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GWU / Psychology / PSYC 2014 / What is cognitive psychology?

What is cognitive psychology?

What is cognitive psychology?


School: George Washington University
Department: Psychology
Course: Cognitive Psychology
Professor: S dopkins
Term: Fall 2015
Cost: 50
Name: Test #1 Study Guide
Description: This is Dopkins question sheet completely filled out. It also has all the terms mentioned on his question sheet defined.
Uploaded: 10/17/2015
17 Pages 10 Views 13 Unlocks

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

What is cognitive psychology?

Cognitive Psychology

Review Sheet for Test #1

- What is Cognitive Psychology?

• How is empiricism related to rationalism? How do these points of view differ? - Relationship:

• Both are ideas of human knowledge

- Differ:

• Empiricism is the idea that humans are born with no information about the  world and learn about the world through observation as they grow up

- John Locke’s idea

• Rationalism is the idea that humans understand the world by reasoning from  basic principles  

- The basis for human understanding is those ideas that you have at birth/in  the womb  

- René Descartes

• How do ideas originate according to rationalism? According to empiricism? - Empiricism: All ideas come from experiences

• Discounts any ideas that are innate and says that all ideas must come from  experience and evidence

What role does neurological disease play in cognitive neuroscience?

- Rationalism: The only valid ideas originate from God (are innate) and they are  put in your mind before you are born by God

• Also that ideas can come from imagination and through sensory experience  but these are not valid

• What role does neurological disease play in cognitive neuroscience? - Cognitive Neuroscience is more concerned with what is going on in the Brain versus the Mind (which is what we are concerned with as cognitive  psychologists)


Thursday, October 15, 2015

- Neurological disease allows cognitive neuroscientists to see what areas of the  brain are involved in certain functions by showing what functions stop working  when certain brain areas are affected/damaged Don't forget about the age old question of this is the most extensive and useful measure of crime available.

- Brain and Cognition

• How is a neuron limited in the neurons to which it can send messages? - A neuron can only send a message to the neurons which it is directly connected  to, it has a very limited audience

How many kinds of neural messages can a single neuron send?

• How many kinds of neural messages can a single neuron send?

- A single neuron can only send ONE kind of neural message: excitatory or  inhibitory depending on what kind of neuron it is

• If it is an inhibitory neuron: sends inhibitory message

• If it is an excitatory neuron: sends excitatory message

• If neuron A sends an inhibitory message to neuron B, what determines whether  neuron B sends an inhibitory or excitatory message to neuron C?  We also discuss several other topics like marissa mcginnis

- If neuron B RECEIVES more excitatory messages from other neurons, it will  SEND a message to neuron C

- If neuron B RECEIVES more inhibitory messages from other neurons, it will NOT  SEND a message to neuron C

• What role does a neuron play in deciding whether or not it sends a neural  message?  

- The neuron itself does not decide anything, it is told by other neurons whether or  not to send a message. If a neuron receives more excitatory messages, it will  send a message. If a neuron receives more inhibitory messages, it will not send  a message. We also discuss several other topics like mgf 1106 chapter 2 test

• Neuron A receives many more excitatory than inhibitory messages and sends an  excitatory message. What will happen if neuron A receives many more inhibitory  than excitatory messages?

- If neuron A receives many more inhibitory messages than excitatory messages, it  will send NOTHING. This is because when it does receive more excitatory  messages, it sends an excitatory message meaning it is an EXCITATORY neuron  and that is the ONLY kind of message it can send.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

• Immediately after receiving a number of inhibitory messages, neuron A sends an  excitatory message? What two things must be the case?  

- 1. Neuron A must be an excitatory neuron because that is the only way it could  send an excitatory message.  Don't forget about the age old question of yonatan tadele

- 2. Neuron A must have received an even greater number of EXCITATORY  messages than inhibitory messages because of the fact that it sent a message.

• How does the process whereby a neuron sends a message differ from an electrical  process?  

- A neuron sends a message to another neuron using neurotransmitters, which are  chemicals. This means that one neuron stimulates another neuron using  chemicals. If you want to learn more check out sfsu ilearn login
If you want to learn more check out the laetoli footprint trail is associated with which hominin species?

• Contrast contralateral connections and lateralization - 2 TOTALLY DIFFERENT  THINGS

- Contralateral Connections: sensory/motor connections from the left side of the  body connected to the right side of the brain and vice versa

• Ex: Your left brain controls the movement of right arm/leg/fingers/eye/etc - Lateralization: more complex function (language, creativity, etc) are centered on  one side of the brain

• Right side: space, emotion, creativity, etc

• Left side: language, logic, science/math, etc

• How does the corpus callosum make possible the lateralization of cognitive  function?  

- The corpus callosum connects both sides of the brain and allows them to  communicate.  

• For example, if the corpus callosum is severed (split brain), the brains can still  communicate slightly and by watching each other, the brains can work off info  from the other side.

• Why do the symptoms of non-fluent aphasia and neglect make sense given the  areas of cortex damaged in both cases?


Thursday, October 15, 2015

- Non-Fluent Aphasia: patient speaks with much difficulty and with only a few  function words (they know what they want to say but have struggle in actually  trying to put the words into a coherent sentence)

• The damaged area is the space in between the auditory cortex and the motor  cortex in the frontal lobe

- Damage to this area makes sense because the motor cortex is involved in  controlling the motor movement of the mouth and also processing grammar  and the auditory cortex is involved in listening to yourself speak and so it is  challenging to form words.

- Neglect: patient ignores the left side of their visual world unless prompted to  focus on that area

• The damaged area is the space in between the touch cortex and the visual  cortex on the right side of the brain

- This makes sense because the touch cortex is involved with touch which is  important for spacial ability (because you act within the space you’re in) and  the visual cortex makes sense because you are looking at the world you’re  in and ignoring half of it.

• How has thinking changed recently regarding plasticity of function in the brain? - Previous thinking was that the brain areas are in charge of specific functions and  if that area is damaged, the individual will lose that/those function(s) permanently

- Recent thinking is that the function of various parts of the brain can change after  you’re born

• If one area of the brain is damaged, the functions affected can be taken on by  another part of the brain

• EEG is better than PET and fMRI for what purpose?  

- EEG is better at answering the WHEN questions of the brain

• It shows you the signals in the brain versus where in the brain the signals are  occurring

• PET and fMRI are better than EEG for what purpose?

- PET and fMRI are better fir the WHERE questions of the brain

• These technologies show you what area of the brain that is functioning 4

Thursday, October 15, 2015

• What advantages does fMRI have over PET?

- The fMRI does not need the patient to have a shot of a radioactive substance to  be able to see the structures of the brain where as the PET scans do. Obviously  any radioactive substances are not great in the body and so the fMRI is better to  use.

• How does rTMS differ from EEG, PET, and fMRI?  

- rTMS: influences electrical activity of the brain area using magnetic stimulation

• Used in various ways to see what areas of the brain are involved in specific  functions

- It is different from the other types of scans in that it is used in debilitating certain  areas of the brain by putting a lot of electrical current in, and seeing what  functions are affected

• How do the spatially lower and higher parts of the brain differ in function?  - Higher areas of the brain are more evolved and higher functioning • Emotion, frontal lobe, etc.

- Lower ares of the brain are more functions needed to survive  

• Breathing, heart beat, etc.

• What is the functional advantage of lateralization of function in the brain? - Takes less time to perform/think because all the neurons for a specific function  are in the same place

• Ex: More efficient for language to be on one side of the brain versus on  opposite sides of the brain

- Attention

• Contrast the whole and partial report procedures  

- Whole Report Procedure: S is presented with an array of letters and the subject  is tasked with reporting all of the contents

• About 33% recalled


Thursday, October 15, 2015

• Experimenters realized they were doing this all wrong because the time it  takes to report that much information is too long for it to remain in someone’s  sensory memory

- Partial Report Procedure: S is presented with an array of letters and the subject  is tasked with reporting one row’s contents  

• About 75% recalled

- We infer from this that 75% of the contents of the entire array of letters are in  the sensory memory

• Why can’t subjects remember as much of an array with the whole report procedure  as with the partial report procedure?  

- The time it takes to recite the whole report exceeds how long the information can  stay in the patient’s sensory memory.

• If a subject is presented with an array consisting of letters and numbers, why can’t  one use a signal to ask the subject to recall just the letters?

- The S doesn’t have enough time to interpret the input’s content before it leaves  their sensory memory and so the subject cannot recall just letters or just numbers

• Why does performance with the partial report procedure decline as the interval  increases between the presentation of the array and the row response signal?

- The longer the time between presentation and recall is time that the array of  letters are going to be slipping from the person’s sensory memory. So, if the E  waits too long, the person’s once remembrance of the array is deteriorating  because the sensory store is less than a second.

• What evidence do we have that the sensory store is pre-categorical? - Precategorical Storage: information is stored in the sensory memory before it is  categorized on the basis of long-term knowledge

• We know this because you cannot remember just letters or just numbers in an  array flashed before you

- Because it was presented too quickly for you to recognize the image as a  letter or a number

• If a subject recalls 50% of the bottom row of an array with the partial report  procedure, how much of the array is present in sensory store?


Thursday, October 15, 2015

- 50%

• This is because we infer based on how much an S remembers of one row that  that is how much they remember of the whole array

• Contrast pre-attentive or focused attention processing

- Pre-Attentive Processing: the ability to focus on relevant stimuli when a lot of  stimuli is present

• Can be so quick that the person is unaware of all the other stimuli that have  been excluded

- Focused Attention Processing: processes by which the attentional system  reply processes the stimuli in the environment

• Heavily process objects in your environment

• What is the role of feature detectors in pre-attentive processing? - Feature Detector: signals whenever a certain feature is present in the  perceptual input

• The feature detector notices a specific feature that would signal to you a  specific, important object

• What is the role of feature detectors in focused attention processing? - Feature detectors will help you identify all of the objects in your world • What is the point of the shadowing that occurs in the dichotic listening task?  - Dichotic Listening Task: the S has on headphones and there is a different  conversation being fed into each ear and is then asked to repeat back one of the  conversations (called shadowing) - only supposed to pay attention to only one

• The point of the shadowing is to see how much of the conversation the S is  understanding and hearing in the presence of the other conversation  

• What is the functional value of automatic processing?

- It allows you to pay attention to something else while doing something specific  but alerts you when there is an important change

• They produce decisions that are not consciously controlled


Thursday, October 15, 2015

• Ex: You are able to drive and change the radio station at once. Your automatic  process allows for this and will alert you to a dramatic change in your  environment (deer running in front of you)

• How does the Stroop effect demonstrate automatic processing?

- Stroop Effect: S shown written names of colors written in either the same color as  the word says or in a different color as the word says, and they are asked to  name the color of the word.

• The automatic word is to read what the word says even though that is not what  you were asked to do

• How does the attentional blink demonstrate the limitations on human attentional  capacity?

- Attentional Blink: difficulty in detecting a search target immediately after  detecting a search target

• Ex: If given a task to say when you see G and when you see an X, you are  less likely to notice one of them if flashed right after the other one

- This shows limitations because the human brain is only able to refocus itself after  about a half second delay

• How does the repetition blindness demonstrate the limitations on human attentional  capacity?

- Repetition Blindness: decrease in the ability to perceive repeated stimuli during  a rapid serial presentation of items

• Ex: If letters are flashed at you quickly and two consecutive B’s are flashed,  you may remember only seeing one B

- This can allow us to miss things that could have been important

• How does the change blindness demonstrate the limitations on human attentional  capacity?  

- Change Blindness: difficulty in perceiving change across successive views of a  scene (because attention not focused on relevant part of the scene)

- This is limiting because it shows that when we are focused, we tend to only focus  on a specific thing versus noticing everything


Thursday, October 15, 2015

• How does the inattention blindness demonstrate the limitations on human  attentional capacity?

- Inattention Blindness: failure to notice stimuli when the focus of attention is  elsewhere

• Ex: Driving and talking on the phone simultaneously

• Contrast the attentional blink and inattention blindness

- The attentional blink is when you are shifting focus whereas inattention blindness  is when you are doing two different things at once and you cannot notice certain  stimuli

• Contrast the attentional blink with repetition blindness

- The attentional blink is when you are shifting focus whereas repetition blindness  is when you are unable to notice something happening twice  

• Contrast the change blindness and inattention blindness

- Change blindness is when it is actually hard to SEE the stimulus/change  whereas inattention blindness is when you don’t notice stimulus/change because  your attention is elsewhere

• How is hemispheric neglect different from blindness

- Hemisphere Neglect: an attentional disease in which individuals are only able to  see half of what they should be able to see  

- Blindness is when you are just not paying attention to something and hemisphere  neglect is when your brain literally neglects an entire side of your visual field

- Pattern Recognition

• Why is it reasonable to group visual features according to the principles of  proximity, similarity, and common fate if one wishes to end up with  

bundles of features corresponding to objects.  

- Gestalt Principles: how we group objects together

• Law of Proximity: elements that are close together will be  

grouped together

- Makes sense because in our world, objects tend to be all  

in one place and so we should group them  


Thursday, October 15, 2015

• Ex: a face - you don’t want to just see an eye/mouth/nose/etc, you want to  see it all together to make up a face

• Law of Common Fate: elements that move together will be grouped together - This is beneficial in real life because you don’t want to see, say, a group of  dancers dancing together and not notice that they are all moving together

• Law of Similarity: elements that are similar will be grouped together - You can see that the dog even though it is not outlined because we group  together the black dots

- This is beneficial in real life because you want to be able to group similar  objects together such as a square - you recognize the 4 similar lines and  group them together in the shape of a square

• Contrast top-down and bottom-up processing in pattern recognition - Top-Down Processing: identifying objects by actively looking for them - Bottom-Up Processing: identifying objects using their components, a prototype,  or a template

• Contrast the template matching and the prototype matching accounts of pattern  recognition

- Prototype Matching: identifying an object by looking for something that looks  RELATIVELY THE SAME as the object in your memory

• Ex: “E” written in different fonts

- Template Matching: identifying an object by looking for something that  EXACTLY matches the object in your memory

• Ex: The BurgerKing logo

• Contrast the template matching and the recognition by components accounts of  pattern recognition

- Recognition by Components: we identify an object based on looking at the 3D  sub-objects (called geons) that make up the full object

• Ex: Breaking down a briefcase into a 3D rectangle and a 3D handle - Whereas template matching is looking at the whole object and matching it exactly  to something stored in your memory


Thursday, October 15, 2015

• What is the relevance of the word superiority effect to top-down processing? - Word Superiority Effect: S can more accurately identify letters if they are  presented in context of words than if they are presented alone or in the context  on nonwords

- In the context of top-down processing, it relies on knowing what the word says  and the letter’s context within that word

• How is the recognition of faces different from the recognition of other objects? - Face Recognition is believed to have its own area of the brain (in the pro occipital lobe) that controls recognizing faces

- This is different because a baby who is just weeks old will mimic faces made by  others, signaling that before they even know they have a face, they recognize a  face

• In contrast, you don’t come out of the womb being able to recognize a  briefcase

• What evidence can be advanced that humans have specialized mechanisms for  recognizing faces?

- There is evidence that the Fusiform Gyrus is the area of the human brain that is  reserved specially for recognizing faces. Disorders such as prosopagnosia,  capers syndrome, schizophrenia, and autism have all shown either less function  or damage to this area that results in face recognition problems in all these  diseases.

• What evidence can be advanced that face recognition involves configural  processing?  

- Inversion Effect: greater effects of inversion on configuration than feature  processing

- When a face is flipped upside-down, humans have a harder time recognizing if  the configuration of the face is abnormal which gives us evidence that normally  recognizing faces involves recognizing configuration

- Short-Term Memory, Working Memory and Long-Term Memory • Contrast the capacity of short-term and long-term memory

- STM is just a few letters/acronyms/words/etc


Thursday, October 15, 2015

- LTM is essentially unlimited

• Contrast the duration of sensory store, short-term memory, and long-term memory - Sensory store is less than a second

- STM is about 18 seconds for unrehearsed information

- LTM is forever, as long as you have the right cues to remember

• Contrast the way information is encoded in sensory store, short-term memory, and  long-term memory

- Sensory Store: information is held in an unanalyzed and uncategorized way - STM: chunking, information has been understood, uses rehearsal to keep it in  your STM

• Chunk: unit of storage in STM that is meaningful and allows someone to  condense things to remember more

- LTM: information is retained in many different forms (visual, auditory, motoric,  etc), usually remember something in terms of its meaning

• Contrast the duration of short-term memory with and without rehearsal - Rehearsal: processing information to keep it active in your STM/working memory - Without rehearsal, the memory stays for about 18 seconds

- With rehearsal, it can be kept in the STM indefinitely as long as we pay attention  to them

• What is the unit of capacity for short-term memory?

- Chunk: unit of storage in STM

• How does chunking depend on prior knowledge?

- In order for something to be a chunk, it needs to fit together readily as a pattern  distinct from the things around it

- For something to be a chunk, it needs to something the person is already familiar  with

• In this way, STM relies on LTM because for someone to know/be familiar with  something it needs to be in their LTM


Thursday, October 15, 2015

• What is the relationship between the Brown-Peterson task and rehearsal? - Brown-Peterson Task: E reads a set of 3 letters and 3 numbers and then the S  is asked to count backwards from 3’s from a random number (ex: 780) until a  timer goes off (set to 0, 10, and 20 seconds). Then the S is asked to write down  the 3 letters read

• The relevance of this task in rehearsal is that making the subject count  backwards from 780 by 3’s prevents them from rehearsing the information that  was just presented to them

• What is the relationship between the articulatory control process and the  phonological store?

- Phonological Loop: temporarily maintains verbal information

- Phonological Store: “inner ear,” holds information in the phonological loop • It is used basically for you to listen to your “inner voice”

• Where the auditory stimuli is stored

- Articulatory Control Process: “inner voice,” maintains information in the  phonological loop

• It talks to your “inner ear”

• Process that automatically refreshes/maintains the elements in the  phonological store

- These 2 things work together to rehearse things in your memory • What is the relationship between the inner scribe and the visual cache? - Visuospatial Sketch Pad: temporarily maintains visuospatial information - Visual Cache: stores information about visual form and color

• Comparable to the inner ear

- Inner Scribe: rehearses information in the visual cache, involved in planning and  execution of body and limb movements

• Comparable to the inner voice

• What is the relationship between the articulatory control process and the inner  scribe?


Thursday, October 15, 2015

- Both of these processes are in charge of rehearsing/maintaining the information  in one’s memory.

• What is the relationship between the phonological store and the visual cache? - Both pf these processes are in charge of storing the information in one’s memory

• How does our theory of working memory (WM) explain phonological confusions  and the word-length effect?

- Phonological Confusions: items are more difficult to retain in working memory  if phonologically similar

• Ex: harder to remember a sequence of rhyming words that non-rhyming words  because the person confuses them

• Our theory of WM explains this because when the inner voice is rehearsing  this, it may confuse similar sounds and rehearse one sound/word more than  the other because it can’t tell which one it already rehearsed.

- Word Length Effect: short words are easier than long words to remember with  working memory

• Our theory of WM explains this because the longer the word is, the longer it is  going to take the inner voice to rehearse the stimulus. The longer it takes for  the inner voice to rehearse, the higher the chance of things escaping ones  memory before they can rehearse some of the letters/words.

- Long-Term Memory and Pattern Recognition  

• Contrast explicit and implicit memory

- Explicit Memory: memories that are consciously stored and retrieved - Implicit Memory: past experience influences present behavior in the absence of  conscious awareness

- You are unaware of the past experiences influencing your behavior whereas in  explicit memory, you are consciously remember that stored information

• Contrast episodic and semantic memory

- Both are explicit memory types!

- Episodic Memory: memory for events of one’s life

- Semantic Memory: memory for conceptual knowledge about the world 14

Thursday, October 15, 2015

- Episodic memory is the memory of actually learning the information whereas  semantic memory is just knowing the information

• Contrast prospective and retrospective memory

- Both a form of episodic memory!

- Prospective Memory: remembering to do things in the future

- Retrospective Memory: remembering things that happened in the past - In prospective, you are remembering something you need to do like go to the  dentists whereas in retrospective, you are remembering something you did like  that time you went to the dentist.

• How is perceptual memory like procedural memory?

- Perceptual Memory: awareness of physically based patterns that are difficult to  describe but are effortlessly recalled

• Ex: scent of a rose

- Procedural Memory: stored knowledge that allows the skillful performance of  tasks even though individual parts of the task cannot be recalled or explained to  others

• Ex: typing

- These are similar because they both are remembering things that are effortlessly  recalled and both the types of actions/memories/etc within these memories  cannot be fully explained

• How is the feeling of knowing similar to the tip of the tongue phenomenon? - Feeling of Knowing: feeling that one knows something without being able to  recall it

- Tip-of-the-Tongue Phenomenon: an item is almost but not quite retrieved,  temporarily unable to retrieve the information

- These are similar because they both are cases when one feels as though they  know something but can’t recall what that information is

• How is context-dependent retrieval similar to state-dependent retrieval? 15

Thursday, October 15, 2015

- Context-Dependent Retrieval: S learns a list of words under the ocean or on  the shore and then is asked to recall that list of words either under the ocean or  on the shore.  

- State-Dependent Retrieval: S learns a list of words while drinking soda or while  drinking alcohol, and is then asked to recall the list of words while drinking soda  or while drinking alcohol.  

- In both types, the S remembers better when the conditions at the time of learning  the information are the same as the conditions at the time of recalling the  information.

• What aspects of memory are and are not disordered in temporal lobe amnesia and  Korsakoff’s syndrome?

- Temporal Lobe Amnesia:  

- Korsakoff’s Syndrome: amnesia that usually results from malnutrition that  results fro, excessive alcohol consumption, it is associated with damage to the  mamillothalamic tract of the temporal lobes

• How do failures of source monitoring affect eyewitness memories?  - Source Monitoring: an unconscious mental test that humans perform in order to  determine if a memory is "real" and accurate as opposed to being from a source  like a dream or a movie

- Eyewitness memories can be influenced by the way questions are asked and  one can remember things more severely or differently than they actually saw  them happen. A failure of source monitoring allows one to make a mistake about  what they saw.

• How do failures of source monitoring affect recovered memories? - Recovered Memory: upsetting childhood events are remembered after having  been forgotten for years

- Oftentimes, these memories that are remembered can be false due to a line of  questioning by a therapist or someone telling an individual something to spur on  the belief that a specific event occurred. A failure of source monitoring allows one  to believe that these things did happen when, in fact, psychologists and others  must take caution on the accuracy of these memories.

• How is prior knowledge used in reconstructive memories?


Thursday, October 15, 2015

- Reconstructive Memory: process of assembling information from stored  knowledge when a clear or coherent memory of specific events does not exist

- Prior knowledge will help fill in gaps or help one to use what they think would be  the case to make a incomplete memory complete.

• Contrast retrograde and anterograde amnesia

- Retrograde Amnesia: loss of LTM for things that occurred BEFORE the start of  the amnesia

- Anterograde Amnesia: loss of LTM for things that occur AFTER the start of the  amnesia

• What are some possible explanations of infantile amnesia?

- Infantile Amnesia: almost total lack of memories for events occurring during the  first two-three years of life

- This could be because:

• You’re still developing and learning how to code events

• There is a massive incoming of information when you hit that age (preschool  age) and so all the other stuff becomes less important that happened  previously

• Kids are just hanging out - they aren’t really paying attention

• **Can’t speak yet and so they won’t have an inner monologue** (most  important one)


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