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Cognitive Psychology Module 1-6

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by: Brittany Woody

Cognitive Psychology Module 1-6 EXP3604

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Brittany Woody

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This study guide includes notes from the first six chapters. Useful on the midterm paper
Cognitive Psychology
Dr. Stagner
Study Guide
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This 31 page Study Guide was uploaded by Brittany Woody on Monday February 22, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to EXP3604 at University of Florida taught by Dr. Stagner in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 84 views.


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Date Created: 02/22/16
Chapter 1: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Part 1 - Elements of Psychology: organism, behavior, environment • connection between organism and environment: sensation • connection between organism and behavior: physiology • connection between environment and behavior: learning • cognitive psychology looks only at organism: encoding, memories, processing, retrieving, etc; processes cannot be measured or directly viewed - Cognition involves perception, paying attention, remembering, distinguishing items in a category, visualizing, understanding and production of language, problem solving, reasoning and decision- making • cognition includes “hidden” processes of which we may not be aware - Cognitive psychology: the branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of the mind; cannot measure processes but propose theories on them; cognition refers to mental processes - Donders (1868): • measured how long it took someone to make a decision • used reaction-time (RT) experiment: measured interval between stimulus presentation and person’s response to stimulus • simple RT task: participant pushes a button quickly after a light appears vs. choice RT task: participant pushes one button if light is on right side, another if light is on left side • stimulus: light flashes; mental response: press button; behavioral response: press button • measuring mental response time: time between stimulus and response • choice RT minus simple RT = time to make a decision • choice RT is 1/10th of a second longer than in simple RT, therefore it takes 1/10th of a second to make this decision mental responses cannot be directly measured but can be inferred from • participants behaviors - Ebbinghaus (1885/ 1913) • read list of nonsense syllables aloud and repeated until he could recite it without mistakes • after he learned it, he would take a break then relearn the list • when he took shorter breaks, he relearned the list faster; longer breaks required more repetitions of the list to relearn it • “savings”= original time to learn list minus time to relearn list; more savings when interval between learning and relearning the list was shorter • savings curve shows savings as a function of retention interval, elapsed time • savings curve: percents savings vs. time to relearn list Part 2 - John Watson’s problems with previous psychological experiments (above): extremely variable results from person to person (savings would vary between • people) • results are difficult to verify; only make inferences about processes - John Watson proposed behaviorism: eliminates the mind as topic of study and studies directly observable behavior - John Watson and Rayner (1920): “Little Albert” experiment • classically conditioned fear in 9-month-old Albert: paired a neutral event with an event that naturally produces some outcome; neutral event was white rat, other event was banging of a loud gong, which produced the natural response of Albert crying • rat was paired with gong: every time the rat was put in front of Albert, they would ring the gong; after many pairings, the neutral stimulus began to produce the crying response; Albert also cried when he saw a rabbit and a white stuffed animal showed that behavior can be analyzed without any reference to the mind; examine • how pairing of one stimulus with another affected behavior - B.F. Skinner (1940-1960) • interested in determining the relationship between stimuli and response • developed operant conditioning: behavior is shaped by rewards or punishments (not only association, like in classical conditioning) • rewarded behavior is likely to be repeated; punished behavior is likely to not be repeated - Tolman (1938): reemergence in the interest in the mind, not just observable behaviors • trained rats to find food in a four-armed maze • two competing interpretations: - behaviorism: rats would learn to turn right to find food - Tolman believed they created a cognitive map in their mind and were able to find a specific arm; if this was correct, they would be able to find food even if they were reoriented in the maze first, the rats were allowed to explore the maze; they then learned that if they turned • right they would receive food; when the rats were moved to a different arm, they turned left instead to reach the food - showing that they had created a map of the maze - Controversy over language acquisition lead to decline in behaviorism • Skinner: children learned language through operant conditioning; children imitate speech and correct speech was rewarded • Chomsky: said children do not learn language through only through imitation and reinforcement because children say things they have never heard, and therefore could not be imitating, and because children say incorrect things even if they have not been rewarded: said language must be determined by an innate biological language process Part 3 - to understand complex cognitive behaviors, we use measurable observable behavior, make inferences about the underlying cognitive activity, and consider what this behavior says about how the mind works - Cognitive Revolution: shift away from stimulus-response relationship and explains behavior as function of the mind - information-processing approach: a way to study the mind created from insights associated with the digital computer - compared mind processes to early computers in 1950s, which processed information in stages • how much information can the mind absorb? • how much of the incoming information does the mind attend to? - Cherry (1953): “dichotic” listening: participant heard two different audio messages in either ear of the headphones; participant asked to repeat one message- participants were able to only focus on one message at a time - Broadbent (1958): proposed flow diagram to represent what happens as a person directs attention to only one stimulus; said unattended information does not pass through the filter and was not processed; many inputs went through filter,only one moves to detector and then to memory - Modern research: start with what we know, ask questions about it, design experiment, obtain and interpret results, use results as bases for new research questions and experiments - Two kinds of models: • structural model: representation of physical structure; mimics form/ appearance of a given object (plastic model of brain, globe) process model: represents processes that are involved in cognitive mechanisms, • with boxes usually representing specific processes and arrows indicating connections between processes (diagrams, flow charts) TED Talk: The Social Animal - Politicians have incredible social skills, but do not use them when making policy (do not consider people relationships, psychological situations, cultural differences, etc) - Mitt Romney goes into diner and learns everyone first name - People learn from people they love - Why are the most social people dehumanized when they talk about policy? View of human nature based on notion that reason is separate from emotion; view that we are rational and respond to incentives; people use assumptions of physics to measure human behavior - Children learn to make measurable achievements: high test scores, get into competitive colleges, make high salaries; do not develop philosophy of life - Study of the mind develops new view of human nature, three key insights • “while conscious mind write autobiography of species, unconscious mind does most of the work” • “emotions are at center of our thinking” people with strokes or lesions in emotion- processing parts of brain become helpless, emotions are foundation of reason • “we are not primarily self contained, we are social animals, we emerge out of relationships” feel emotions when you are watching others experience them - Non-measurable aspects of life are more meaningful: • mind-sight: the ability to enter into other people’s minds and learn what they have to offer • equipoise: ability to have the serenity to read biases in failures in your own mind; identify your own overconfidence metis (Greek word for skill): “street smarts” sensitivity to physical environment, • ability to notice patterns; soldiers could detect land mines in unexplainable ways • sympathy: ability to work in groups • blending: blending of concepts, source of innovation • limerence: hunger for transcendence, feeling when you are doing something you love or are in love B.F. Skinner- Operant Conditioning and Free Will - Pigeon can tell the difference between the word “peck” and “turn” by learning which responses are rewarded - Skinner kept pigeons hungry so that food was a good reward - When pigeon pecked, it got food - “Schedule of reinforcement”: do not give reward every time, on schedule such as every tenth peck - Schedule of reinforcement is seen in gambling because reinforcement will eventually follow - External reasons for actions, not free will Chapter 1 - Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of the mind - Cognition: the mental processes, such as perception, attention, and memory - Reaction time: how long it takes to respond to presentation of a stimulus - Simple reaction time (in Donder’s experiments): time to push a button as rapidly as possible when seeing a light - Choice reaction time (in Donder’s experiments): measured by using two lights and asking subjects to push the left button when they saw the left light go on and the right button when they saw the right light go on - He determined that the time it took to make a decision was one-tenth of a second - Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory of scientific psychology at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879 - Wundt’s approach was called structuralism; according to structuralism, our overall experience is determined by combining basic elements of experience the structuralists called sensations - Analytic introspection: a technique in which trained subjects described their experiences and thought processes in response to stimuli - Ebbinghaus repeated lists of 13 nonsense syllables such as DAX, QEH, LUH, and ZIF to himself one at a time at a constant rate. He determined how long it took to learn a list for the first time, waited for a specific amount of time (the delay) and then determined how long it took to relearn the list. He made mistakes when he attempted to relearn the list, but learned it faster than the first time. - He used a measuring called savings to determine how much was forgotten after a particular delay. He calculated it as savings= (original time to learn the list) - (time to relearn the list after the delay) - Longer delays resulted in smaller savings - The plot of percent savings versus time is called a savings curve, and it shows that memory drops rapidly for the first 2 days after the initial learning and then levels off - William James taught the first psychology course and made significant observations about the mind in his textbook, Principles of Psychology - Watson became dissatisfied with the method of analytic introspection because it produced extremely variable results from person to person, and because these results were difficult to verify because they were interpreted in terms of invisible inner mental processes - Watson proposed behaviorism, making two key points. First Watson rejects introspection as a method and second, observable behavior, not consciousness, is the main topic of study - Watson’s ideas are associated with classical conditioning, how pairing one stimulus with another, previously neutral stimulus causes changes in the response to the neutral stimulus - Skinner introduced operant conditioning, which focused on how behavior is strengthened by the presentation of positive reinforcers - Tolman experimented with mice by placing them in a maze to explore and then seeing if they could find food when oriented in a different way. The mice could find food, even when they had to take a different path, suggesting that they created a cognitive map of the maze - Tolman’s use of the word cognitive, and the idea that something other than stimulus- response connections might be occurring in the rat’s mind, placing Tolman outside of mainstream behaviorism - The 1950s is recognized as the beginning of the cognitive revolution’ a shift in psychology from the behaviorist’s stimulus- response relationships to an approach whose main thrust was to understand the operation of the mind - Information-processing approach: an approach that traces sequences of mental operations involved in cognition - Artificial intelligence: making a machine behave in ways that would be called intelligent if a human were so behaving - Structural models: represent structures in the brain that are involved in specific functions; they are representations of a physical structure - Process models: illustrate how a process operates; represent the processes that are involved in cognitive mechanisms, with boxes usually representing specific processes and arrows indicating connections between processes - Sensory memory: holds incoming information for a fraction of a second and then passes most of this information to short-term memory - Short-term memory has limited capacity and holds information for seconds - Long-term memory is a high- capacity system that can hold information for long periods of time - Procedural memory is memory for physical actions
 Chapter 2: Cognitive Neuroscience Lecture Notes - Cognitive neuroscience: the physiological basis of cognition - Areas of the brain, which neurons, etc - Involves an understanding of both the nervous system as well as neurons - Neurons: cells specialized to create, receive, and transmit information in the nervous system - Each neuron has cell body, axon, and dendrites - Once believed that neurons created a nerve net, similar to a highway system; that they communicated in a continuous network - This idea was contradicted by the neuron doctrine by Ramon y Cajal Used Golgi staining to stain neuron so that you could see structure, parts, and • connections • Found that individual nerve cells transmit signals but are not continuous with other cells (synapses) - Cell body: contains mechanisms to keep cell alive; nucleus - Dendrites: branch-like structures that reach out from cell body to receive information from other neurons - Axon: tube-like structure filled with fluid that sends information as electrical signals to other neurons - Action potential: neuron receives stimulus from environment (like a touch on the skin) then information travels down the axon of that neuron to the dendrites of another neuron - Action potentials are measured using microelectrodes; picks up electrical signal output by neuron - Each electrode is placed near an axon; each action potential lasts around one second - Sizes of action potentials are consistent, the rate of firing is what changes between stimuli and what is measured - Low intensity stimuli (light touch) yields slower firing; higher intensity stimuli creates faster firing - Synapse: space between axon of one neuron and dendrite or cell body of another - When action potential reaches end of axon, synaptic vesicles open and transmit neurotransmitters - Neurotransmitters are chemicals that affect the electrical signal of the receiving neuron; they cross the synapse and bind with the receiving dendrites - Hubel & Wiesel (1960s) • Hypothesized that neurons each respond to a specific stimuli (known as feature detectors) • Experimented with cats: cats view simple visual stimuli (lines oriented in different ways, sometimes moving); found that some neurons did only respond to certain stimuli (diagonal lines) Three theories of how action potentials communicate stimuli to brain: - Specificity coding: representation in the brain of a specific stimulus by firing of specifically tuned neurons specialized to respond to specific stimulus - Population coding: representation of a particular object by the pattern of firing of a large number of neurons; a large number of neurons firing - Sparse coding: When a particular object is represented by a pattern of firing of only a small group of neurons, with the majority of neurons remaining silent; small group of neurons firing - Localization of function: specific functions are served by specific areas of the brain - Cognitive functioning breaks down in specific ways when areas of the brain are damaged - Cerebral cortex (3-mm thick layer that covers the brain) contains mechanisms responsible for most of our cognitive functions - Language production is impaired by damage to Broca’s area • located in forntal lobe - Language comprehension is impaired by damage to Wernicke’s area • located in temporal lobe - Occipital lobe: vision - Parietal lobe: touch, temperature, pain - Temporal lobe: hearing, taste, smell - Frontal lobe: coordination of different information from senses - “When damage to one part of the brain causes function A to be absent while function B is present, and damage to another area causes function B to be absent while function A is present” • shows that different parts of the brain are responsible for different functions - MRI/ functional MRI (fMRI): measures blood flow in brain; increased blood flow implies more brain activity - Fusiform face area (FFA): responds specifically to faces; located in temporal lobe; damage to this area causes prosopagnosia (inability to recognize faces) - Parahippocampal place area (PPA): responds specifically to places (indoor vs outdoors scenes); located in temporal lobe - Extrastriate body area (EBA): responds specifically to pictures of bodies and body parts - These functions were found using an fMRI; measuring blood flow while showing pictures of various stimuli - In addition to localization of function, specific functions are processed by many different areas of the brain - Many different areas may contribute to a function - May appear to contradict notion of localization of function, but ideas are complementary - While watching a rolling ball: color, location, depth, motion, and shape of ball are all interpreted by different brain areas - Neural networks: groups of neurons or structures that are connected together; can be examined using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) TED Talk: A Brain in a Supercomputer - Trying to build a realistic model of the human brain for three reasons: it is essential to understand the human brain • • we cannot use animal experimentation forever • 2 billion people on Earth are affected by mental disorder; drugs used today are empirical - Theory: Brain creates a version of the universe and projects it like a bubble all around us - Decisions are key support for our perceptual bubble - Anesthetics work by introducing “noise” into the brain so that neurons cannot communicate - Thousands of decisions are made about an areas depth, length, color, etc; most of these decisions are not seen by the eyes but inferred by the brain - The neocortex was formed in mammals to handle complex cognitive functions like parenting, emotions, and relationships - The human neocortex is 1000x larger than that of a mouse - The brain started to fold to create space for more cortical columns, creating ridges - New theory about Autism called the “intense world theory” suggests that neocortical columns are super reactive, so people with autism are capable of creating things we could hardly perceive; but problems in perception create symptoms of disease - Synapses form the circuit of brain/ fabric of the brain - Every neuron is different; every person’s connectivity of neurons is different - Neurons are being oriented differently in experiments; shows that circuitry changes but pattern of circuitry doesn’t change - Same pattern of circuitry in every member of a species, but vary across species (possibly why we can’t communicate with other species) - Calculating the circuitry of one neuron would require the computing power of one computer, so a supercomputer is used to simulate the circuitry of the whole brain - When showing only the electrical signals in a simulation on a super computer, shapes can be seen in the cortical column that represent the objects being seen- these shapes create a picture that strongly resembles the universe YouTube Video: Lights, Camera, Action Potential - Information is perceived via five senses - Each neuron is connected to thousands of others, communicating using electrical and chemical signals - The axon sends information to the end regions of the cell called terminal buttons - The region between the cell body and the axon is termed the axon hillock - Each neuron holds an electrical charge, about -70mV in a resting state, created by ions inside and outside of cell - Na+ and Cl- ions are outside of the cell - K+ and negatively charged protein cells are inside of the cell - Ion channels act as gates so ions flow in and out of cell - Ion channels are usually closed, but can be opened when a message is received - Each neuron receives input from thousands of other neurons - Connection between two neurons is synapse - During action potential, neurotransmitter is released into the synapse and binds to receptors in the next neuron - The receptor might open an ion channel - The area around the ion channel might become more positively charged, making it an Excitatory Post-Synaptic Potential (EPSP) - The area can become more negative, making it an Inhibitory Post- Synaptic Potential (IPSP) - If the membrane reaches the threshold of excitation (minimum charge to trigger an action potential) at the axon hillock, an action potential is triggered - During an action potential, there is increased permeability to sodium, then to potassium - The action potential propagates down the axon to the terminal buttons in an all-or- nothing fashion; meanings synapses cannot go only half way - Action potentials are brief but large reversals in membrane polarity - Action potentials cause calcium channels to open so that calcium comes into the cell, signaling neurotransmitter to be released via exocytosis, which bind to post-synaptic receptors of the next neuron Chapter 2 - Cognitive neuroscience: the study of the physiological basis of cognition - Levels of analysis refers to the idea that a topic can be studied in a number of different ways, with each approach contributing to its own dimension to our understanding - Levels of analysis can be applied to learning the details of a car: the first levels is its performance, then the mechanism under the hood, then how the engine works - Neurons are cells that are the building blocks and transmission lines of the nervous system - Nerve net: believed to be a continuous network, like a highway system in which one street connects directly to another, but without stop signs or traffic lights; conducting uninterrupted signals - Golgi staining: developed by Camillo Golgi; a thin slice of brain tissue was immersed in a solution of silver nitrate; stained about 1% of cells so that structures could be distinguished - Ramon y Cajal: developed neuron doctrine: the idea that individual cells transmit signals in the nervous system, and that these cells are not continuous with other cells as proposed by the nerve net theory; he also found that: • There is a small gap between the end of a neuron’s axon and the dendrites or cell body of another neuron; called a synapse • Neurons are not connected indiscriminately to other neurons, but form connections only to specific neurons; this forms groups of interconnected neurons, which together form neural circuits • In addition to neurons in the brain, there are also neurons that are specialized to pick up information from the environment, such as neurons of the eye, ear, and skin; these neurons are called receptors and are similar to brain neurons in that they have an axon, but they have specialized receptors that pick up information from the environment - Cell body: metabolic center of the neuron - Dendrites: branch out from the cell body to receive signals from other neurons - Axons: also called nerve fibers; usually long processes that transmit signals to other neurons - Edgar Adrian recorded electrical signals from single neurons using microelectrodes: small shafts of hollow glass filled with a conductive salt solution that can pick up electrical signals at the electrode tip and conduct these signals back to a recording device; still used by modern physiologists - Setup for recording a single neuron: two electrodes are recording electrode, with its recording tip inside the neuron, and the reference electrode, located some distance away so it is not affected by the electrical signals; the difference in charge between the recording and reference electrodes is fed into a computer and displayed on the computer’s screen - The difference between the two electrodes when the neuron is at rest is -70 millivolts; this value is the resting potential; the inside of the neuron is 70 mV less than the outside of the neuron while at rest - When a neuron is stimulated, a nerve impulse is transmitted down the axon - The charge inside the axon during action potential is +40 mV - Action potential lasts 1 millisecond (1/1000 of a second) - Neurotransmitters are released when the signals reach the synapse at the end of the axon; they make it possible for the signal to be transmitted across the gap that separates the end of the axon from the dendrite or cell body of another neuron - Principle of neural representation states that everything a person experiences is based not on direct contact with stimuli, but on representations in the person’s nervous system - Retina: the layer of neurons that lines the back of the eye - Visual cortex: the area at the back of the brain that receives signals from the eye - The Principle of Neural Representation says that everything we experience is the result of something that stands for that experience - Hubel & Wiesel found that each neuron in the visual area of the cortex responds to a specific type of stimulation presented to a small area of the retina; experimented on cats; called these neurons feature detectors because they responded to specific stimulus features such as orientation, movement, and length - Charles Gross recorded from single neurons in the monkey’s temporal lobe - Hierarchical processing is progression from lower to higher areas of the brain - Sensory coding refers to how neurons represent various characteristics of the environment - The idea that an object could be represented by the firing of a specialized neuron that responds only to an object is called specificity coding - Population coding is the representation of a [articular object by the pattern of firing of a large number of neurons - Sparse coding occurs when a particular object is represented by a pattern of firing of only a small group of neurons, with the majority of neurons remaining silent - Localization of function: specific functions are served by specific areas of the brain - Most cognitive functions are served by the cerebral cortex, which is a layer of tissue about 3 mm thick that covers the brain; the cortex is the wrinkled covering you see when you look at an intact brain - Early evidence of localization of function came from neuropsychology- the study of the behavior of people with brain damage - An early report of localization of function based on a stroke patient was Paul Broca’s proposal that an area in the left frontal lobe, now called Broca’s area, is specialized for speech; patient could only say the word tan - An area of the temporal lobe called Wernicke’s area functions to comprehend language - The occipital lobe is where the visual cortex is located; WWI soldiers with damage here were blind - The auditory cortex is in the upper temporal lobe and is responsible for hearing - The somatosensory cortex gets information from the skin and is located in the parietal lobe; responsible for perception of touch, pressure, and pain - The frontal lobe receives signals from all the senses and is responsible for coordinator of the senses, as well as higher cognitive functions like thinking and problem solving - Prosopagnosia: an inability to recognize faces - Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): made it possible to create images of structures within the - fMRI: functional MRI; enabled researchers to determine how various types of cognition activate different areas of the brain - fMRIs measure activity in voxels, which are small cube-shaped areas of the brain 2 or 3 mm on a side Chapter 3: Perception Lecture Notes - Perception is experience resulting from stimulation of senses - Perceptions can change based on added information and they occur with other functions - Direct perception theories: • bottom-up processing: piece together stimuli from environment, parts are identified and put together and then recognition occurs • perception may start in senses with incoming raw data - Constructive perception theories: • top- down processing: people actively construct perceptions based on expectations • perception may start in brain based on knowledge, expectation, experience - Can determine small pieces of a blurry picture by looking at context of the environment it is in; using prior experience and expectation - When you hear words spoken in a foreign language, your ability to pick out or understand certain words based on context demonstrates top-down processing - Speech segmentation: ability to tell where one word ends and where another begins - Direct Pathway model: model on how we perceive pain; an early model that emphasized nociceptors that would sen pain message directly to the brain; bottom-up model - More recent studies show expectations, attention, and distraction can affect how we experience pain in a top-down manner; placebo effect - Helmholtz Theory of Unconscious Inference (1860): top- down theory; our perceptions are the result of unconscious assumptions we make about the environment; use knowledge to inform our perceptions - Likelihood Principle: we perceive the world in a way that is “most likely” based on our past experiences - “Old” view of perception: structuralism; we add up all sensation from environment - “New” view: Gestalt psychologists; the mind groups patterns according to laws of perceptual organization • Law of good continuation: lines tend to be seen as following the smoothest path • Law of pragnanz (simplicity or good figure): every stimulus pattern is seen so the resulting structure is as simple as possible; Olympic symbol is five rings overlapping, not nine separate shapes • Law of similarity: similar things appear grouped together • Gestalt laws often provide accurate information about properties of the environment; reflect experience; experience is important but does not overcome perceptual principles; Gestalt laws are intrinsic - Oblique effect: people can perceive verticals and horizontals more easily than other orientations; more verticals and horizontals seen in natural environment; more common for us to seen - Light- from- above assumption: light is usually from above; we use this assumption to perceive shadows as specific information about depth and distance - Bayesian Inference: proposed by Thomas Bayes; inferring what we are going to see before we see it; one’s estimate of the portability of a given outcome is influenced by two factors: • The prior probability (our initial belief about the probability of an outcome) • The likelihood of a given outcome - Some neurons respond best to things that occur regularly in our environment - Neurons become tuned to respond best to what we commonly experience; horizontals and verticals, experience-based plasticity (what we experience determines how flexible we are in our perception) - Greeble experiment: little response before training; after training (trained to name different greebles) there is more brain response - Movements help us perceive things in our environment more accurately than static or still images; seeing an animal move or viewing an animal from different angles can help identify what animal it is - “What” stream: identifying what an object is; ventral stream; object processing (size, shape, color, texture); begins in occipital lobe with visual information, through temporal to frontal - “Where” stream: identifies object’s location; spatial processing (location, movement, spatial relations, transformations); occipital lobe to parietal lobe to frontal lobe - Lesioning in the temporal lobe makes object discrimination (what) difficult - Lesioning in the parietal lobe makes landmark discrimination (where) difficult TED Talk: Different ways of knowing - Speaker is a high functioning autistic man; writer - “Aesthetic judgements guide and shape processes by which we all come to know what we know” - Speaker has synesthesia; he sees colors and emotions in numbers and words - Words can sound happy or sad (even foreign words that you do not know) Gestalt Principles of Perception - Man says he can see Virgin Mary in a lemon slice; Navy base in CA dorms were accidentally built in the shape of a Swastika (four L-shaped buildings) - Humans see patterns; wired to notice patterns- create correlations that do not really exist - A rock formation on Mars resembles a face; there is a theory that it was put there as a sign from other life - A happy face was also found on Mars; displays our tendency to create patterns - Multi-stability: when focusing on ground, you see one image; when focusing on figure, you see something else (like vase vs. two faces photo; or hollow cube can be going up or down) - Closure: we complete pictures in our mind to see whole picture; we can see square from four corners - Similarity: put similar things into groups or rows - Proximity: grouping things that are closer together - Effective websites group similar functions together Chapter 3 - Perception: experiences resulting from stimulation of the senses - Inverse projection problem: the task of determining the object responsible for a particular image on the retina - Viewpoint invariance: the ability to recognize an object seen from different viewpoints - Bottom-up processing: perception begins at the “bottom” or beginning of the system, when environmental every stimulates the receptors - Top-down processing: processing that originates in the brain, at the “top” of the perceptual system - Speech segmentation: ability to tell when one word ends and the next one begins - Direct pathway model: how pain was explained in the 1950s and early 1960s; pain occurs when receptors in the skin called nociceptors are stimulated and send their signals in a direct pathway from the skin to the brain - Placebo effect: patient believes that the substance is an effective therapy - Likelihood principle: states that we perceive the object that is most likely to have used the pattern of stimuli we have received - Unconscious reference: perceptions are the result of unconscious assumptions, or inferences, that we make about the environment - According to structuralism, a number of sensations add up to create our perception of the face - Apparent movement: although movement is perceived, nothing is actually moving - Principles of perceptual organization: explains the way elements are grouped together to create larger objects - Principle of good continuation: “Points that, when connected, result in straight or smoothly curving lines are seen as belonging together, and the lines tend to be seen in such a way as to follow the smoothest path. Also, objects that are overlapped by other objects are perceived as continuing behind the overlapping object” - Law of pragnanz (also called principle of good figure and principle of simplicity): “Every stimulus pattern is seen in such a way that the resulting structure is as simple as possible” - Principle of similarity: “Similar things appear to be grouped together”; similarity of size, shape, or orientation - Regularities in the environment: characteristics of the environment that occur frequently - Physical regularity: regularly occurring physical properties of the environment • oblique effect: verticals and horizontals being easier to see than other orientations • light-from-above assumption: we assume light is coming from above because light in our environment, including the sun and most artificial light, usually comes from above - Semantic regularities: characteristics associated with the functions carried out in different types of scenes - Scene schema: knowledge of what a given scene typically contains - Bayesian inference: the probability of an outcome is determined by prior probability and likelihood Prior probability: our initial belief about probability of an outcome • • Likelihood: the extent to which the available evidence is consistent with the outcome - Theory of natural selection: states that characteristics that enhance an animal;s ability to survive, and therefore reproduce, will be passed on to future generations - Experience-dependent plasticity: the brain is changed, or “shaped”, by its exposure to the environment so it can perceive the environment more efficiently - Perception pathway: pathway from the visual cortex to the temporal lobe - Action pathway: pathway from the visual cortex to the parietal lobe Chapter 4: Attention Lecture Notes - Attention: the ability to focus on specify stimuli or locations in our environment • Selective attention: attending to one thing while ignoring other • Divided attention: paying attention to more than one thing at a time - Selective attention: we do not attend to a large fraction of information in our environment; we filter out some information and promote some information for further processing - Distraction: one stimulus interfering with the processing of another stimulus - Attentional capture: a rapid shifting of attention usually caused a stimulus such as a loud noise, bright light, or sudden movement - Visual scanning: movements of the eyes from one location or object to another • visual search: something we do anytime we look for an object among a number of other objects - Dichotic listening: one message is presented to left ear and another to the right ear; participant “shadows” (repeats) one message to ensure he is attending to that message; can we completely filter out the message to the unattended ear and attend only to the shadowed message? Participants could not report the content of the message in the unattended ear; they recognized that there was a message in that ear and could identify the gender and tone (happy or angry) of the speaker, but couldn’t recall what the message said; unattended ear is being process at some level • Cocktail party effect: in a loud environment, you can filter out sound and have a conversation; if your name is called, it will get your attention, showing that you are filtering the noise on some level - Where does the attention filter occur? Early or late in processing - Early selection model: • Broadbent’s Filter model (AKA bottleneck model): we filter message before incoming information is analyzed for meaning; everything goes to sensory memory and then to filter, but only some information leaves filter; this model does not explain cocktail party phenomenon • Dear Aunt Jane experiment: participants can shadow meaningful messages that switch from one ear to the other; Broadbent’s theory does not explain how we can switch our attention • 1. Sensory memory holds all incoming information for a fraction of a second and then transfer information to the next stage, the filter 2. Filter identifies attended message based on physical characteristics; only attend • message is passed on to next stage, detector • 3. Detector processes all information to determine higher-level characteristics of the message; processed for meaning; sent to short-term memory • 4. Short-term memory: receives output from detector; holds information for 10-15 seconds and may transfer it to long-term memory - Intermediate selection model: • Tresiman’s Attenuation model: attended message can be separated from unattended message early in the information-processing system; selection can also occur later • All messages from environment go to attenuator; attended message goes through attenuator, and some unattended messages go through to dictionary unit and then to memory; explains how something can get our attention even if we aren’t paying attention to it (Cocktail party phenomenon) • Attenuator analyzes incoming message in terms of physical characteristics (pitch, speed), language (how the message groups into syllables or words), and meaning (how sequences of words create meaningful phrases); attended message is lot through the attenuator at full strength; unattended message is let through at a much weaker strength • Dictionary unit receives message from attenuator; contains words, each of which have thresholds for being activated; words that are common or important (like our name or “fire”) have low thresholds; uncommon words have high thresholds - Late selection model: • Selection of stimuli for final processing does not occur until after information has been analyzed for meaning • McKay: played message in head phones; in attended ear, participants heard ambiguous sentences such as “they were throwing stones at the bank”; in unattended ear, participants heard words like “money” and “river”; participants had to choose if it was side of river or savings and loan association (“banks”); the meaning of the biasing word affected the participant’s choice; participants were unaware of biasing word - Load theory of attention: • Processing capacity: how much information a person can handle at any given moment • Perceptual load: difficulty of a given task - High-load tasks use higher amounts of processing capacity - Low-load tasks use lower amount of processing capacity - Stroop effect: name of the word (color) interferes with the ability to name the ink color; participants cannot avoid paying attention to the meanings of the words; children are better at naming the color of ink because they are not as experienced with reading as adults - Overt attention:shifting attention from one place to another by moving the eyes • fixation: briefly pausing on a face • saccadic eye movement: rapid, jerky movement from one fixation to the next • stimulus salience: the physical properties of the stimulus, such as color, contrast, or movement • saliency map: combining the characteristics such as color, orientation, and intensity at each location in the scene - Covert attention: directing our attention while keeping our eyes stationary • precueing: the precueing experiment determines whether presenting a cue indicating where a test stimulus will appear enhances the processing of the target stimulus; Posner found that information processing is more effective at the place where attention is directed same-object advantage: the faster responding that occurs when enhancement • spreads within an object - Divided attention: practice enables people to simultaneously do two things that were difficult at first • automatic processing occurs without intention and only use some of a person’s cognitive resources; it happens automatically without the person intending to do it • 100-car naturalistic driving study: video recorders in car; risk of accident is 4 times higher when using a cell phone Strayer and Johnson experiment (2001): simulated driving task; participants on cell • phone missed twice as many red lights and took longer to apply there brakes; same result using “hands-free” cell phone - Inattentional blindness: a stimulus that is not attended to is not perceived, even though a person might be looking directly at it - Location-based: moving attention from one place to another - Object based: attention being directed to from object to another - Change blindness: if shown two versions of a picture, differences between them are not immediately apparent; task to identify differences requires concentrated attention and search; example: a person in a gorilla suit walks through a video but is not perceived because watchers are focusing on counting - Binding: the process by which features such as color, form, motion, and location are combined to create our perception of a coherent object; the binding problem is the question of how an object’s individual features become bound together - Feature Integration Theory (FIT): objects are analyzed into their features in the preattentive stage, and the features are later combined with the aid of attention; object > preattentive stage > focused attention stage > perception mostly bottom-up processing: object is broken into simple parts then put back • together • top-down processing influences processing when participants are told what they should see: combines with features analysis to help one perceive things accurately • Preattentive stage: automatic, no effort or attention, unaware of process; object analyzed into features - Treisman and Schmidt (1982) experiment on FIT model: participants report combination of features from different stimuli; these combinations are called illusory conjunctions; occur because features are “free floating” before created into a perception • Focused attention stage: attention plays key role, features are combined to form whole pictures - Treisman and Schmidt (1982) experiment on FIT model: participants are told to ignore black numbers and focus on objects; participants could correctly pair shapes and colors • Experiment done on R.M., a patient with Balint’s syndrome (inability to focus attention on individual objects); high number of illusory conjunctions reported - Topographic map: a spatial map of visual stimuli on the visual cortex Chapter 5: Short-Term and Working Memory Lecture and Book notes - Memory: processes involved in retaining, retrieving, and using information about stimuli, images, events, ideas and kills after the original information is no longer present - Memory is active any time some past experience has an impact on how you think or behave now or in the future - Atkinson and Shriffin: Modal model of memory: called modal because it contains features of men of the memory models that were being proposed at the time three different types • Sensory memory: initial stage that holds all incoming information for seconds or fractions of a second • Short-term memory: holds five to seven items for about 15 to 20 seconds (repeating a phone number long enough to dial it then forgetting it) • Long-term memory: can hold a large amount of information for years or decades - Control processes: active processes that can be controlled by the person • Rehearsal: practicing information to help remember • Strategies used to make a stimulus more memorable (associating it with something else) • Strategies of attention that help you focus on specific stimuli - Sensory memory: the retention, for brief periods of time, of the effects of sensory stimulation • Information decays very quickly • Persistence of vision: retention of perception of light; Sparkler’s trail of light on Fourth of July • Holds large amount of information for a short period of time • Collects information from environment • Holds information for initial processing • Fills in blanks - Measuring the capacity and duration of sensory memory: Sperling, 1960; flashed an array of letters quickly on a screen; participants asked to report as many as possible (called “whole report method”), 4.5 out of 12 letters (37.5%) were seen on average • Partial report method: focus only on one row; heard a tone that told them which row of letters to report; average of 3.3 out of 4 letters (82%); participants could report any of the rows • Delayed partial report method: presentation of the tone delayed for a fraction of a second after the letters were extinguished; performance decrease rapidly • This experiment uses iconic memory: brief sensory memory of things we see; responsible for persistence of vision - Echoic memory: brief sensory memory of things we hear; responsible for persistence of sound - Short-term memory: stores small amounts of information for a brief duration; includes both new information received from the sensory stores and information recalled from long-term memory; about 15-20 seconds when rehearsal is prevented - Miller's (1956) Magic number 7 (plus or minus two) provides evidence for the capacity of short term memory. Most adults can store between 5 and 9 items in their short-term memory. This idea was put forward by Miller and he called it the magic number 7 - Measuring duration of short-term memory: participants read three letters then a number, then begin counting down by three, then asked to recall the three letters; after 3 seconds of counting, participants performed at 80%; at 18 seconds, participants performed at 10% • reduction in performance is explained by the existence of decay, which is the vanishing of a memory trace due to the passage of time and exposure to competing stimuli - Proactive interference: occurs when information learned pervasively interferes with learning new information; your native language may make it more difficult to learn and remember a new foreign language - Retroactive interference: occurs when new learning interferes with remembering old learning; after you get a new phone number, you may have a difficult time remembering your old phone number - Capacity of short-term memory: digit span: how many digits can a person remember? typical result is 5-8 items; • items usually single digits • Chunking: small units can be combined into larger meaningful units; a chunk is a collection of elements that are strongly associated with each other and weakly associated with element soft other chunks - Ericson study: trained a college student with average memory ability to use chunking; initial digit span of 7; after 230 one-hour training sessions, the student could remember up to 79 digits by chunking them into meaningful units - Working memory: similar concept to short-term memory: limited capacity system for temporary storage and manipulation of information for complex tasks such as comprehension, learning, and reasoning; damage to prefrontal cortex affects the ability to remember for short periods of time • differs from short term memory because it is concerned with processing and manipulation of information during complex tasks, not just holding information - Working memory has phonological loop, central executive, and visuospatial sketch pad - Experiments with monkeys: the nerve firing records show that the neuron was firing during the delay - Phonological similarity effect: words and letters that sound similar are easily confused - Word-length effect: memory of lists of words is better for short words then for long words; takes longer to rehearse long words and to produce them during recall - Articulatory suspension: prevents one from rehearsing items to be remembered; having participants speak a nonsensical language to prevent rehearsal; reduces memory span eliminates word-length effect and phonological similarity effect - Visuospatial sketch pad: visual imagery: creation of visual imagery in the mind in the absence of a physical visual stimulus; mental rotation task: participant imagines rating objects to match other objects; task with more rotation needed takes longer to perform - Working memory is set up to process different types of information simultaneously; but has trouble when similar types of information are presented at the same time - Central executive: attention controlled; focuses, divides, and switches attention; surpasses irrelevant information - Episodic buffer: backup store that communicated with long term memory and working memory; holds information longer than working memory and has greater capacity than phonological loop and visuospatial sketch pad Chapter 6: Long- Term Memory Structure Lecture and Book Notes - Long-term memory: archive of information about past events and knowledge learned; works closely with working memory - To remember something from long-term memory, it must first be brought to working memory - Storage stretches from a few moments ago to as far back as one can remember - More recent memories are more detailed - Anything after 30 seconds ago is considered long-term memory - Murdoch studied the distinction between short-term and long-term memories using the serial position curve; read stimulus list and participants write down all words remembered • Memory is better for stimuli presented in the beginning, called the primacy effect; primacy effect gave more time for rehearsing and storage in long-term memory Memory is better for stimuli presented at the end of the list, called the recency • effect; stimuli is still in short-term memory - Recency effect is eliminated if there is a 30 second delay - Visual and auditory encoding in short-term and long-term memory - Semantic encoding in short-term and long-term memory • Wickens: read three word; 15 seconds pass and asked to recall information; if given similar words in each trial, performance declined; when given a new subject of words, performance improved (professions in one trial, fruits in the next) - Neuropsychology: the hippocampus is responsible for ability to encode new long-term memories • Patient H.M.: surgery for epilepsy, removed hippocampus Clive Wearing: encephalitis; damage to medial temporal lobe (amygdala and • hippocampus • K.F.: brain injury to parietal lobe • Patients had a double dissociation for short-term and long-term memory; H.M. and Clive have normal short-term memory but impaired long-term memory; K.F. has an impaired short-term memory but a functional long-term memory - Gives evidence of role of hippocampus; and proof the STM and LTM happen in different parts of the brain - Episodic long-term memory: memory of personal events; involves mental time travel; no guarantee of accuracy - Semantic long-term memory: facts and knowledge; does not involve mental time travel; general knowledge - Episodic memory and semantic memory show double dissociation - K.C.: in motorcycle accident; damage to hippocampus; no episodic memory but semantic memory; cannot remember past events - Italian woman has impaired semantic memory but intact episodic memory • Episodic and semantic memories are in different parts of the brains - Evidence from brain- imaging experiments that retrieving episodic and semantic memories activate different areas of the brain - Episodic memory can be lost, leaving only semantic memory of a specific event; event may be episodic but becomes semantic (you know who is on the one dollar bill, but cannot recall the event that taught you that fact) - Semantic knowledge can be enhanced if associated with episodic memory • Autobiographical memory: memory of specific experiences; includes semantic and episodic • Personal semantic memory: semantic memories that have personal significance; dates events happened • Can influence what we experience episodically by determining what we attend to - Typical research findings are that forgetting increases with longer intervals from the original encoding - Remember/ know experience: • Remember if a stimulus is familiar and the circumstance under which it was encountered? • Know if the stimulus is familiar but don’t remember experiencing it? Or do not remember stimulus at all • - Semanticization of remote memories” loss of episodic details for memories of long- ago events - Memories from 10 vs. 40 years ago vary most in loss of episodic memory and loss of entire memory - Implicit/ non-declarative memory: unconscious memory • procedural or skill memories (riding a bike) • priming: previous experience changes response without conscious awareness - Classical conditioning: pairing a neutral stimulus with a reflexive response - Explicit/ declarative memory: episodic and semantic - Skill memory: memory for actions; often no memory of where and when we learned it; perform procedures without being consciously aware of how to do them - People who cannot form new long-term memories can still learn new skills (H.M.) - Perfect and Askew: propaganda effect: more likely to be true if they have read or heard the statements before, regardless of where they heard them; participants not conscious of this tendency; implications for advertisements


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