Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2018 Dec 6;54:178-185. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.008. [Epub ahead of print]

Biological mechanisms for observational learning.

Author information

1
Brain Health Institute, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, 07103 USA; Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, 07103 USA; Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA; Neuroscience Institute, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA; Department of Otolaryngology, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA; Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA.
2
Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA; Neuroscience Institute, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA; Department of Otolaryngology, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA; Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA. Electronic address: robert.froemke@med.nyu.edu.

Abstract

Observational learning occurs when an animal capitalizes on the experience of another to change its own behavior in a given context. This form of learning is an efficient strategy for adapting to changes in environmental conditions, but little is known about the underlying neural mechanisms. There is an abundance of literature supporting observational learning in humans and other primates, and more recent studies have begun documenting observational learning in other species such as birds and rodents. The neural mechanisms for observational learning depend on the species' brain organization and on the specific behavior being acquired. However, as a general rule, it appears that social information impinges on neural circuits for direct learning, mimicking or enhancing neuronal activity patterns that function during pavlovian, spatial or instrumental learning. Understanding the biological mechanisms for social learning could boost translational studies into behavioral interventions for a wide range of learning disorders.

PMID:
30529989
DOI:
10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.008

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center