Introduction to Learning and Behavior (Course no. 76919)

Yael Niv
Email: yaelniv at alice nc huji ac il
Tel: 066-556464

Final Project/Essay is to be handed in by 15.4.2004. All instructions are within. Good luck!

The final projects have now been checked and graded. Grades and distributions can be found here. The projects themselves (with my comments) are on their way in the mail, and will be available in the ICNC Mazkirut soon. Please check with Ruthi. As always - if there are problems, I can be contacted by email.

Papers reviewed in the course:

Some of you have expressed interest in the papers we talked about in the course (especially in the last lessons). Due to copyright issues, I cannot post these on the website, as I promised - but please email me if you are interested and I will email them to you directly.


  1. Introduction to the empirical psychology of learning
  2. Classical conditioning (2 lessons)
  3. Theoretical analysis and Models of classical conditioning
  4. Instrumental conditioning (2 lessons)
  5. Classical vs. Instrumental - 2 different learning mechanisms?
  6. Theoretical analysis of instrumental conditioning
  7. The Actor-Critic model of instrumental conditioning (1/2 lesson)
  8. The cognitive approach - Tolman and Expectancy theory (1/2 lesson)
  9. What is a reinforcer?
  10. Extinction
  11. Discrimination
  12. Where and How does conditioning happen in the Brain?
  13. The effects of Motivation on Behavior

Lecture Notes:

Presentations used in class:

Extra Material:

Exercises and Assignments: (returned assignments are in the bottom left drawer outside the classroom)

Note: Your 5 highest graded assignments will form 20% of your final grade course
IMPORTANT: Please check your grades in the assignments here and inform me if there is any mistake.

Bibliography: (books I recommend, and use to prepare the course)

  • Domjan, M. - The Principles of Learning and Behavior (2003 - 5th Edition) - This is not the course textbook, but it is the closest it gets...
  • Mackintosh, N.J. - The Psychology of Animal Learning (1974) - Great book, although hard to find (out of print).
  • Mackintosh, N.J. - Conditioning and Associative Learning (1983) - Shorter than the above and covers mostly theoretical aspects, not for complete beginners.
  • Dickinson, A. - Contemporary Animal Learning Theory (1980) - Although this was contemporary a long time ago, it is still very good and easy to read.

Interesting (and useful) Links:
Created by: Eleanor Atrakji
Last modified: Yael Niv - 27.2.2004