PSY 305 Cognition Midterm I Study Guide
“the Problem”: how do we observe the mind? How do we get from the stimulus to the response?
Traditionally there are three things we can observe:
Ourselves, Stimulus-response relationships, Physiology
Solutions to the Problem:
∙ Introspection: look inside and see what’s going on. Awareness about different mental operations. Report everything that one is perceiving. Problems include:
o Difficult to verify
o Private events, not public
o End product, not the process
∙ Behaviorism: behaviorists argued that if you can’t see it, you shouldn’t bother talking about it. E.g. only discuss stimuli and response, not the mental process involved to produce the response. o Problems of behaviorism include:
Cant account for diversity of human behavior (language, navigation, etc.)
Cant see electrons, genes, etc. not everything is If you want to learn more check out What refers to the process of change that can be observed by science?
∙ Cognitivism: infer what is going on from stimulus to response. o Intelligent behavior can be decomposed into parts. Each part can be understood better than the whole. In time the parts will help explain the composition of the whole. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the meaning of a negative feedback loop?
Thorndike—the law of effect: behaviors will be strengthened or weakened based on the reward or punishment. Cat in the cage with the levellearning how to get out, less trials in time. E.g. learning based on outcome. Outcome matters.
Sensation: stimulation of sense organs
Perception: selection, organization, and interpretation of sensory input Psychophysics: the study of how physical stimuli are translated into psychological experience
Basic Principles: Three principles of sensation and perception: ∙ Not a one-one correspondence between physical and psychological reality
∙ Sensation and perception are active processes
∙ Sensation and perception are adaptive
Perception: the construction of a model of the world
Distal stimulusproximal stimulusrepresentationresponse
Perceptual systems fill in contours that are not present in an image (illusory contours) perceptual systems fill in those shapes and lines based on experience
Perception as induction:
∙ Perception makes inductive inferences to simplify interpretations of sensory information If you want to learn more check out What is the meaning of general description?
∙ Previous observations are experiential and evolutionary
Top-down processes (conceptually driven) cognitive processes Perception is right in the middles of these processes. A combination of both Bottom-up processes (data driven) distal stimuli=real world Incoming data= bottom upexisting knowledge= top down
∙ Proximity (things that are close together probably belong together) ∙ Similarity (things that are similar probably belong together) ∙ Good continuation (intersecting lines lead us to believe the lines continue on)
∙ Closure (if one object is occluding another object, we assume the occluded object exists behind the other)
∙ Importance of recognizing patterns
∙ Translating sensory signals into psychological experiences of recognizable objects
∙ Matches sensory information to representations in memory
Template Matching: objects are matched to a template stored in memory If sensory pattern matches template, object is recognized ∙ Need an exact match works well in very limited domains ∙ The problem is the real world is not regular enough If you want to learn more check out How do you define molar mass?
Feature Analytic Approach: Complex representations must be built up of simple representations
∙ Break stimuli into smaller components
∙ Recognition based on detection of distinctive features If you want to learn more check out How did ulysses s grant get elected?
∙ Solves template matching problem: don’t need infinite templates, just a small number of featuresReduces infinite variation in environment to finite categories
Cell types by function:
∙ Simple cell: neurons only fire to lines of a specific orientation
∙ Complex cell: neurons fire to a line of a given orientation that moves in a particular direction
∙ Hypercomplex cell: neurons fire to a line of a given orientation that moves in a particular direction and have a specific length
Attention: Need to efficiently allocate limited cognitive resources toward processing of ‘important’ information
∙ Attention is the mental process of concentrating effort on an external or internal event.
Cocktail party phenomenon—block out unimportant information, and process only information of importance.
Where does selection occur?
o Before locus of selection (everything is processed but not everything is attended)
o Unlimited capacity
o All incoming information is processed
o After locus of selection We also discuss several other topics like What is the condensed structural formula for ethane?
o Capacity is limited
o Only selected information is processed
o Locus of selection = bottleneck of information processing
Filtering Model—Broadbent (1958)
Inputs channels (e.g. left and right ear)detectionfilterrecognition (semantics)
o Only physical characteristics of channels are extracted and selection is based solely on those physical characteristics
o Perceptual analysis is largely unlimited in capacity. Access to semantics is sharply limited.
Attenuation Model—Triesman (1960)
This is the same as Broadbent’s model EXCEPT:
o Some stuff still gets in but is weaker
o Some things in memory are already activated a little, even a weak signal can cause us to notice it
o Important information can get through
Overt and covert Orienting:
o Fovea is the most sensitive region of retina (center 1-2 degrees) o Eyes move to place spatial locations on fovea
o We look at things we are attending to
o E.g. Focusing attention on what we are looking at
o Eye movements correlated with attention, but this can be separated.
o E.g. paying attention to someone else’s drama without directing attention to it.
o Posner cueing paradigm
Eyes on a fixation point: valid vs. neutral cues
Faster in the valid cue condition (attention directed to the correct answer)
You can move attention without moving your eyes You can’t move your eyes without first moving
Rubber band model—attention is always moving before the eyes. Eyes follow attention and jump to the new location of attention.
Inhibition of Return: eyes more likely to visit a new location rather than go back to old information. Attention is inhibited to return to a previously attended but now unattended location.
IOR is associated with objects, not locations
Titchner and Focus of Attention: focus of attention moves around to sample novel information
Constraining Spotlight: idea that we can zoom in and out with the spotlight. Zoomed in is focused.
Attention begins as diffuse but is centered over an area. Attention constrains or focuses on a single letter over time. “zooms lens”
Incompatible: HHSHH: slow: takes time to constrain down to center letter
Compatible: SSSSS: fast: don’t need to constrain
o Flanker effect: easier to react faster and provide answer for compatible tasks. Incompatible is slower.
Automatic and Controlled Processing: Attention can be directed voluntarily or involuntary
Automatic processes typically do not require attention o Build up through practice
Controlled processes do require attention
o More likely a continuum
Many behaviors are a complex interaction of automatic and controlled processing
Posner and Snyder (1975)—automatic and controlled processing Automatic
o Fast: Occurs without attention
o Not open to introspection
o Consumes few resources
o Just facilitation
o Example: ducking when someone throws a ball at your head
o Slow: Only with intention
o Is open to introspection
o Needs resources
o Facilitation and inhibition (need inhibition to stop your impulses) o Example: solving a math problem
Stroop task is more difficult than normal color naming task Word reading: fast, effortless, uncontrollable
Color naming: Slow, effortful, controlled
Two Stages of Processing:
Preattentive processing: Fast, Parallel, Unlimited capacity, Operate across entire visual field
Attentive processing: Slow, Serial, Limited capacity, Small portions of the visual field
Serial search: search should give linear increase in RT
Parallel search types: simplest parallel, unlimited capacity—slope of 0
Feature search: preattentive
o Automatic, Fast, Pops-out
o Independent of number of distractors
Conjunction search: attentive
o Controlled, Slow, effortful
o Depends on number of distractors
Feature Integration Theory: object broken down into their features in parallel across visual field
Attention is needed to bind features together.
Early stages of processing
o Feature maps code different dimensions of stimulus
o Features coded independently, in parallel, and over entire visual field
o Needed to bind information in individual feature maps into object representations
o Occurs only in focus of attention, slow, serial
This theory predicts that searching for a target w/o a feature is more difficult than one with a feature need to look harder for the exception case.
Irrelevant sensory information can capture attention
Presence of salient distractor slows responses to targets by diverting attention.
A number of groups tend to be more inconsistent in their performances, less efficient including older adults, Frontal patients, Alzheimer’s patients, schizophrenic patients, individuals with ADHD
other aspects of attention.
we are likely to orient to novel information
repetitions to the same stimuli result in habituated
new stimulus which enters gets orienting reflex again