PAVLOV, CLASSICAL CONDITIONING, AND

CONDITIONED EMOTIONAL RESPONSES

 

1. BIOGRAPHY. Ivan P. Pavlov born in 1849 in the provincial town of Ryazan in central Russia. His father was village priest and mother the daughter of a priest, but both parents had to earn living by working all day in fields as peasants. Oldest of 11 children. This position meant responsibility and hard work at an early age, qualities he kept all his life. At age 10 a serious fall resulting in a blow to the head lead to a long convalescence in his godfather's care, the abbot of a nearby monastery. The busy abbot encouraged Ivan to read, but insisted that the enthusiastic boy write down his observations and comments before he would talk about the reading with him. This habit started Pavlov on a lifelong habit of systematic observation and reporting. Did not attend school until age 11 due the accident, but his father had tutored him at home, and in 1860 he entered a theological seminary, intending to enter priesthood. After reading Darwin, changed his mind, won a government scholarship, and in 1870 walked serveral hundred miles to attend St. Petersburg University, where he studied animal physiology, and then the Imperial Medical-Surgical Academy where he received M.D. in 1883. He was

 

too well-educated and too intelligent for the peasantry from which he came, but too common and too poor for the aristocracy into which he could never rise. These social conditions often produced an especially dedicated intellectual, one whose entire life was centered on the intellectual pursuits that justified his existence. And so it was with Pavlov, whose almost fanatic devotion to pure science and to experimental research was supported ty the energy and simplicity of a Russian peasant."

 

In his lab, experiments were run and replicated by the hundreds. New workers never assigned to new or independent projects, but required instead to replicate experiements already done. They learned about work in progress and gave Pavlov a check on the reliability of previous work. If they failed, another replication by a third party was ordered to resolve the discrepancy. As an old man he wrote, "First of all, be systematic. I repeat, be systematic. Train yourself to be strictly systematic in the acquisition of knowledge."

Work on physiology of digestive glands brought him a Nobel Prize in 1904.

 

2. INTEGRATED MIND AND BODY. "Pavlov created the body and breathed it into the mind," said Gregory Razran in 1965.

Descartes had said that we have (or are) a mind trapped in the physical structure of a body. He viewed the body as a marvelous machine. Reflected in science fiction stories about transferring a mind into a different body.

Pavlov and his colleagues: The mind is the product of the workings of a living body, not as a separate entity. Similar to Aristotle's view. Psychological and biological factors are inseparable, so there is no specific ailment that could be called psychosomatic. Any disease is psychosomatic.

In 1959, Platanov wrote, "In light of the theory of the unity of mind and body, any somatic disease is indissolubly connected with the state of the patient's higher nervous activity. (p. 12, ref in Malone)

 

3. SECHENOV. Pavlov dubbed his teacher Sechenov the "father of Russian physiology." Sechenov developed reflex theory and Pavlov followed up and expanded his work. Sechenov had studied with distinguished German physiologists like Johanes Muller, Hermann von Helmholz, and Freud's teacher Ernst Wilhelm von Brucke.

Sechenov emphasized:

(1) Reflexes. "All psychical acts without exception, if they are not complicated by emotion. . . develop by way of reflex. Hence, all conscious movements resulting from these acts and usually described as voluntary are reflex movements in the strict sense of the term."

(2) The organism/environment field. "The organism cannot exist without the external environment which supports it, hence the scientific definition of the organism must also include the environment." Lewin as well as Pavlov followed him in this view.

 

4. SHERRINGTON. Another foundation of his work: Sir Charles Sherrington's findings on the importance of excitation and inhibition in the workings of the spinal cord. Parlov tried to show that excitation and inhibition were likewise evident in the workings of the brain.

 

5. CONDITIONED REFLEX. At turn of century, Pavlov (1849-1936) began to investigate "psychic reflexes."

When food placed in dog's mouth, dog would salivate. This reflex required no experience to be triggered by appropriate stimulus. Pavlov found that other stimuli that bore no "wired-in" relation to salivation could also trigger salivary reflex if they regularly preceded food delivery. First CS, then US.

Pavlov devoted the rest of his life to studying these conditioned reflexes, as they came to be called.

First translations of his "psychological" work into English were in 1927. Earlier impact on American thinking was word of mouth aand hearsay.

 

6. GOAL: TO UNDERSTAND BRAIN. Pavlov's aim: to work out the principles that govern the workings of the cerebral cortex, the "seat of the mind." Used animal subjects and the CR as main agent of communication with brain. Developed a model of brain function based on fields of excitation and inhibition.

His impact in America has been restricted to the bare flact of classical conditioning, the necessary conditions of association and the nature of the associations formed.

To Pavlov, the conditioned response were merely the key to unlock the secrets of the brain. His primary interest: not in a theory of learning but to develop techniques for studying the brain. Pavlov's approach is different from the S-R psychology of American behaviorism --it's an S-N (neuronal process)-R theory.

 

7. RESOLUTION OF ANIMAL-HUMAN GAP. learning in people thought of as acquisition of ideas, perceptions, logical relations etc. Behavior of animals thought of as reflexive and automatic.

Discovery of "psychic" or conditioned reflexes presented a dilemma. The new behavior couldn't be interpreted in the terms of human learning, but had to be simply a new reflex. So Pavlov expanded concet of reflex to include learned reactions, and behavior must reflect correspoding events in nervous system.

Pavlov did distinguish between the "first signal system," sensations arising from the outside world, and the "second signal system," which consists of stimuli that reach people in the form of speech. In his view the latter applied only to humans. Conditioned reflexes represent learning contingent on the first signal system. Recent work with primates has shown than apes can respond to a sign language mediated second signal system, and apparently to dolphins and whales.

 

8. DISTRACTING STIMULI AND ORIENTING RESPONSE. Careful control of experimental situation needed. Difficult to condition a dog on the street due to distraction. Unstead of giving the CR, animal will be constantly producing investigative responses. To know the properties of a given response, must rule out distracting stimuli.

INVESTIGATORY REFLEX to novel stimuli. Now called orienting response. Occurs when individuals are concerned or naturally curious or an attention-gettig stimulus occurs. Allied to attention. Fading of this reflex called HABITUATION. Disruption of an already established habituation is called DISHABITUATION.

Relevant: Sokolov's (1960) brain-systems theory. Heightened response is provided by ascending retuclar formation of brain, which also discharges arousal, making one sensitive to stimuli. Like urbanites who get accustomed to high level of sound.

 

9. FISTULAS. Method of study: stomach fistula, or "Pavlovian pouch." When fistula made into esophagus so food spills out & doesn't go into stomach, response almost as strong as when it does go into stimulus. Called food in mouth an anticipatory stimulus; then found that sight of dish or even attendant would elicit secretion.

 

10. CLASSICAL CONDITIONING MODEL:

 

CS

US -- R

 

The procedure that produces classical conditioning: pairing of CS and US.

 

Timing:

 

CS -------------- "Simultaneous"

US -----------------

 

CS ------------------------ Delay (works well:

US -------

 

CS ------ Trace

US -------

 

CS ------- Backward (works poorly)

US --------

 

with delay conditioning in animals, in most cases max. delays for successful conditioning, several minutes. Optimum time interval--about half a second.

 

Depends on elicited behavior. Sometimes called respondent.

 

11. CHOICE OF STIMULI AND RESPONSES

Choice of a particular UR limits the stimuli that can serve as a US--US must be a strong stimulus that will consistently and unconditionally elicit UR.

By contrast, Pavlov found that virtually any kind of stimulus can serve as a CS to signal the oncoming US.

 

12. INTENSITY OF STIMULI

Within the limits set by inhibition, the more intense the CS, the faster the conditioning and the larger tHe CR tends to be. But if CS is so intense that it elicits pain or fear, we get a defensive reaction.

CS does not have to be emotionally neutrall --just more nearly neutral than the US. If US is intense enough, CS may be far from neutral. Ex: Spragg (1940) found tat hypodermic syringe initially evoked defensive behavior. After it had been used numerous times to give morphine injectios, animals would go hunting fr it.

ONSET of a stimulus, like light or noise, is usually more effective CS than stimulus termination.

 

13. Viewed a complex behavior as an integrated series of stimulus-response events. Because each part Of the series is a reflex, the entire performance classed as a reflex. "Self-defense reflex" consists of large # of specific behaviors taken together.

 

14. CS & US

Subsequent writers: one common view: conditioning consists of learning by stimulus substitution. But not

consistent with what is known now. CR is different from UR in many respects.

Example:

Notterman, Schoenfeld, & Bersh.

Sit subjects in a chair. Remain as quiet as possible for 90 min. Heasure heart rate with electrocardiograph. US--mild electric shock to left hand. CS--audible tone.

After 11 pairings, heart rate CR developed. But whereas UR was a heart-rate acceleration, CR involved a deceleration.

Closer look suggests that in nerly all cases of supposed stimulus substitution differences between CR and UR exist.

 

15. For Pavlov, all behavior, both instinctive (unconditional) and learned (conditional), explained on the basis of ELICITING STIMULI. Pavlov's viw of learning --emphasized LEARNED EQUIVALENCE OF STIMULI, not SR connections as American psychology did. Conceived of US as a signal: the CS signals the US.

 

16. COMPOUND STIMULI

Why does the response link itself only to the tone, the light, or the experimenter's touch? Do not other stimuli in the situation accompanythe resentation of food?

Explanation: these stimuli are present not only when reinforcement is given, but also under conditions of non reinforcement, so extinction occurs.

 

16. DISCRIMINATION LEARNING AND DISCRIMINATIVE STIMULI. Describe. Controversy: Generalization: a separate process, or failure of discrimination?

 

17. EXTINCTION. Pavlov discovered basic process. In a sense it is a process of "unlearning," eliminating unuseful cues. Discrimination, or the shaping of behavior, involves the extinction of unwanted responses.

NOTE DIFFERENCE AMONG EXTINCTION

AVERSIVE OR AVOIDANCE CONDITIONING

PUNISHMENT

 

18. SPONTANEOUS RECOVERY.

 

19. INHIBITION. An "excitatory" CS more or less reliably predicts an UCS. It produces a CR. An "inhibitory" CS more or less reliably predicts no UCS.

Note that these words refer to the predictive character of the CS, not whether what is predicted is good or bad. Thus an excitatory CS may predict food or strong shock.

EX.: hungry dog is fed small bits of food. Just before each piece, green light comes on & stays on while food delivered.

At other times, tone is briefly sounded and no food is presented. Soon, no tendency to respond after food.

Then conditions change. Light comes on, dog still given food. Also given food on one occasion with neither light nor tone on. Accepts and eats it. Then light and food are presented, followed by tone and food presented during tone. Does dog eat food? No. It turns away. If food forced on dog, it refuses it! Then the green light comes on, food is offered, and dog eats it.

The tone has become inhibitory: It evokes an "antifood" response.

It is likely that such effects are common in human experience and behavior as well.

 

20. CONDITIONED INHIBITION is a case of the more general process of the inhibition that forms in the process of discrimination learning (or as Pavlov called it, a differentiation).

 

21. AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM functions are the responses most easily conditioned classically. They involve the action of glands and smooth muscles. These effectors are often associated with states of emotion. Ex.--fear: saliva dries up, sweat pours out, skin cools, pupils dilate, etc.

Emotional states as well as behavior can be induced through classical conditioning.

 

22. HIGHER ORDER CONDITIONING.

Study by Forsikov: 3rd order conditioning.

 

S (shock) --------------- R (foot withdrawal)

I.

S (touch) ---------///

 

 

S (touch) -------------- R (foot withdrawal)

II.

S (bubbling water)---//

 

 

S (bubbling water ) ----R (foot withdrawal)

III.

S (tone)---------///

 

But very weak, very unstable.

 

Everyday life example: Males:

US woman's touch, ---------------- UR arousal and physical contact security

 

I.

CS picture of scantily clad,---///

apparently warm, friendly

woman

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

US picture of woman --------------- UR arousal and security

II.

CS expensive cars, clothes,---///

surroundings

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

US expensive cars etc. ------------- UR arousal and security

III.

CS "Prestige" brand deoderant ---//

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

23. CLASSICAL CONDITIONING OF FEAR, & ONE-TRIAL LEARNING

Conditioning can be an automatic process that takes place at all levels of awareness. Many attitudes, behavioral dispositions, and even thought patterns are acquired through accidental classical conditioning processes. The numerous \random pairings of events\ in our environments can produce conditioned emotional responses. Example: noise lightning and thunderstorm at night--come to fear the dark. Consider the thousands of different kinds of fears people have. (mention "preparedness.")

Conditioned emotional responses can also generalize to entirely new situations.

 

24. ANXIETY.

Anxiety and fear: anxiety is similar to fear, but the source is vague and poorly defined. Sometimes completely unknown.

In a sense, with classical conditioning, the organism learns to EXPECT the second stimulus. Example: conditioned asthma. Someone who is allergic to goldfish gets a conditioned asthmatic attack from simlply looking at an empty goldfish bowl.

This illustrates that there is some cognitive mediation going on, and indeed classically conditioned emotional states are often complex phenomena made up of cognitive elements as well as changes in bodily states.

 

25. NEUROSIS

Conditioned emotional responses are at the heart of the kinds of problems we call neurotic.

 

26. EXPERIMENTAL NEUROSIS:

Or pair a circle with food presentations and an ellipse with no food. After the discrimination is formed, the stimuli are made more and more similar until subject can no longer distinguish between the two shapes. Dkob becomes agitated, barkes, salivates, bites at its harness, and generally goes beserk. When placed back in the kennel, it may remain "insane" for months or years. Pavlov believed that experimental neurosis resulted from a

conflict between excitation and inhibition and occurs when an impossible problem is posed.

Or rats on jumping stand. Bang into door and fall into net or go through. After learning the proper discrimination, problem changed so there is no correct answer. Random punishment not contingent on the response. Results: shaking, quivering, immobilization, general nonfunctionality.

 

27. CLASSICAL CONDITIONING IN EVERYDAY LIFE

Mealtimes as times of criticism and reproof of child's activities. Anger, shame, sadness, and discomfort by child, along with stomachaches, sweating, headaches.

Other time in dining room, no problem. Other time with parents, no problem. So the signt, taste, and smell of food and internal sensations with it get conditioned to the unpleasant feelings. Later aversions or anxieties connected with food and eating, resulting from interoceptive classical conditioning.

 

28. INTEROCEPTIVE CONDITIONING is classical conditioning in which the CS, UCS, or both are applied to a structure within the body. Soviets have studied this since 1928.

Bykov (1957)

Practical application: May want to increase the activity of a sluggish kidney, increasing its fate of filtering blood and producing urine.

An enema produces these effects (UCS)

Pair a tone, colored light, or other stimulus (CS) is paired with enema (UCS), a conditioned response to the cue appears after less than 20 trials. Periodic repairings will prevent extinction.

Or think of conditioned holding the breath or hyperventilation. Bykov's studies have also substantiated these effects.

 

29. EXAMPLES OF CLASSICALLY CONDITIONED RESPONSES: A. HEART DISTURBANCES

a. Various cardiac responses, like heart rate, blood pressure, etc, can readily be conditioned in the lab.

b. Disturbed cardiac functioning often accompanies experimental neuroses in sheep.

c. 20% to 50% of patients consulting doctors because of cardiac complaints show no recognizable organic lesions.

d. functional heart disturbances --those for which no organic basis is apparent, are found in virtually every type of neuroitic patient to soe degree.

Gantt (1953) has arguedd that almost all CRs have a cardiac component, and that this component is harder to extinguish than the motor components of such responses.

 

B. OTHER CLASSICAL CRS

Bykov reports cnditioed bile and urinary secretions, constriction of blood vessels, and blood sugar. Riess reported that the response to insulin can be conditioned to the stimulus

cues of a hypodermic needle. Smith and Dalinger produced conditioned serological reactions in animals. Kleitman and Crisher produced a conditioned retching response. Asthma, hypertension, peptic ulcer, other disorders can be conditioned. Razran reports many oter kinds of conditioning by the Russians.

By contrast, when I light a candle and sit in cross-legged posture, I feel immediate relaxation, decrease in heart rate and breathing, even before begin carrying out any meditative practice.

 

30. PSYCHOSOMATIC ILLNESS

Effects of classical conditioning on our internal organs has been shown to be pervasive and has many implications for "psychosomatic illness."

 

31. SEMANTIC CONDITIONING

13-year old boy, Yuri, was conditioned to salivate to sentences and numbers. First, savilation was established to Russian words for "good" and "bad" as CS+ and CS-. Then Yuri salivated to sentences like: "The Russian army was victorious," "Leningrad is a beautiful city," or "The enemy army was destroyed and annihilated." Did not respond much to sentences that referred to lazy or disobedient students.

He was also conditioned to salivate to the number 10 and not to 8. Afterward he salivated much more quickly and with many more drops of saliva to figures that represented a difference, a sum, a quotient, or a product of ten than to those related to the number 8.

Russian researchesrs also found that younger or retarded children generalize phonetically rather than in terms of meaning. They respond to words like BEE and TEA rather than BUSH and PINE. Older children and adults tend to generalize semantically.

 

32. CONDITIONING WHERE NOT EXPECTED: "PSEUDOCONDITIONING." ~In defensive situations. Grether (1938) discovered it --Pavlov had missed it. Pretest with bell --little reaction. Then animals frightened by brilliant flash of light --no bell. Then when bell presented along on posttest trial, strong fright reaction. CS never paired with US. Presumably arises from heightened excitability triggered by any novel stimulus.

 

33. "SENSITIZATION" --similar. A stimulus that initally produces a mild defensive behavior can be augmented simply by giving the animal a series of USs alone. Another term for the orienting response.

 

-----------------------------