Original Research

Learning and memory

P. A. J. Ryke
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 8, No 1 | a863 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v8i1.863 | © 1989 P. A. J. Ryke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 March 1989 | Published: 14 March 1989

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P. A. J. Ryke,, South Africa

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Abstract

Under various circumstances and in different species the outward expression of learning varies considerably, and this has led to the classification of different categories of learning. Just as there is no generally agreed on definition of learning, there is no one system of classification. Types of learning commonly recognized are: Habituation, sensitization, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, trial and error, taste aversion, latent learning, cultural learning, imprinting, insight learning, learning-set learning and instinct. The term memory must include at least two separate processes. It must involve, on the one hand, that of learning something and on the other, at some later date, recalling that thing. What lies between the learning and (he remembering must be some permanent record — a memory trace — within the brain. Memory exists in at least two forms: memory for very recent events (short-term) which is relatively labile and easily disruptable; and long-term memory, which is much more stable. Not everything that gets into short-term memory becomes fixed in the long-term store; a filtering mechanism selects things that might be important and discards the rest.

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