Characteristics and Origin of Long-Term Conditioned Reflex Memory
Characteristics of Learned Activity. A basic form of memory is apparent in the prolonged retention of learned motion in the form of habits and conditioned reflexes. Habitual or so-called learned instrumental movements are initially regulated by the image of the very movements of the particular extremity. If a cat or dog while searching for food opens the feeder by accidental pressure of the paw on some device (lever), then an image riot only of the location of the feeder, but also of those motions of the paw which opened the feeder, is formed in the animal. Therefore, these instrumental movements in the form of pressure of the paw on the lever are initially regulated by the psychoneural process of the image of these movements. Evidently, the neural circuits of the psychoneural process of this image are established by means of musculocutaneous and labyrinthine perception of those movements during pressure on the lever. In this process, the head and the eyes were naturally fixed on the lever and on the paw that was moving. Therefore, the aforesaid neural circuit must include pyramidal projection neurons for both the production of the given movement of the paw and also for the corresponding orienting movements of the head and eyes. It is clear that the opening of the feeder is initially regulated by the aforementioned psychoneural processes, but subsequently, after the feeder has been opened many times, temporary connections between the sight of the lever and the pressing of it by the paw must have been elaborated, as a consequence of which a conditioned reflex arises in the form of pressing the lever upon seeing it.
KeywordsConditional Stimulus Pyramidal Neuron Unconditional Stimulus Conditional Signal Synaptic Structure
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