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UF / Psychology / SOP 3604 / What is reaction time experiment?

What is reaction time experiment?

What is reaction time experiment?

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School: University of Florida
Department: Psychology
Course: Cognitive Psychology
Professor: Stagner
Term: Spring 2016
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Cost: 50
Name: Cog Psych Study Guide 1
Description: Chapters 1-5
Uploaded: 02/13/2017
14 Pages 211 Views 0 Unlocks
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o Where does the attention filter occur?




• How much information can the mind absorb?




o What happens when the rats are placed in a different arm of the maze?



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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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

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