Cog psych chapter 1 Lecture 1 • Complexity of cognition o Cognition involves ▪ Perception ▪ Paying attention ▪ Remembering ▪ Distinguishing items in a category ▪ Visualizing ▪ Understanding and production of language ▪ Problem solving ▪ Reasoning and decision-making • All include “hidden” processeWe also discuss several other topics like utc criminal justice
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Don't forget about the age old question of What is the act of perceiving meaningful connections among unrelatable events?
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s of which we may not be aware o Cognitive psychology ▪ The branch of psych concerned with the scientific study of the mind ▪ Cognition refers to the mental processes, such as perception, attention, and memory, that are what the mind does • The first cognitive psychologists o Donders (1868) ▪ Measuring how long it takes a person to make a decision o Reaction-time (RT) experiment ▪ Measures interval between stimulus presentation and person’s response to stimulus o Donders (1868) ▪ Simple RT task: participant pushes a button quickly after a light appears ▪ Choice RT task: participant pushes one button if light is on right side, another if light is on left side o Donders (1868) ▪ Choice RT-Simple Rt= time to make a decision • Choice Rt= 1/10th sec longer than simple RT • 1/10th sec to make decision ▪ Mental responses cannot be measured directly but can be inferred from the partcipant’s behavior o Ebbinghaus (1885/1913) ▪ Read list of nonsense syllables aloud many times to determine number of repetitions necessary to repeat list without errors ▪ After some time, he relearned the list • Short intervals= fewer repetitions to relearn ▪ Learned many different lists at many different retention intervals ▪ Savings= (original time to learn the list) – (time to relearn the list after a delay)Lecture 2 • The rise of behaviorism o John Watson noted two problems with this: ▪ Extremely variable results from person to person ▪ Results difficult to verify • Invisible inner mental processes o John Watson proposed a new approach called behaviorism ▪ Eliminate the mind as a topic of study ▪ Instead, study directly observable behavior o Watson and Rayner (1920)- “Little Albert” experiment ▪ Classical conditioning of fear • Pair a neutral event with an event that naturally produces some outcome • After many pairings, the “neutral” event now also produces the outcome ▪ 9-month-old became frightened by a rat after a loud noise was paired with every presentation of the rat ▪ behavior can be analyzed without any reference to the mind ▪ examined how pairing one stimulus with another affected behavior o B.F. Skinner (1940s through 1960s) ▪ Interested in determining the relationship between stimuli and response ▪ Operant conditioning • Shape behavior by rewards or punishments • Behavior that is rewarded is more likely to be repeated • The reemergence of the mind in psychology o Tolman (1938) trained rats to find food in a four-armed maze o Two competing interpretations: ▪ Behaviorism predicts that the rats learned to “turn right to find food” ▪ Tolman believed that the rats had created a cognitive map of the maze and were navigating to a specific arm o Tolman (1938) o What happens when the rats are placed in a different arm of the maze? ▪ Supported tolman’s interpretation ▪ Did not support behaviorism interpretation • The decline of behaviorism o A controversy over language acquisition o Skinner (1957)- verbal behavior ▪ Argued children learn language through operant conditioning • Children imitate speech they hear • Correct speech is rewarded o Chomsky (1959) ▪ Argued children do not only learn language through imitation and reinforcement • Children say things they have never heard and can not be imitating • Children say things that are incorrect and have not been rewarded for ▪ Language must be determined by inborn biological program Lecture 3 • Studying the mind o To understand complex cognitive behaviors: ▪ Measure observable behavior ▪ Make inferences about underlying cognitive activity ▪ Consider what this behavior says about how the mind works • The cognitive revolution o Shift from behaviorist’s stimulus-response relationships to an approach that attempts to explain behavior in terms of the mind o Information-processing approach ▪ A way to study the mind created from insights associated with the digital computer o Early computers (1950s) ▪ Processed information in stages • How much information can the mind absorb? • Attend to just some of the incoming information? o Cherry (1953) o “Dichotic” listening ▪ Present message A in left ear ▪ Present message B in right ear ▪ To ensure attention, shadow one message o Participants were able to focus only one the message they were shadowing o Broadbent (1958) ▪ Flow diagram representing what happens as a person directs attention to one stimulus ▪ Unattended information does not pass through the filter • Modern research in cognitive psychology o How research progresses from question to question ▪ Start with what is known ▪ Ask questions ▪ Design experiments ▪ Obtain and interpret results ▪ Use results as the bases for new research questions and experiments • The role of models in cognitive psychology o There are two kinds of models to be aware of ▪ Structural models • Representations of a physical structure • Mimic the form of appearance of a given object ▪ Process models • Represent the processes that are involved in cognitive mechanisms, with boxes usually representing specific processes and arrows indicating connections between processes Chapter 2 • Cognitive neuroscience o The study of physiological basis of cognition • Building blocks of the nervous system o Neurons: cells specialized to create, receive, and transmit information in the nervous system o Each neuron has a cell body, an axon, and dendrites o Cell body: contains mechanisms to keep cell alive o Dendrites: multiple branches reaching from the cell body, which receives information from other neurons o Axon: tube filled with fluid that transmits electrical signal to other neurons • Nerve nets o The interconnections of neurons create a nerve net, which is like a continuous network that is similar to a highway ▪ One street connects to another but without stop signs ▪ This allows for almost nonstop, continuous communication of signals throughout the network o Contradicted by the neuron doctrine ▪ Ramon y Cajal • How neurons communicate o Action potential ▪ Neuron receives signal from environment ▪ Information travels down the axon of that neuron to the dendrites of another neuron o Measuring action potentials ▪ Microelectrodes pick up electrical signal ▪ Placed near axon ▪ Active for about 1 second o Measuring action potentials ▪ The size is not measured; size remains consistent ▪ The rate of firing is measured • Low intensities: slow firing • High intensities: fast firing o Synapse: space between axon of one neuron and dendrite or cell body of another o When action potential reaches the end of the axon, synaptic vesicles open and release chemical neurotransmitters o Neurotransmitters, chemicals that affect the electrical signal of the receiving neuron, cross the synapse and bind with the receiving dendrites • Representation in the brain o Hubel & Wiesel 1960s o Feature detectors: neurons that respond best to a specific stimulus o Specificity coding: representation of a specific stimulus by firing of specifically tuned neurons specialized to just respond to a specific stimulus o Population coding: representation of a particular object by the pattern of firing of a large number of neurons o 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 • Localization of function o Specific functions are served by specific areas of the brain o Cognitive functioning breaks down in specific ways when areas of the brain are damaged o Cerebral cortex (3 mm thick later that covers the brain) contains mechanisms responsible for most of our cognitive functions o Language ▪ Language production is impaired by damage to Broca’s area • Frontal lobe ▪ Language comprehension is impaired by damage to Wernicke’s area • Temporal lobe o Perception ▪ Primary receiving areas for the senses • Occipital lobe: vision • Parietal lobe: touch, temperature, pain • Temporal lobe: hearing, taste, smell ▪ Coordination of information received from all senses • Double dissociation o 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 o Allows us to identify functions that are controlled by different parts of the brain • Organization: brain imaging o Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) o Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) • Brain imaging: evidence for localization of function o Fusiform face area responds specifically to faces ▪ Temporal lobe ▪ Damage to this area causes prosopagnosia (inability to recognize faces) o Parahippocampal place area responds specifically to places (indoor/outdoor scenes) ▪ Temporal lobeo Extrastriate body area responds specifically to pictures of bodies and parts of bodies • Distributed representation in the brain o In addition to localization of function, specific functions are processed by many different areas of the brain o Many different areas may contribute to a function o May appear to contradict the notion of localization of function, but the two concepts are actually complementary • Neural networks o Groups of neurons or structures that are connected together o Can be examined using diffusion tensor imaging Chapter 3 • Approaches to understand perception o Direct perception theories ▪ Bottom-up processing ▪ Perception comes from stimuli in the environment ▪ Parts are identified and put together, and then recognition occurs o Constructive perception theories ▪ Top-down processing ▪ People actively construct perception using information based on expectations • The complexity of perception o Bottom-up processing ▪ Perception may start with the senses ▪ Incoming raw data o Top-down processing ▪ Perception may start with the brain ▪ Person’s knowledge, experience, expectations • Hearing words in a sentence o When you hear words in a sentence spoken in a foreign language, your ability to pick out or understand certain words based on context demonstrates top-down processing (e.g., listening to a baseball game that is broadcast in Spanish may make it easier to hear players names or certain “baseball-related” words) o Speech segmentation ▪ The ability to tell when one word ends and another begins • Experiencing pain o Direct pathway model ▪ An early model that emphasized nociceptors that would send pain messages directly to the brain ▪ A bottom-up processing model ▪ More recent models have found that expectations, attention, and distraction can affect how we experience pain in a “top-down” manner • The placebo effect • Helmholt’s theory of unconscious inference (~1860) o Top-down theory o Some of our perceptions are the result of unconscious assumptions we make about the environment ▪ We use our knowledge to inform our perceptions o We infer much of what we know about the world o Likelihood principle: we perceive the world in the way that is “most likely” based on our past experiences • Perceptual organization o “old” view- structuralism ▪ Perception involves adding up sensations o “new” view- Gestalt psychologists ▪ The mind groups patterns according to laws of perceptual organization • Gestalt laws of perceptual organization o Law of good continuation ▪ Lines tend to be seen as following the smoothest path o Law of pragnanz (simplicity or good figure) ▪ Every stimulus pattern is seen so the resulting structure is as simple as possible o Law of similarity ▪ Similar things appear grouped together o Gestalt laws often provide accurate information about properties of the environment ▪ Reflect experience ▪ Experience is important but does not overcome perceptual principles o Gestalt laws are intrinsic • Physical regularities o Oblique effect ▪ People can perceive vertical and horizontals more easily than other orientations o Light-from-above assumption ▪ Light comes from above ▪ Is usually the case in the environment ▪ We perceive shadows as specific information about depth and distance • Bayesian inference o Thomas Bayes (1701-1761) o One’s estimate of the probability 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 • Neurons and the environment o Some neurons respond best to things that occur regularly in the environment o Neurons become tuned to respond best to what we commonly experience ▪ Horizontals and verticals ▪ Experience-dependent plasticity • Movement facilitates perception o Movement helps us perceive things in our environment more accurately than static, still images ▪ For example, a horse in the distance standing still may be more difficult to discern than the horse walking across the field ▪ Walking around that same horse to see it from different angles will also facilitate accurate perception • Perception and action: what and where o What stream: identifying an object o Where stream: identifying the object’s location Chapter 4 attention • Attention o The ability to focus on specific stimuli or locations in our environment ▪ Selective: attending to one thing while ignoring others ▪ Divided: paying attention to more than one thing at a time • Selective attention o Ability to focus on one message and ignore all others o We do not attend to a large fraction of the information in the environment o We filter out some information and promote other information for further processing • Research method: dichotic listening o One message is presented to the left ear and another to the right ear o Participant “shadows” one message to ensure he is attending to that message o Can we completely filter out the message to the unattended ear and attend only to the shadowed message? • Results of dichotic listening o Participants could not report the content of the message in unattended ear ▪ Knew that there was a message ▪ Knew the gender of the speaker o However unattended ear is being processed at some level ▪ Cocktail party effect ▪ Change in gender is noticed ▪ Change to a tone is noticed • Models of selective attention o Where does the attention filter occur? ▪ Early in processing ▪ Later in processing o Early selection model ▪ Broadbent’s filter model o Intermediate selection model▪ Tresiman’s attenuation theory o Late selection model ▪ E.g. McKay 1973 • Broadbent’s filter model o Early selection model ▪ Filters message before incoming information is analyzed for meaning • Messages->sensory memory->filter-attended message->detector- >to memory o Sensory memory ▪ Holds all incoming information for a fraction of a second ▪ Transfers all information to next stage o Filter ▪ Identifies attended message based on physical characteristics ▪ Only attended message is passed on to the next stage o Detector ▪ Processes all information to determine higher level characteristics of the message o Short term memory ▪ Receives output of detector ▪ Holds information for 10-15 seconds and may transfer it to long term memory • Broadbent’s model could not explain o Participant’s name gets through ▪ Cocktail party phenomenon o Participants can shadow meaningful messages that switch from one ear to another ▪ Dear Aunt Jane • Treisman’s attenuation theory o Intermediate selection model ▪ Attended message can be separated from unattended message early in the information processing system ▪ Selection can also occur later • Messages->attenuator-attended message->dictionary unit->to memory o Attenuator ▪ Analyzes incoming message in terms of physical characteristics, language, and meaning ▪ Attended to message is let through the attenuator at full strength ▪ Unattended message is let through at a much weaker strength o Dictionary unit ▪ Contains words, each of which have thresholds for being activated • Words that are common or important have low thresholds • Uncommon words have high thresholds • Late selection models o Selection of stimuli for final processing does not occur until after information has been analyzed for meaning o McKay 1973 ▪ In attending ear, participants heard ambiguous sentences • “they were throwing stones at the bank” ▪ In unattended ear, participants heard either • “river” • “money” ▪ In test, participants had to choose which was closet to the meaning of attended to message: • They threw stones toward the side of the river yesterday • They threw stones at the savings and loan association yesterday ▪ The meaning of the biasing word affected participant’s choice ▪ Participants were unaware of the presentation of the biasing words • Load theory of attention o Processing capacity- how much information a person can handle at any given moment o Perceptual load- the difficulty of a given task ▪ High load (difficult) tasks use higher amounts of processing capacity ▪ Low load (easy) tasks use lower amounts of processing capacity • The Stroop test o Name of the word interferes with the ability to name the ink color o Cannot avoid paying attention to the meaning of the words • Divided attention o Practice enables people to simultaneously do two things that were difficult at first ▪ Schneider and Shiffrin 1977 o Automatic processing occurs without intention and only uses some of a person’s cognitive resources • Divided attention- distractions while driving o 100-car naturalistic driving study ▪ Video recorders placed in cars ▪ Risk of accident is four times higher when using a cell phone o Strayer and Johnston 2001 ▪ Simulated driving task ▪ Participants on cell phone missed twice as many red lights and took longer to apply the brakes • Same result use “hands free” cell phone • Attention and visual perception o Inattentional blindness: a stimulus that is not attended is not perceived, even though a person might be looking directly at it • Object-based visual attention o Location-based: moving attention from one place to another o Object-based: attention being directed to one place on an object • Change detection o Change blindness: if shown two version of a picture, differences between them are not immediately apparent ▪ Task to identify differences requires concentrated attention and search • Attention and experiencing a coherent world o Binding ▪ The process by which features such as color, form, motion, and location are combined to create our perception of a coherent object • Feature integration theory o Objects are analyzed into their features in the preattentive stage, and the features are later combined with the aid of attention. o Preattentive stage ▪ Automatic ▪ No effort or attention ▪ Unaware of process ▪ Object analyzed into features o Treisman and Schmidt 1982 ▪ Participants report combination of features from different stimuli ▪ Illusory conjunctions occur because features are “free floating” o Focused attention stage ▪ Attention plays key role ▪ Features are combined o Treisman and Schmidt 1982 ▪ Ignore black numbers and focus on objects o R.M.: patient with Balint’s syndrome ▪ Inability to focus attention on individual objects ▪ High number of illusory conjunctions reported o Mostly bottom up processing o Top down processing influences processing when participants are told what they would see ▪ Top down processing combines with feature analysis to help one perceive things accurately Chapter 5 short term and working memory • What is memory o Memory: process involved in retaining, retrieving, and using information about stimuli, images, events, ideas, and skills after the original information is no longer present o Active any time some past experience has an impact on how you think or behave now or in the future • Modal model of memory o Atkinson and Shiffrin 1968 o Three different types of memory:▪ 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 ▪ Long term memory- can hold a large amount of information for years or even decades o Control processes: active processes that can be controlled by the person ▪ Rehearsal ▪ Strategies used to make a stimulus more memorable ▪ Strategies of attention that help you focus on specific stimuli o Sensory memory: the retention, for brief periods of time, or the effects of sensory stimulation ▪ Information decays very quickly o Persistence of vision: retention of the perception of light ▪ Sparkler’s trail of light o Holds large amount of information for a short period of time ▪ Collects information ▪ Holds information for initial processing ▪ Fills in the blank o Measuring the capacity and duration of sensory memory (Sperling, 1960) ▪ Array of letters flashed quickly on a screen ▪ Participants asked to report as many as possible o Whole report methods: participants asked to report as many as could be seen ▪ Average of 4.5 out of 12 letters o Partial report method: participants heard tone that told them which row of letters to report ▪ Average of 3.3 out of 4 letters ▪ Participants could report any of the rows o Delayed partial report method: presentation of tone delayed for a fraction of a second after the letters were extinguished ▪ Performance decreases rapidly o Iconic memory: brief sensory memory of the things that we see ▪ Responsible for persistence of vision o Echoic memory: brief sensory memory of the things that we hear ▪ Responsible for persistence of sound • Short term memory o Stores small amounts of information for a brief duration o Includes both new information received from the sensory stores and information recalled from long term memory o Measuring the duration of short term memory ▪ Read three letters, then a number ▪ Begin counting backwards by threes ▪ After a set time, recall three letters o After three seconds of counting, participants performed at 80% o After 18 seconds of counting, participants performed at 10%o This 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 o When rehearsal is prevented, is about 15-20 seconds o Proactive interference: occurs when information learned previously interferes with learning new information ▪ Example: your naïve language may make it more difficult to learn and remember a new foreign language o Retroactive interference: occurs when new learning interferes with remembering old learning ▪ Example: after you get a new telephone number and use it for a while, you may have difficult remembering your old phone number o Chunking: small units can be combined into larger meaningful units ▪ Chunk is a collection of elements strongly associated with one another but weakly associated with elements in other chunks o Ericsson et al. 1980 ▪ Trained a college student with average memory ability to use chunking • SF has an initial digit span of 7 ▪ After 230 one hour training sessions, SF could remember up to 79 digits • Chunking them into meaningful units • Working memory o Similar concept to short term o Baddeley and Hitch 1974 o Working memory: limited capacity system for temporary storage and manipulation of information for complex tasks such as comprehension, learning, and reasoning o Working memory differs from STM ▪ STM holds information for a brief period of time ▪ WM is concerned with the processing and manipulation of information that occurs during complex cognition • Phonological loop o Phonological similarity effect ▪ Letters or words that sound similar are confused o Word length effect ▪ Memory for lists of words is better for short words than for long words ▪ Takes longer to rehearse long words and to produce them during recall o Articulatory suppression ▪ Prevents one from rehearsing items to be remembered • Reduces memory span eliminates word length effect • Reduces phonological similarity effect for reading words • Visuospatial sketch pad o Visual imagery: the creation of visual images in the mind in the absence of a physical visual stimulus ▪ Shepard and Metzler 1971 ▪ Mental rotation task ▪ Tasks that called for greater rotations took longer • Working memory o WM is set up to process different types of information simultaneously • The central executive o Attention controller ▪ Focus, divide, switch attention o Control suppression of irrelevant information • Episodic buffer o Backup store that communicates with LTM and WM components o Hold information longer and has greater capacity than phonological loop or visuospatial sketch pad