Psychobiology and Neurobiology of Learning – Alzheimer 360

Psychobiology and Neurobiology of Learning - Alzheimer 360

neurobiology, psychobiology,
Img Src: Harvard School

We have discussed the structures and function of the brain in the earlier articles. Now, we are here to tell you about the psychobiology of learning which is associated with the Neurobiology of psychological functions.

In this article, we will discuss conditional stimulus, unconditional stimulus, biological basis of learning, how information process through the biological systems, spatial learning, research in neuropsychology.

Psychobiology -the branch of science that deals with the biological basis of behavior and mental phenomena

Psychobiology is the branch of science that deals with the biological basis of behavior and mental phenomenon. The psychobiology emerges from the study of the relation between the body and the mind.

The psychobiology is the basis of the discussion between the biological aspect of the brain and the behavior.

Research Area in Psychobiology. The psychobiology covers many kinds of research in the neuroscience like

  • How oily food can impact the brain,
  • how alcohol impacts the behavior and brain.
  • how different impact the behavior of human being and which part of the brain involves in the processing in thoughts

Psychobiology is the emerging and the more profitable degree among the individual who wants to peruse their career in some neuroscience, psychology or any sub-branches.

Psychobiologists show a deep consent in the relation between feelings and the cognition. Psychobiology is the unique prospect in the neuroscience which shapes the human experience according to the biological basis.

Psychobiology is top conselling degree in the feild of psychology and also known as behavioral neuroscience.

There are only four topics in the field of psychology where the psychologist takes a keen interest:-

  1. Learning
  2. Memory
  3. Emotion
  4. Personality

Let’s start our neurobiology or psychobiology with the learning.

Learning in neurobiology or psychobiology

Learning brings forth moderately enduring change in the behavior through experience. Learning primarily involves the formation of associations and relationship.

The input demanding a response is called stimulus (S) and the action made to such input is called response (R). This S-R relationship has been widely talked about in psychology.

A stimulus could be anything; an event, a situation, a condition, a signal or a cue. Further, responses could either be readily observable or not readily evident. The former is referred to as overt behavior whereas the later is called covert behavior.

Under normal circumstances

Conditioned stimulus (CS)                 ->         No response
Unconditioned stimulus (UCS)           ->     Unconditioned response (UR)

During conditioning
Conditioned stimulus (CS)                 ->    Unconditioned response (UR)
Unconditioned stimulus (UCS)

After conditioning
Conditioned stimulus (CS)                ->     Conditioned response (CR)

There are two types of classical conditioning in the field of psychobiology.

1. Classical Reward Conditioning

In classical reward conditioning, a reinforcer rewards the overt behavior Classical

2. Aversive Conditioning

An aversive stimulus is paired with a conditioned stimulus (CS).

Instrumental conditioning

on the other hand, is a form of learning wherein the consequences of behavior produce changes in the response, thus determining the probability of occurrence of the behavior.

Neurobiology / Psychobiology of Learning

Hippocampus and caudate nucleus are the brain structures responsible for these two forms of learning. Hippocampus selectively mediates cognitive memory whereas caudate nucleus mediates SR habit formation.

Hippocampus is supposed to facilitate rapid subjective learning from own experiences whereas cortex facilitates the integration of multiple experiences so as to generalize certain things.

This is a slow process. Different stimuli are organized into an associative group by chunking. This forms the basis of conditioning.

Pavlovian Conditioning  ->  Brain Areas Involved

  1. For conditioned stimulus (CS) to gain access to the current value of the unconditioned stimulus (US)  -> Basolateral amygdala (BLA)
  2. Some forms of stimulus-response conditioning -> Central nucleus of the amygdala
    [through brainstem arousal and response]
  3. Mediating the impact of CS on CR -> Nucleus accumbens
    Detecting action-outcome contingency -> Prelimbic cortex
  4. Memorizing sensory properties of food [retrieval of
    specific value] ->  Insular cortex
  5. Value of reinforcer controlling instrumental choice behavior -> Orbitofrontal cortex
  6. Allowing response to emotionally significant stimuli and preventing response to inappropriate stimuli -> Anterior cingulate cortex

Spatial Learning
Spatial learning refers to the ability to attain a map-like depiction of the surroundings that combinesfeatures of the stimulus that are specific to certain locations.

Research Connected with the neurobiology basis or psychobiology

Research on hemispheric specialization and cognitive development suggest that the specialization of the two halves of the brain takes place at a very early stage.

Atypical cognitive development could be due to damage to the cerebrum or because
of the combined effect of cerebral damage and maladaptive activation pattern of the subcortical activating system.

Neuropsychological studies have confirmed that the damage to the medial temporal lobe including the hippocampus severely affects learning. Hippocampal lesions in human beings also impair episodic memory.


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