Relational learning and amnesia


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Physiological Psychology

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Relational learning and amnesia

  1. 1. Relational Learning and Amnesia Physiological Psychology Tashara Thomas O’niel White
  2. 2. What is Relational Learning? Relational learning is a complex form of learning that involves the relations among individual stimuli; includes spatial learning, episodic learning and observational learning. Learning, so far has been described/understood as changes in circuits of neurons that detects the presence of a particular stimuli or as a strengthened connections between neurons that analyze sensory information and those that produce responses.
  3. 3. What is Relational Learning? However most forms of learning are complex, as memory is a much needed aspect, it becomes complex as most memories are related to other memories. When seeing someone you know neural circuits in the visual association cortex that recognize your friend’s face are connected to other circuits in many other parts of the brain and these circuits are connected to many others.
  4. 4. Memory Memory is the retention of information over a period of time. There are two types of long term memory; these are declarative and non-declarative memory. Non-declarative memory refers to a collective of nonconscious knowledge systems that operate outside of awareness
  5. 5. Memory Declarative memory is the kind of memory impaired in amnesia, and it refers to the capacity to remember the facts and events of everyday life.
  6. 6. Memory
  7. 7. Amnesia Amnesia refers to difficulty in learning new information or in remembering the past. Neurological amnesia is characterized by a loss of declarative memory. There are two types of amnesia anterograde and retrograde amnesia.
  8. 8. Anterograde Amnesia This is difficulty in learning new information. A person with pure anterograde amnesia can remember events that occurred in the past, during the time before the brain damage occurred but cannot retain information he/she encounters after the damage.
  9. 9. Korsakoff’s Syndrome In 1889, Sergei Korsakoff a Russian physician first described a severe memory impairment caused by brain damage and as a result the disorder was given his name “Korsakoff Syndrome”.
  10. 10. Korsakoff’s Syndrome The most profound symptom of Korsakoff syndrome is a severe anterograde amnesia. Patients with this syndrome appear to be unable to form new memories although they can still remember old ones. They can converse normally and can remember events that happened long before their brain damage.
  11. 11. Anterograde amnesia can also be caused by damage to the temporal lobe.
  12. 12. Korsakoff’s Syndrome Scoville and Milner (1957) reported that bilateral removal of the medial temporal lobe produced a memory impairment in humans that was apparently identical to that seen in Korsakoff’s Syndrome.
  13. 13. Semantic and Episodic Memory The memory impairment in amnesia involves both difficulty in learning factual information (semantic memory) as well as difficulty in learning about specific episodes and events that occurred in a certain time and place (episodic memory). The term semantic memory is often used to describe declarative memory for organized world knowledge (Tulving, 1983)
  14. 14. Semantic and Episodic Memory In recalling this type of information, one need not remember any particular past event. One needs only to know about certain facts. Episodic memory, by contrast, is autobiographical memory for the events of one’s life (Tulving, 1983). Unlike semantic memory, episodic memory includes spatial and temporal landmarks that identify the particular time and place when an event occurred.
  15. 15. Semantic and Episodic Memory Both episodic memory and semantic memory are declarative. The memory deficit in amnesia is global, in that it encompasses all sensory modalities (e.g., visual, auditory, olfactory). That is, memory is impaired regardless of the kind of material that is presented and the sensory modality in which information is presented.
  16. 16. Retrograde Amnesia This is the inability to remember events that happened before the brain damage occurred. The extent of retrograde amnesia can be relatively short and encompass only one or two years, or it can be more extensive and cover decades. Even when retrograde amnesia is extensive, memories for the facts and events of childhood and adolescence are typically intact.
  17. 17. Learning Many psychologist believe that learning consists of two stages; short term memory and long term memory. They conceive of short term memory as a means of storing a limited amount of information temporarily and long term memory as a means of storing an unlimited amount.
  18. 18. Learning Model
  19. 19. Learning Short term memory is an immediate memory for stimuli that have just been perceived. We can remember an item of information such as a phone number for as long as we want to by engaging in a particular behavior: rehearsal. However, once we stop rehearsing the information we might or might not be able to remember it later. That is the information might or might not get stored in long term memory.
  20. 20. Anterograde Amnesia: Failure of Relational Learning As is often argued, anterograde amnesia appears to be a loss of the ability to establish new declarative memories; the ability to establish new non-declarative memories (perceptual, stimulus response, or motor learning) is intact.
  21. 21. Anterograde Amnesia: Failure of Relational Learning The phenomenon of anterograde amnesia and its implications have led investigators to study it in laboratory animals. A result of this they have found that damage to the hippocampus, or to regions that supply inputs and receive inputs causes anterograde amnesia.
  22. 22. Anterograde Amnesia: Failure of Relational Learning The most important input to the hippocampal formation comes from the entorhinal cortex. The entorhinal cortex receives information from the cingulate cortex and all regions of the association cortex, either directly or via two adjacent regions of the limbic cortex; the perirhinal cortex and the parahippocampal cortex.
  23. 23. Anterograde Amnesia: Failure of Relational Learning
  24. 24. Anterograde Amnesia: Failure of Relational Learning Memory is organized. When asked about breakfast for example. You may recall as set of perceptual memories – memories that occurred at a particular time and place. During the experience the hippocampus ties memories with it. And as a result the enables us to learn the relationship between the stimuli that were present at the time – the context – and the events themselves.
  25. 25. Anterograde Amnesia: Failure of Relational Learning Anterograde amnesia then appears to be the loss of the ability to learn about the relationships among stimuli, including the time place in which it occurred and the order of the occurrences.
  26. 26. Anterograde Amnesia: Spatial Memory People with Anterograde Amnesia are unable to consolidate information about the location of rooms corridors, buildings, roads and other important items in their environment. Bilateral Damage to the hippocampal formation produces the most profound impairment to spatial memory.
  27. 27. Spatial Memory and Relational Learning As a result of damage to the hippocampus you are then unable to distinguish between contexts, which include space and time. The hippocampus contains neurons that respond when in a particular location, this implies that the hippocampus contains neural networks that keep track of the relations between stimuli that then defines the location to you.
  28. 28. THE END!