Habituation: a key process in pre-associative learning

Of all the types of learning, pre-associative learning is the simplest of all and is shared by absolutely every animal species on the planet. This is a type of learning of an implicit or subconscious nature that allows species to adapt to the environment.

It suffices for an organism to be endowed with the simplest of nervous systems for it to learn in a pre-associative manner, which ultimately refers to the ability of an organism to respond or not to environmental stimuli.

Habituation and awareness

In pre-associative learning, we find two phenomena: habituation and awareness. For now, we’ll focus on the first one.

Habituation: definition and examples

It is considered the most primitive form of learning and is defined as decreased response of an organism to a stimulusIn other words, it is the process by which we stop responding to what is irrelevant.

It is an extremely daily and frequent phenomenon in our daily life. People who live near an airport, a major road or a nightclub will easily recognize this, because if this is your first time near such noisy places, you will not be able to not live in these conditions. those who have lived in these conditions for a few weeks no longer hear the noise pollution. Habit worked on them, and made stimuli that are aversive to us at first, they are unable to hear them if they are not attentive.

A form of learning that allows us to adapt to the environment

But ambient noise is only one representative example of the many situations in which this process is present. I’m sure when you drive or walk to work you don’t pay attention to all these road details, the signs, signs and advertising are completely invisible to you because you have learned not to respond to them.

If a child ignores the frequent quarrels and tries to change teachers or parents who are dissatisfied with their school grades, it would not be fair to say that the child is disobedient, on the contrary, it is surely the cries and appeals for l. constant attention which is no longer the most correct way to achieve change in him because he has stopped responding to it. This is also the case with the typical person who just complains or argues every time he speaks and attempts to complain and outrage are reduced to zero as we stop talking. To perceive them, as we say “with one ear he enters, and on the other he leaves me.”

Learning necessary to survive

As you may have noticed, this mechanism is as simple as it is functional. Without this kind of learning, the perpetuation of life would not be possible. Any stimulus that entered through the pupil of our eyes or through our ear would be considered, analyzed and responded to.

This situation would make us unable to take a step without first analyzing an infinite environmental stimulus that is irrelevant. Therefore, allows us to develop it freely for our immediate environment without having to worry about analyzing the possible effects of a sensation that we are on the way and that we are on our way.

A process that involves negative social realities

Although strictly necessary for life, habituation can lead to phenomena that are not pleasant to us and they take the emotion out of life. Boredom, routine and boredom are always preceded by this learning, our body is not stimulated by anything around it and requires additional stimulation to which our body is able to react and feel alive.

In the same way, it is responsible for the time which passes so quickly because not being perceived by the elements of our environment, does not remember and to our knowledge of the memory-perception time relation, not storing new memories, our perception of time is faster and we rightly sigh at the speed at which life passes.

Remedies to End the Negative Effects of Addiction

From what we have seen, it is not possible to think of a life without this phenomenon even if it leads to a decrease in the attention of our surroundings, which leads to boredom situations and feelings. of transience. However, there are ways to combat its negative consequences.

Activities such as meditation, yoga, mindfulness and in general, any activity that stems from Buddhist roots are based on developing mindfulness of our outer and inner environment, thus achieving the small and routine activities of our life. . As they say, the little things in life are the most important so let’s not let this process inherent in human nature prevent us from seeing them.

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