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Psych. Week 2 notes

by: Regan McGillick

Psych. Week 2 notes Psychology 100 (

Regan McGillick
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About this Document

These notes describe and explain just how the working memory functions. This is just the intro portion.
Lori Bica
Class Notes





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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Regan McGillick on Saturday February 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psychology 100 ( at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire taught by Lori Bica in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 39 views. For similar materials see INTRO TO PSYCHOLOGY in Psychlogy at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.


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Date Created: 02/06/16
Week 2 (2/1, 2/3, 2/5) --Attention— (portal to our consciousness) (A) Does 2 things: a. Focuses mental stimuli on the task at hand b. Monitors stimuli that are irrelevant to the task at hand: shifting attention to any danger or even positive opportunities. -(read about/youtube) the “invisible gorilla” research= unintentional blindness (B) As sensory info is taken is analyzed=Pre-attentive Processing a. Sensory memory compares info to info already in the short or long term b. All that info is determined to enter by the “attention gate” allows info to pass through at a limited capacity “top-down” control on the gate (process of what we need to know and not need to know)  Ability to focus attention: Selective Listening: **ability to listen to someone’s voice and also disregarding other louder voices nearby Selective Viewing: **basically controlling what we see- though we can see things with out needing to move out eyes  Ability to Shift Attention: a. Depends on our capacity to listen, look backwards in time and hear or see stimuli. (all of which were recorded at an earlier time) <Function of Sensory Memory= keep fleeting stimuli long enough to allow brains to turn its attention on them and bring to consciousness-if that though, idea, thing is important enough to bring into short memory and long term) 1. Auditory Sensory Memory: “echoic memory” i. Sperling’s Experiment in text book ii.Aka “echo” in a cave is heard 2. Visual Sensory Memory: “Iconic memory” i. aka like an “icon”/ image- using you sight  Attentional Capacity: a. short gate between sensory and short- but capacity can grow Preattentive Processing and Attention: 3 conditions b. Sensory stimuli activate certain sensory areas of the brain i. The cerebral cortex whether it is conscious or not. 1. This includes the frontal, occipital, & parietal ii. Senses come through the brain- through our eyes, (occipital lobe) whether you are aware of it or not) iii.It’s capability= brain needs to process everything- helps us think and comprehend what we see, hear, touch…. c. Attention process temporarily sensitizes relevant neurons in sensory and perceptual areas i. Diminishing activity ii. Increases responsiveness to the stimuli that analyze Ex: when you are in downtown Chicago, lots of things happening at once: people, cars, sounds, smells. When you watch many moving things at once some neurons pay more attention to some things and are more responsive than the other neurons. iii. (relevant neurons activating, while de-sensitizing neurons that are irrelevant to the task) d. Neural mechanisms in the anterior parts of the cortex for controlling your attention i. Areas in Fontal lobe, anterior portions of temporal and parietal lobes more active during shifts in attention. 1. Frontal , Occipital, Temporal 2. Prefrontal: center of controlling attention “Attention is the state when neural resources are shifted, for analyzing certain stimuli, and fewer resources analyze stimuli that-that is all chosen by the senses”  Working Memory The Active Conscious Mind visuospatial sketch pad   Central executive   phonological loop -As we know, the working memory is initially a process of storing and transforming info that held in short-term. These 3 parts are A,B,C of this cycle. A) phonological loop: responsible for holding verbal info -a loop of working memory - really all language use, which is held in the left side of the brain -activates by listening and talking  what is the evidence that people keep info in the phonological loop through the sub-vocal repetition? -any manipulation can interfere with the ability to remember words, this interferes with verbal-short-term memory (phonological) -used to remember idea, plans, solve problems, recall experiences B) visuospatial sketch pad: responsible for holding memory due to what you see -hold visual and spatial info. C) Central Executive: basically the part that initiates the flow of movement -responsible for coordinating the mind’s activities and bringing new info into working memory form the sensory and long term.  Working Memory Span (testing its limits): why is working memory span usually 2 items or less then memory span?? -generally memory span increases capacity over childhood and decreases with old age. **according to the memory flow chart from the first day or week one, this subject is focusing on the “maintenance rehearsal” portion. -people can increase their capacity by reading, writing, math and using memory strategies. Ex: driving and talking on the phone (two things) but both use such a great portion of your working memory—thus it is competing with what to focus on more. --this is not a physical limitation, but a cognitive limitation. It doesn’t matter whether the phone is hands-held or hands-free (remember the car and talking on phone example—most likely will be used on the test)


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