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UO / Psychology / PSY 305 / How do we observe the mind?

How do we observe the mind?

How do we observe the mind?


School: University of Oregon
Department: Psychology
Course: Cognition
Professor: Jagdeep bala
Term: Fall 2017
Tags: cognition, behaviorism, Theory, and cells
Cost: 50
Name: PSY 305 Cognition Study Guide Exam 1
Description: These notes cover the lecture materials from the first three weeks of class for the upcoming exam.
Uploaded: 01/27/2018
6 Pages 148 Views 5 Unlocks

PSY 305 Cognition Midterm I Study Guide

How do we observe the mind?

“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:

How do we get from the stimulus to the response?

Don't forget about the age old question of What refers to the scientific study of life?

 Cant account for diversity of human behavior (language,  navigation, etc.)

 Cant see electrons, genes, etc. not everything is  


∙ 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.  

Thorndike—the law of effect: behaviors will be strengthened or weakened  based on the reward or punishment. Cat in the cage with the levellearning  how to get out, less trials in time. E.g. learning based on outcome. Outcome  matters.  

Sensation: stimulation of sense organs

What is the definition of introspection?

If you want to learn more check out What is the meaning of a positive feedback loop?

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 stimulusproximal stimulusrepresentationresponse  

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  

∙ 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 upexisting knowledge= top down  Don't forget about the age old question of What is the nature of science?

Gestalt principles:

∙ 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) Don't forget about the age old question of What volume of molarity solution must be added to an excess volume of other solutions to make the mass precipitate?

∙ Closure (if one object is occluding another object, we assume the  occluded object exists behind the other)  

Pattern Recognition: 

∙ 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  

Feature Analytic Approach: Complex representations must be built up of  simple representations  

∙ Break stimuli into smaller components

∙ Recognition based on detection of distinctive features We also discuss several other topics like What was the purpose of the hamburg massacre?

∙ Solves template matching problem: don’t need infinite templates, just  a small number of featuresReduces 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  If you want to learn more check out How do you write a structural formula?

∙ 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

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)detectionfilterrecognition  (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: 

Overt 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  

Covert orienting:

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

 Two degrees

 Continuous

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”  

  Flanker tests 

 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

 Convenient dichotomy

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  

 Controlled/Effortful

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

  Focused attention 

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.

Attentional Capture 

 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

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