Advertisement

The Role of Learning in Physiological Response to Stress

  • Neal E. Miller

Abstract

One of the functions of any society is to protect its members from extreme forms of physical stress, such as cold, tissue damage, pain, and infectious disease. These are the types of stresses that have been studied most intensively in the laboratory, especially by the brilliant work of Selye (1956). However, as our modern technological societies have become better at protecting all but the most disadvantaged of their members from such physical stresses, other more psychological types of stress that involve learning become relatively more important. In the first part of this paper I shall concentrate on one of the best understood of these, namely, fear and the physiological responses to it. In the second part I shall deal with attempts to apply learning more directly to the modification of physiological responses.

Keywords

Conditioned Stimulus Placebo Effect Electric Shock Danger Signal Voluntary Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adam, G. Interoception and Behaviour. (1967). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.Google Scholar
  2. Baker, B. (1969). Symptom treatment and symptom substitution in enuresis. J. Abnorm. Psychol. 74, 42–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benson, H., Herd, A. J., Morse, W. H., and Kelleher, R. T. (1969). Behavioral induction of arterial hypertension and its reversal. Am. J. Physiol. 217, 30–34.Google Scholar
  4. Benson, H., Shapiro, D., Tursky, B., and Schwartz, G. E. (1971). Decreased systolic blood pressure through operant conditioning techniques in patients with essential hypertension. Science 173, 740–742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brener, J. (1974). A general model of voluntary control applied to the phenomena of learned cardiovascular change. In Cardiovascular Psychophysiology (P. A. Obristet al., Eds.). Chicago: Aldine, pp. 365–391.Google Scholar
  6. Brener, J., Eissenberg, E., and Middaugh, S. (1974). Respiratory and somatomotor factors associated with operant conditioning of cardiovascular responses in curarized rats. In Cardiovascular Psychophysiology (P. A. Obrist et al., Eds.). Chicago: Aldine, pp. 251–275.Google Scholar
  7. Cannon, W. B. (1929). Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage. New York: Appleton.Google Scholar
  8. Crider, A., Schwartz, G. E., and Shnidman, S. (1969). On the criteria for instrumental autonomic conditioning: A reply to Katkin and Murray. Psychol. Bull. 71, 455–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dollard, J., and Miller, N. E. (1950). Personality and Psychotherapy. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  10. Engel, B. T., and Bleecker, E. R. (1974). Application of operant conditioning techniques to the control of the cardiac arrhythmias. In Cardiovascular Psychophysiology (P. A. Obrist et al., Eds.). Chicago: Aldine, pp. 456–476.Google Scholar
  11. Engel, B. T., and Gottlieb, S. H. (1970). Differential operant conditioning of heart rate in the restrained monkey. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 73, 217–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Engel, B. T., Nikoomanesh, P., and Schuster, M. M. (1974). Operant conditioning of rectosphincteric responses in the treatment of fecal incontinence. New Engl. J. Med. 290, 646–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Feirstein, A. R., and Miller, N. E. (1963). Learning to resist pain and fear: Effects of electric shock before versus after reaching goal. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 56, 797–800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Freud, S. (1936). The Problem of Anxiety. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  15. Fuller, J. L. (1967). Experimental deprivation and later behavior. Science 158, 1645–1652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Glazer, H. I., Weiss, J. M., Pohorecky, L. A., and Miller, N. E. (1975). Monoamines as mediators of avoidance-escape behavior. Psychosom. Med. 37, 535–543.Google Scholar
  17. Grenfell, R. F., Briggs, A. H., and Holland, W. C. (1963). Antihypertensive drugs evaluated in a controlled double-blind study. South. Med. J. 56, 1410–1415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harris, A. H., Gilliam, W. J., Findley, J. D., and Brady, J. V. (1973). Instrumental conditioning of large-magnitude, daily, 12-hour blood pressure elevations in the baboon. Science 182, 175–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kimmel, H. D. (1967). Instrumental conditioning of autonomically mediated behavior. Psychol. Bull. 67, 337–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lapides, J., Sweet, R. B., and Lewis, L. W. (1957). Role of striated muscle in urination. J. Urol. 77, 247–250.Google Scholar
  21. Lovibond, S. H. (1964). Conditioning and Enuresis. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  22. Lown, B., Verrier, R., and Corbalan, R. (1973). Psychologic stress and threshold for repetitive ventricular response. Science 182, 834–836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Miller, N. E. (1948). Studies of fear as an acquirable drive: I. Fear as motivation and fear reduction as reinforcement in the learning of new responses. J. Exp. Psychol. 38, 89–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Miller, N. E. (1951). Learnable drives and rewards. In Handbook of Experimental Psychology (S. S. Stevens, Ed.). New York: Wiley, pp. 435–472.Google Scholar
  25. Miller, N. E. (1959). Liberalization of basic S-R concepts: Extensions to conflict behavior, motivation and social learning. In Psychology: A Study of a Science, Study 1, Vol. 2 (S. Koch, Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, pp. 196–292.Google Scholar
  26. Miller, N. E. (1960). Learning resistance to pain and fear: Effects of overlearning, exposure and rewarded exposure in context. J. Exp. Psychol. 60, 137–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Miller, N. E. (1969). Learning of visceral and glandular responses. Science 163, 434–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Miller, N. E. (1971). Neal E. Miller: Selected Papers. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.Google Scholar
  29. Miller, N. E. (1972). Interactions between learned and physical factors in mental illness. Semin. Psychiat. 4, 239–254.Google Scholar
  30. Miller, N. E. (1975). Applications of learning and biofeedback to psychiatry and medicine. In Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry/II (A. M. Freedman et al., Eds.). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, pp. 349–365.Google Scholar
  31. Miller, N. E., and Carmona, A. (1967). Modification of a visceral response, salivation in thirsty dogs, by instrumental training with water reward. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 63, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Miller, N. E., and Dworkin, B. R. (1974). Visceral learning: Recent difficulties with curarized rats and significant problems for human research. In Cardiovascular Psychophysiology (P. A. Obrist et al., Eds.). Chicago: Aldine, pp. 312–331.Google Scholar
  33. Miller, N. E., and Weiss, J. M. (1969). Effects of the somatic or visceral responses to punishment. In Punishment and Aversive Behavior (B. A. Campbell and R. M. Church, Eds.). New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, pp. 343–372.Google Scholar
  34. Mowrer, O. H. (1939). A stimulus-response analysis of anxiety and its role as a reinforcing agent. Psychol Rev. 46, 553–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mowrer, O. H., and Mowrer, W. M. (1938). Enuresis-a method for its study and treatment. Am. J. Orthopsychiat. 8, 436–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Myers, A. K. (1956). The effects of predictable vs. unpredictable punishment in the albino rat. Ph.D. Thesis, Yale University.Google Scholar
  37. Pavlov, I. P. (1927). Conditioned Reflexes (G. V. Anrep, trans.). London: Oxford University Press. Reprinted, New York: Dover (1960).Google Scholar
  38. Rabkin, J. G., and Struening, E. L. (1975). Social change, stress and illness. Paper presented at AAAS Annual Meeting, New York, New York.Google Scholar
  39. Sargent, J. D., Green, E. E., and Walters, E. D. (1972). The use of autogenic feedback graining in a pilot study of migraine and tension headaches. Headache 12, 120–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Stein, M., Schiavi, R. C., and Camerino, M. (1976). Influence of brain and behavior on the immune system. Science 191, 435–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schildkraut, J. J. (1969). Neuropsychopharmacology and the Affective Disorders. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  42. Selye, H. (1956). Stress and Disease. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  43. Shapiro, A. K. (1960). A contribution to a history of the placebo effect. Behav. Sci. 5, 109–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shapiro, D., Tursky, B., and Schwartz, G. E. (1970). Differentiation of heart rate and systolic blood pressure in man by operant conditioning. Psychosom. Med. 32, 417–423.Google Scholar
  45. Shapiro, M. M., and Herendeen, D. L. (1975). Food-reinforced inhibition of conditioned salivation in dogs. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 88, 628–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Vertes, R. P., and Miller, N. E. (1976). Brainstem neurons that fire selectively to a conditioned stimulus for shock. Brain Res. 103, 229–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Weiss, J. M. (1968). Effects of coping responses on stress. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 65, 251–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Weiss, J. M. (1970). Somatic effects of predictable and unpredictable shock. Psychosom. Med. 32, 397–408.Google Scholar
  49. Weiss, J. M. (1971). Effects of coping behavior in different warning signal conditions on stress pathology in rats. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 77, 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Weiss, J. M., Stone, E. A., and Harrell, N. (1970). Coping behavior and brain norepinephrine level in rats. J. comp. Physiol. Psychol. 72, 153–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Weiss, J. M., Glazer, H. I., Pohorecky, L. A., Brick, J., and Miller, N. E. (1975). Effects of acute and chronic exposure to Stressors on avoidance behavior and brain norepinephrine. Psychosom. Med. 37, 522–534.Google Scholar
  52. Weiss, J. M., Glazer, H. I., and Pohorecky, L. A. (1976). Coping behavior and neurochemical changes: An alternative explanation for the original “learned helplessness” experiments. In Animal Models in Human Psychobiology (G. Serban and A. Kling, Eds.). New York: Plenum Press. pp. 141–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wickert, F. (1947). Psychological Research on Problems of Redistribution. Washington, D.C.: GPO.Google Scholar
  54. Wolpe, J. (1958). Psychotherapy by Reciprocal Inhibition. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neal E. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.The Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations