Theoretical accounts of spatial learning: a neurobiological view (commentary on Pearce, 2009)

The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology : QJEP
Kathryn J Jeffery

Abstract

Theories of learning have historically taken, as their starting point, the assumption that learning processes have universal applicability. This position has been argued on grounds of parsimony, but has received two significant challenges: first, from the observation that some kinds of learning, such as spatial learning, seem to obey different rules from others, and second, that some kinds of learning take place in processing modules that are separate from each other. These challenges arose in the behavioural literature but have since received considerable support from neurobiological studies, particularly single neuron studies of spatial learning, confirming that there are indeed separable (albeit highly intercommunicating) processing modules in the brain, which may not always interact (within or between themselves) according to classic associative principles. On the basis of these neurobiological data, reviewed here, it is argued that rather than assuming universality of associative rules, it is more parsimonious to assume sets of locally operating rules, each specialized for a particular domain. By this view, although almost all learning is associative in one way or another, the behavioural-level characterization of the rule...Continue Reading

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Citations

Aug 29, 2012·Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences·Sara J Shettleworth
Nov 21, 2014·The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology : QJEP·Matthew G BuckleyMark Haselgrove
Aug 13, 2013·Acta Psychologica·Youcef BouchekiouaMikael Molet
May 31, 2016·Cognitive Psychology·Matthew G BuckleyMark Haselgrove
May 21, 2019·The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology : QJEP·Ruojing Zhou, Weimin Mou
Aug 23, 2019·Learning & Behavior·José A AlcaláJuan M Rosas

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