How do brain cells change when learning takes place?

Course Text: Garrett, B. (2015). Brain and Behavior: An Introduction to Biological Psychology, (4th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.

Chapter 12, “Learning and Memory” (pp. 373-401)

Chapter 13, “Intelligence and Cognitive Functioning” (pp. 403-437)

Associative Long-Term Potentiation (Brain and Behavior, Figure 12.10)

This sequence demonstrates the neural basis of associative long-term potentiation.

Glutamate’s Role in Long-Term Potentiation (Brain and Behavior, Figure 12.11)

This sequence shows how long-term potentiation occurs as a result of changes in synaptic activity.

Application: Learning and Memory

When you study for a course and prepare to make use of the information you learn, such as taking a test or completing an Application Assignment, what exactly is going on in your brain? In this assignment, you will need to think about how the information assigned for this week applies to this very question. Given what you have learned about learning and memory, you also will need to think about whether your own learning habits are efficient, or if you should be doing something differently.

To prepare for this assignment:

Review the Learning Resources focusing on learning and memory, paying special attention to the following:

How do brain cells change when learning takes place?

Where is information initially stored in the brain?

How does information retained short-term become more permanent?

Once information is made more permanent, why is it subject to change or forgetting?

The assignment:

Briefly explain how you study for this class.

What activities do you engage in to learn the material?

How much time per week do you devote to reading the assigned chapters?

How frequently do you review the week’s material before moving on to the next week?

Is your pattern of studying for this class similar to or different from how you study for other classes? Explain.

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