Monday, April 23, 2012

Other Forms of Learning

Rational Learning

Knowledge is the outcome sought in this type of learning. Rational learning is intellectual in nature and involves the process of abstraction by which concepts are formed.

Motor Learning

The outcome sought in this type of learning is skill, which may be described as the adaptation of movement to stimuli resulting in speed and precision of performance.

Associational Learning

The outcome sought in this type of learning is the acquisition and retention of facts and information. This type of learning involves the development of associative patterns of learning by which ideas and experiences are retained, recalled and experienced so that one will serve as the stimulus for the revival and recall of other experiences.

Appreciation Learning 

The outcome sought in this type of learning is appreciation of aesthetic improvement. Appreciation involved both intellectual and emotional elements. It is a sensitive awareness to and perception of the importance or utility of information in its relation to other fields and in the development of attitudes and tastes.

Appreciational Learning 

This involves the process of acquiring attitudes, ideals, satisfactions, judgment and knowledge concerning values as well as the recognition of worth and importance that the learner gains from participating in the learning activities.

Latent Learning

This refers to some learning not visible immediately for it takes conscious effort to organize the material and draw synthesis of experiences. This may come later as it entails time for processing. Latent learning refers to any learning that is not demonstrated by behavior at the time of the learning. Learning goes on partly through automatic processes with little rational direction from the learner and in part, through processes where the learner perceives relationships and acts with knowledge.

Learning Curves

The course of learning proficiency can be plotted in learning curves. Learning curves refer to graphical illustration, which shows a change in the subject’s performance as an effect of practice. In learning anything of even moderate complexity, several repetitions are required. One cannot be expected to master a complex or elaborate task in a single try, no matter what the degree of motivation or value of the reward is. The clearest way to illustrate the effect of practice is to graph learning on successive trials. In learning to type, for example, we can do only a few words per minute at first. But with practice, greater speed is attained. A typical learning curve shows an upward course of improvement, but with marked up and down fluctuations (skewed curve) that are the result of chance conditions usually are caused by factors such as mood, health and motivation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Thinking Process of Humans

All psychological processes are responses of individuals to stimulations. This fact is often represented by the formula S-O-R, where S represents the stimuli (plural form for stimulus), O is the organism and R is the organism’s response. The sequence is as follows: (1) a stimulus strikes a receptor; (2) the receptor stimulates the dendrites of a sensory neuron making a nerve impulse travel to the afferent or incoming fiber to the end brush; (3) the impulse crosses the synaptic connection or junction and stimulates the dendrites of a connector neuron in the spinal cord; (4) the impulse passes another synapse from the connector neuron to the dendrites of an efferent or outgoing neuron; (5) the impulse passes along the efferent fiber to its end brush; (6) an effector – a muscle or gland – responds.

There are number of known processes of neural circuits and networks. Among them are the following:

Synaptic Summation – The impulse reaching a synapse from a single fiber may not bridge the synapse but two or more impulses arriving within a very brief period may cause a response. For example, when one stimulus is applied to one area of the skin and will not produce a response, a second stimulus applied nearby and almost simultaneously will carry the impulse across the synapse. With two impulses arriving within 15 milliseconds of one another, there is a summation of effects which produces a response.

Alternative Nerve Pathways – A chain of efferent neuron, one connector neuron and one efferent neuron functions to carry a neural message. Hundreds of nerve fibers are involved in even the simplest sensory-motor arc. Each of the many incoming fibers can make connections with many efferent fibers. A proliferation of possible pathways from stimulus to response is responsible for a variety of responses to the same stimulus. Many of these responses will be present particularly if the connector neurons of the higher brain centers are involved.

Reverberation – The nervous system does not always simply transmit a message and lie idly expectant and ready for a next stimulus. Because of the complex arrangement of neuron in the central nervous system, in many cases, the incoming impulse travels over the involved neural network and comes back again to restimulate the neuron originally bringing the impulse. The circular networks make possible a reverberation, which may continue long after the initial stimulus is removed. This can cause a motor response to continue and persist for a long time.

Temporal Summation – Summation may occur if the second stimulus is applied within 15 milliseconds after the first. There is recruitment, a process similar to summation, when a repeated stimulus sets off a response which a single stimulus failed to do. Repetitive stimulation brings additional pathways into action.

Reciprocal Innervations – This refers to the automatic process whereby there is simultaneous excitation of a set of motor neurons and inhibition of another. In many physical movements, there are two opposing sets of muscles. For the arms and legs, for example, the extensor muscles must tighten when the flexor muscles relax. If the action is to bend, the opposite happens. Through the mechanism of reciprocal innervations, only one set of muscles is activated at one time. Adjustive movement becomes possible.

Irradiation – as the strength of a stimulus is increased, even in a stimulus to a reflex arc, there is an involvement of more sensory connecting and effect fibers; and therefore, a more extensive response. The number of muscles used is increased because more sensory fibers are activated.

Timing – It takes time for neural impulses to travel along a fiber and more time for a synaptic connection. The amount of time involved in a simple sensory-motor process increases with the distance the impulses have to travel, and more significantly, with the number of synapses between the stimulus and the response. Simple reflex actions are very rapid, while more complex responses require a longer time.


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