Memorial Day Offer

Discover your mystery discount!


1. Definition and Characteristics of Habituation: – Habituation is a form of non-associative learning where the response to a stimulus decreases with repeated exposure. – […]

« Back to Glossary Index

1. Definition and Characteristics of Habituation:
– Habituation is a form of non-associative learning where the response to a stimulus decreases with repeated exposure.
– It is ubiquitous across all forms of life and helps free up cognitive resources for important stimuli.
– Characteristics include a decrease in reaction to repeated stimuli, an implicit learning process, and the potential for spontaneous recovery.
– Potentiation of habituation with repeated tests, stimulus generalization, and discrimination effects are also observed.

2. Biological Mechanisms and Neuroimaging of Habituation:
– Habituation involves changes in synaptic transmission and cellular mechanisms across various species, including plants.
– It has been investigated in simple organisms like Stentor coeruleus.
– Neuroimaging studies through PET scans and fMRI show that BOLD signals decrease as a habituation response.
– The amygdala is commonly studied in relation to habituation, particularly in visual processing of facial expressions.

3. Theories and Models Explaining Habituation:
– Various models like the Stimulus-Model Comparator theory, Dual-process theory, and SOP model provide insights into the mechanisms behind habituation.
– The Stimulus-Model Comparator theory by Sokolov explains habituation through orienting responses and the creation of a stimulus model in the cerebral cortex.
– The Dual-process theory by Groves and Thompson proposes two processes – habituation and sensitization – that determine behavioral responses.

4. Habituation in Animal Behavior, Human Behavior, and Neuropsychiatry:
– Habituation is observed in various species and plays a crucial role in adaptive responses to non-threatening stimuli.
– In humans, habituation affects responses like startle reactions and food consumption patterns.
– Habituation abnormalities are observed in neuropsychiatric conditions, with reduced habituation common across disorders.
– Treatments targeting habituation deficits may improve symptoms in certain conditions.

5. Uses, Challenges, and Studies on Habituation:
– Habituation procedures are used to study animal behavior in natural settings and in clinical settings to understand human responses.
– Challenges in habituation studies include careful planning, time-consuming processes, and maintaining consistency.
– Habituation studies have explored various contexts, including its alteration in neuropsychiatric disorders and synaptic plasticity in different organisms.
– Historical and theoretical perspectives on habituation date back to the late 19th century, with research spanning different species and behaviors.

Habituation (Wikipedia)

Habituation is a form of non-associative learning in which a non-reinforced response to a stimulus decreases after repeated or prolonged presentations of that stimulus. For example, organisms may habituate to repeated sudden loud noises when they learn these have no consequences.

Responses that habituate include those that involve the entire organism or those that involve only biological component systems of the organism. The broad ubiquity of habituation across all forms of life has resulted in it being called "the simplest, most universal form of fundamental a characteristic of life as DNA." Functionally-speaking, by diminishing the response to an inconsequential stimulus, habituation is thought to free up cognitive resources to other stimuli that are associated with biologically important events.

A progressive decline of a behavior in a habituation procedure may also reflect nonspecific effects such as fatigue, which must be ruled out when the interest is in habituation. Habituation is relevant in psychiatry and psychopathology, as a number of neuropsychiatric conditions, including autism, schizophrenia, migraine, and Tourette's, show reductions in habituation to a variety of stimulus-types both simple and complex.

« Back to Glossary Index
This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.