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Chapters 7 and 13

by: Emily Wu

Chapters 7 and 13 PSYCH 50

Emily Wu
GPA 4.105

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Week 5 chapters, hopefully the notes will help with the chapter 13 quiz! :)
Intro to Cognitive Neuroscience
Justin Gardner
Class Notes
Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Wu on Tuesday February 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYCH 50 at Stanford University taught by Justin Gardner in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 38 views. For similar materials see Intro to Cognitive Neuroscience in Psychlogy at Stanford University.


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Date Created: 02/02/16
Emily Wu  Chapter 7: The Control of Attention    Clinical Evidence for Brain Regions Involved in Attentional Control    ● hemispatial neglect syndrome: lesions to right inferior parietal lobe, patients tend to  ignore stimuli in left visual field (contralateral to side of lesion)   ○ can see the stimulus if pointed out, but syndrome seems to be a problem with  directing attention to the stimulus   ● lesions in right parietal lobe causes impairment in spatial attention to left side   ○ lesions in left parietal lobe can cause contralateral impairment too but effects are  milder   ● Balint’s syndrome: lesions to dorsal posterior parietal and lateral occipital cortex  ○ results in simultanagnosia: unable to attend to and perceive more than one visual  object at a time   ● lesions in superior colliculus in brainstem (generates saccades) slows saccadic eye  movement to new stimuli   ● Sprague effect: parietal lesion’s effects usually nullified by lesion in superior colliculus   ○ theory that hemispatial neglect is due to imbalance of activity of both parietal  lobes, but lesion in superior colliculus restores the balance     Control of Voluntary Attention    ● damage to parietal and frontal cortices disrupt attentional control instead of sensory  processing  ○ subjects should show change in activity in these areas when doing tasks  involving attentional control   ● earlier studies used block design because of neuroimaging limitations → later studies  were able to use cuing paradigm   ○ cuing paradigm benefits: could study the differences in neural activity at time the  cue appears and at time the target stimulus appears    Single neuron recordings  ● studies in nonhuman primates focused on lateral intraparietal area (LIP) and frontal eye  fields  ● increased neural firing rates in LIP when monkey makes saccade towards target  location, covertly directs attention, or delays saccade to location → increased activity  attributed to attention allocation to target area  ● stimulus salience (how much stimulus stands out from surroundings) determines activity  of LIP neurons  ○ LIP may have topographically arranged salience map   ● premotor theory of attention shifting attention and preparing goal­directed actions are  controlled by shared sensory­motor mechanisms  ○ stimulation of specific area in frontal eye fields causes saccades to specific  locations  ○ conclusion: circuitry responsible for saccades also controls covert visual spatial  attention  ● temporal sequence of attention: frontal then parietal lobe     Preparatory activation of sensory cortices during attentional control  ● when subjects shift attention to a specific area expecting a stimulus to appear, increased  activity appears in visual cortex → “preparatory bias” influenced by the frontoparietal  cortices   ● attention elicits preparatory activity in sensory cortices    Control of Exogenously Induced Changes in Attention    Attentional shifts triggered by sudden stimulus onsets  ● temporal sequences of activation of brain areas differ in exogenous cues   ○ parietal neurons activated before frontal neurons  ○ in endogenous cuing, frontal → parietal     Attentional reorienting activates a central frontoparietal system  ● when validly cued (i.e., target stimulus appears in the location the cue pointed towards),  stimulus was detected faster/better and showed greater activity in visual cortex  ● when invalidly cued, more activity in right temporoparietal junction (TPJ)  ○ hypothesis: right TPJ is involved in shifting and reorienting attention     Visual Search    ● visual search: looking for something specific in a complex scene    Behavioral studies    ● experiments ask subjects to find a “target” in the middle of many other “distractors”  ● pop­out stimuli easily detected stimuli with a single featural difference   ● amount of distractors does not influence time taken to find target   ○ suggests that detecting pop­out stimuli involves taking in scene as a whole rather  than shifting/reorienting attention  ● conjunction target: target stimulus has two features in common with surrounding  distractors → more distractors = longer time to find target       Theoretical models    Model 1:    ● to find conjunction targets, attention is directed serially to each item to find the correct  target, so reaction time increases   ● feature integration theor perceptual system is organized in sets of feature maps  ○ vision: maps represent features like color, form, texture, etc.   ○ each map provides info about the location of stimuli of a specific feature   ○ processing feature maps is done early and in parallel  ● binding problem: how perceptual features are bound together to create a coherent  representation of an object   ○ proposed that focused attention is needed for this  ○ subjects tend to reporillusory conjunction(ex: reporting seeing a red O in a  field of red objects and lots of O’s) when task is briefly displayed → supports  theory that it takes focused attention to bind features of objects together in order  to find the conjunction target     Model 2:  ● guided search:​two things determine allocation of attention  ○ activation map driven by stimulus factors  ○ activation map driven by higher­level factors/behavioral goals  ● visual inputs filtered and activates items in stimulus­factor map, then activates items in  higher­level map that compares the features of target to prior knowledge → combining  maps helps guides search     Neural processes underlying visual search  ● frontal and parietal lobes also activated in visual search   ● N2pc wave:​ negative wave in occipital and parietal regions that is related to shifting and  focusing attention during visual search      Attentional Control as a System of Interacting Brain Areas    ● Mesulam model: proposed a brain network including frontal, parietal, and limbic  components  ○ frontal: convert strategies for shifting attention to specific motor acts  ○ parietal: provide frames of reference, representation of salient events  ○ limbic: compute motivational relevance of tasks/events        ● Corbetta and Shulman model: control of attention divided into two main systems:  ○ intraparietal cortex and superior frontal cortex: prepares and applies endogenous  attention to select relevant stimuli   ○ TPJ and central frontal cortex: detect behaviorally relevant/unexpected stimuli in  exogenous attention     Interactions between Components of the Attentional System    ● default mode network:​ areas that become more active when someone is not giving  attention to a cognitive task    Attention, Levels of Arousal, and Consciousness    Sleep and wakefulness  ● reticular activating system central region of brainstem, regulates arousal  ○ most important: cholinergic nuclei of pons­midbrain junctionocus coeruleus  nuclei, andraphe nuclei   ○ cholinergic nuclei: acetylcholine   ○ locus coeruleus: norepinephrine  ○ raphe nuclei: serotonin   ○ moderate degree of consciousness, controlled by circadian clocks   ● stages of sleep:  ○     Consciousness  1. physiological meaning: wakefulness   2. abstract meaning: subjective awareness of the world  3. self­awareness    Neural correlates of consciousness in normal subjects  ● studies of brain activity while stimulus shifts in and out of focus  ● binocular rivalry when left and right eyes are shown different stimuli and perception  switches back and forth between the two stimuli   ○ ex: showing a house to one eye, and a face to another eye → fMRI studies show  that fusiform gyrus activates when consciously perceiving the face, but  hippocampal activation when perceiving the house   ● activity in visual association cortices are necessary for visual awareness, but not  sufficient    Neural correlates of consciousness in pathological conditions    ● blindsight damage to primary visual cortex, blind in corresponding contralateral visual  field   ○ stimulus presented in blind spot (scotoma) is not seen, but when forced to  respond to stimuli in blind spot subjects report correctly (more than just chance)  while saying they have seen nothing  ○ the unseen stimuli elicit activity in extrastriate regions of primary visual cortex →  supports conclusion that visual association areas are necessary for awareness,  but not sufficient       Emily Wu   Chapter 13: Executive Functions    ● executive functionsupervise/regulate other cognitive functions  ● mostly elicited by prefrontal cortex  ● Environmental Dependency Syndrome:​ patients with damage to anterior+medial parts of  frontal lobe acted according to their environment, not their own goals  ○ imitation behavior: patients mimicked whatever the interviewer did  ○ utilization behavior: immediate environmental stimuli trigger behavior  ■ ex: seeing a flight of stairs and walking upstairs even if you didn’t want to    Prefrontal Cortex and Executive Function    ● executive function has two roles:  ○ creating rules for behavior  ○ controlling rules to use in the proper context   ● bilateral prefrontal damage in monkeys results in deficits in cognitive functions, but  unilateral damage didn’t   ● prefrontal cortex, posterior parietal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, basal ganglia all  important in executive function  ● increased intelligence is associated with increased prefrontal cortex size, not overall  brain size → humans and great primates have a disproportionately large prefrontal  cortex compared to overall brain size     Organization and connectivity of the prefrontal cortex    ● lateral prefrontal co​on the outer side of the  cortex, split into two parts  ○ dorsolateral prefrontal co​(top)  ○ ventrolateral prefrontal co​(bottom)  ● orbitofrontal cor ventral (bottom) surface of  frontal lobes   ● ventromedial corte​along the middle, divided  into two parts  ○ dorsomedial prefrontal cort(towards  the bottom and back) includes anterior cingulate  gyrus­­most important for executive function  ○ frontopolar corteanterior parts (front) of  prefrontal cortex          ● prefrontal cortex → connections  ○ bidirectional connectivity with thalamus  ○ direct connectivity with secondary sensory cortices   ○ direct link to posterior parietal cortex   ○ projections from hippocampus  ○ bidirectional connection with amygdala    Consequences of damage to the prefrontal cortex    ● prefrontal damage can lead to two syndromes:   ○ dysexecutive syndrome:​  damage to lateral prefrontal cortex; no deficits in  intelligence, but cannot plan, complete projects, or have insight to actions; will  confabulate​­­deny that they have a problem and create implausible explanations  ○ disinhibition syndrome: damage to ventral and medial prefrontal lobe; normal  cognitive functions, but cannot inhibit their own actions (i.e., prevent self from  doing socially unacceptable things)  ● Phineas Gage​ : damaged orbitofrontal lobe and medial prefrontal lobe in an accident,  had disinhibition syndrome  ● all prefrontal damage incidents: problems with forming,updating, and implementing rules  for effective/appropriate behavior     Establishing and Modifying Behavioral Rules    Initiating rules for behavior    ● damage to lateral prefrontal cortex: difficulty making mental plans and motor  movements, don’t respond as much to world around them, withdrawal from society and  little interest in things  ● single­unit recordings show that neurons in prefrontal cortex carry info about different  rules, more neuron activity=more rule relevance to context    Inhibiting rules for behavior  ● suppression of unimportant/distracting info or behaviors  ● lateral prefrontal cortex important for inhibition   ● ADHD:​  difficulty inhibiting behavior even after a signal says to stop     Shifting among rules for behavior  ● Wisconsin Card Sorting Test​: used to test rule shifting; each card has 1­4 shapes of  different colors → subjects asked to sort cards based on number, color, or shape → rule  changes after certain number of cards   ● perseveration:​ patients with prefrontal damage continue to sort cards with a previous rule  despite knowing that it’s wrong     Hierarchical models for executive function  ● topography of prefrontal cortex: posterior regions = simple rule processing, anterior  regions = complex, abstract processing    Control: Matching Behavior to Context    Conflict monitoring  ● conflict monitoring: knowing when an event requires additional resources to process  ○ increased activity in anterior cingulate gyrus in high­conflict processing  ○ Stroop task: reading color names in the text of a different color → increased  activity in anterior cingulate gyrus when color and text don’t match   ● error­related negativity (ERN): a negative electrical potential taken from scalp readings  from EEG; happens in two instances:  ○ when subject does something they realize is incorrect (response ERN)  ○ to give feedback to subject that an action didn’t produce desired result (feedback  ERN)    Working Memory: Maintaining Information and Rules over Time    ● working memory:​  temporary maintenance/manipulation of information   ○ an active process that also keeps out irrelevant information    ● delay­period activity delay period=time between initial activation of information and the  use of the information to do something   ○ neurons in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex fire continuously in delay period     Activity in lateral prefrontal cortex:   ● typically lasts entire length of delay period  ● increases as more information is held in working memory  ● increased activity is associated with better working memory  ● increased activity is associated with resistance to distractions   ● tends to be greater when information needs to be manipulated in working memory rather  than simply being held there            


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