Human Eye Blink Conditioning - Conditioning Essay Example

            Classical conditioning has four components: unconditioned stimulus (US), conditioned stimulus (CS), unconditioned response (UR), and conditioned response (CR). The unconditioned stimulus can be used to elicit an unconditioned response. When the unconditioned stimulus is paired with conditioned stimulus, there can have an unconditioned response even without the unconditioned stimulus. When that happens, the unconditioned response becomes a learned or conditioned response.

This theory of classical conditioning was demonstrated using the Human Eye Blink Conditioning. The US was the puff of air right onto the cornea which makes the eye blink. The CS used was a buzzer sound. To make the association, the US was presented 1-2 seconds after the offset of the CS thirty-five times. The response of the participant after every pairing was recorded to see if there has been an association or if the CR has already been acquired. After that, the US was removed in order to extinguish the CR

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 Data:

Trials
CR Acquired
CR Extinguished
Trials
CR Acquired
CR Extinguished

Time after the onset of US
Response
Response
Time after the onset of US
Response
Response

1
1
x
y
19
1
y
x

2
1
x
y
20
1
y
x

3
1
x
y
21
1
y
x

4
1.33
x
y
22
1
y
x

5
1
x
y
23
1
y
x

6
1
y
y
24
1
y
x

7
1
y
y
25
1
y
x

8
1
y
y
26
1
y
x

9
1.2
y
y
27
1
y
x

10
1.1
y
x
28
1
y
x

11
1
y
x
29
1
y
x

12
1
y
y
30
1
y
x

13
1
y
x
31
1
y
x

14
1
x
y
32
1
y
x

15
1
y
y
33
1
y
x

16
1
y
x
34
1
y
x

17
1
y
x
35
1
y
x

18
1
y
x
x = blinking after US
y = blinking before US

For the thirty-five paring of the CS and US, thirty one of it has resulted in the participant blinking even before the US. For the first pairings, the participant was observed not to respond on the CS alone. They would wait for the US before they could blink. After a few pairings the participant was conditioned to blink at the sound of the buzzer. When the US was removed, the participants still blink at the sound of the buzzer, but after some trials, they’ve started not to blink when they hear the sound of the buzzer.

            The figure above shows the probability of the conditioned response during the trial wherein the CS is paired with the US (CR acquired) and during the trial when the US was removed (CR extinguished).

            The results show that conditioning was achieved in this experiment. An association of the two stimuli was achieved as evidenced by the response the participant gave when one of it was removed. The participant has learned to blink at the sound of the buzzer because the participant already knew that right after the sound of the buzzer, a puff of air will be blown to his eyes. For several times, the participant kept on blinking after the buzz. After he learned that there’ll be no puff of air that will accompany the sound of the buzz, he started not to blink at the sound of it. This shows that conditioning was achieved.

Reference:

Kentridge, R.W. What are associations made? Retrieved December 12, 2008 from http://brembs.net/classical/where.html.

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