive Drift


    Implications for General Learning Theory


    Part II. Acquisition

    Chapter 5. The Role of Contiguity in Learning

    The Concept of Contiguity

    What Are Stimuli, Responses, and Associations?

    The Search for Noncontiguous Learning

    Contiguity without Learning



    Chapter 6. The Role of Practice in Learning


    Learning Curves

    Hull's System: A Theory of Gradual Growth

    All-or-None Theory

    Patterns of Practice

    Levels of Processing



    Chapter 7. Reinforcement: Facts and Theory

    Operational and Theoretical Definitions

    Parameters of Reinforcement

    Secondary Reinforcement

    Theories of Reinforcement



    Part III. Transfer

    Chapter 8. Generalization and Discrimination


    Discrimination and Stimulus Control

    Discrimination Processes in Humans

    Response Differentiation


    Chapter 9. Transfer of Training

    Transfer Designs: Specific and Nonspecific Transfer

    Specific Transfer: Similarity Effects

    The Stage Analysis of Transfer of Training

    Generalization and Transfer of Training

    Mediation Paradigms and Transfer of Training

    Part-Whole Transfer in Free Recall

    Negative Transfer in Problem Solving

    Transfer Effects in Animals


    Part IV. Retention

    Chapter 10. Interference and Memory

    Proactive Inhibition

    Retroactive Inhibition

    Decay Versus Interference

    Variables Affecting PI and RI

    The Generality of Interference Effects

    The Two-Factor Theory of Forgetting

    Challenges to Unlearning

    A Further Challenge: Accessibility Versus Unavailability

    Reducing Interference Effects


    Chapter 11. Information Processing and Memory

    The Components of Memory: Encoding, Storage, and Retrieval

    Separate-Storage Models

    Sensory Memory, Short-term Store, Long-term Store

    Additional Models: More and Less

    Levels of Processing

    A Continuum of Memory Models


    Chapter 12. Issues in Memory


    Short-term Memory Versus Long-term Memory

    Recognition Versus Recall

    Episodic Versus Semantic Memory

    Animal Memory Versus Human Memory

    Contextual Cues and State-Dependent Memory


    Chapter 13. Structure and Organization in Memory


    Word Association

    Chunking and Rewriting: 7 ± 2

    Clustering in Recall

    Subjective Organization

    Lexical Memory

    Stimulus Selection: Animals and Humans

    Mental Images


    Issues in Organization


    Part V. Cognitive Processes

    Chapter 14. Concepts and Problems

    What Is Concept Formation?

    Simple Concept Formation

    Complex Concept Learning: Rules Versus Prototypes

    Animals and Concepts

    Problem Solving

    Gestalt Interpretations

    Three Modern Ideas: Subgoals, Heuristics, Strategies

    Transfer in Problem Solving

    Knowledge and Problem Solving

    Planning and Problem Solving


    Chapter 15. Language

    The Importance of Language

    Language Development




    Apes and Language


    Part VI. Extensions and Applications

    Chapter 16. The Physical Basis of Learning



    The Physical Brain

    The Electrical Brain

    The Chemical Brain

    The Synapse: Chemical and Electrical Interaction


    Chapter 17. Behavior Modification


    Positive Reinforcement

    Negative Reinforcement

    Extinction Techniques

    Punishment Techniques

    Cognitive Behavior Modification

    Mixed Methods

    The Problem of Generalization



    Name Index

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 658
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1981
  • Published: January 1, 1981
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483277561

About the Author

John P. Houston

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