learning & memory
Basic Concepts in Classical Conditioning

Since Pavlov's time in the beginning of this century, research on classical conditioning has increased to a complexity level that is hardly comprehensible but to a few experts in the various fields this science has spawned. On the neurobiological side, research has come to a point where the molecular events can be traced that lead to the long lasting modification of the synapses responsible for the learning behavior in the animal. On the systemic side, psychologists have devised a plethora of behavioral experiments, the sophistication of which has steadily increased over the decades. With this wealth of data it was possible to develop mathematical models that predict the empirical findings to a rather astonishing extent. Today, neuronal nets have incorporated these models and developed them further. From molecules to behavior - the simple concept of classical conditioning has lead to an overwhelmingly successful multi-level approach to investigate into the mechanisms of learning.
This collection of documents aims to explain the systemic part of this approach. It is based mainly on a lecture in comparative psychology kindly provided by Durham psychologist Bob Kentridge. All documents belonging to this lecture are marked as such on the bottom of each document.