Article

Neuroscience of Associative Learning

Gabrielle Weidemann and Gavan McNally

in Psychology

ISBN: 9780199828340
Published online November 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0080
Neuroscience of Associative Learning

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
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  • Educational Psychology
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Associative learning involves the encoding of relationships between events, for example, between two stimuli or between a stimulus and a response. Associative learning is distinguished from nonassociative learning, which involves only a single stimulus. In the narrowest definition of associative learning, it is restricted to the learning that occurs during classical conditioning and instrumental conditioning. However, associative learning can also be used more broadly to encompass all memory for the relationship between events and as such includes other forms of short-term and long-term memory. During the 20th century and since 1980 in particular, vast gains were made in understanding the neural mechanisms of associative learning, particularly the neuroscience of classical and instrumental conditioning and of associative memories. Much of this newfound knowledge has come from the study of a relatively small number of model systems: preparations in animals in which the essential neurocircuitry, as well as the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying associative learning, can be isolated and analyzed. While there are some reference works that summarize the commonalities in associative learning processes across these different model systems, much of literature is devoted to describing the neurobiology of a particular model system. The first section of this bibliography introduces some articles and reference works that review the neuroscience of associative learning and memory across a variety of different model preparations and synthesize the commonalities across these different preparations. It also recommends journals that publish high-quality empirical and review articles on the neuroscience of associative learning across the various different model preparations. The bibliography’s remaining sections examine the neuroscience of associative learning in particular model systems.

Article.  11063 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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