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1) Cognition

by: Andrea Starkman

1) Cognition

Andrea Starkman

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Class notes, book notes, and reading guide. Class powerpoint largely followed text book and reading guide.
Memory and Cognition
Dr. Sohn
Class Notes
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Popular in Memory and Cognition

Popular in Psychlogy

This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Andrea Starkman on Monday February 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to at George Washington University taught by Dr. Sohn in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 29 views. For similar materials see Memory and Cognition in Psychlogy at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 02/08/16
1) Cognition 02/08/2016 ▯ Cognitive Psychology: The science of how the mind is organized to produce intelligent thought and how it is realized in the brain.  Empiricism (Experience) Vs. Nativism (inborn)  Introspection: Germany. Observers reported and contents of their own consciousness under carefully controlled conditions. Workings of the mind should be open to self observations. Intense self inspection would be able to identify the primitive experiences out of which thought arose.  Principles of Psychology: Pragmatism and functionalism. Action oriented psychology that was capable of practical application.  Thorndike: Effects of reward and punishment on the rate of learning.  Behaviorism: Psychology should be focused on external behavior and not try to analyze the inner mind. Backlash to introspection. ▯ ▯ Information Processing Approach: Analyze cognition as a set of steps in which an abstract entity called information is processed. ▯ ▯ Sternberg Paradigm: Particpiants shown a number of digits and told to remember them, then asked to determine if the probe number was within the set. Measured how quickly they could make this judgment. Linear relationship between set size, and time it took to answer.  Parallel Search: Target is determined relatively quickly within the set, it pops out, no matter the number of distractors. o Set size is much smaller, might only be the probe number that is glaringly obvious. o Likely the first number of the whole set, don’t need to look anymore at all because right there. o Self Terminating: When find the answer stop searching all together, have already found the answer.  Serial Search: Need to go through all the numbers before making a decision on if its there or not. Exhaustive search through all the numbers. o Set size is likely larger, need to think through all the numbers to determine to probe was there or not. o In a long set, more likely to remember the beginning and the end numbers rather than the middle numbers. Recency and latency. o Exhaustive Search: Going through the whole list of numbers and then give answer even if the probe was in the middle of the set, still look through the whole thing.  Slope 0: Size of memory set has no effect on reaction time (flat line).  Slope 0<: The size of the memory set has an effect on the reaction time. If its significantly larger, shows a very significant effect of the size increasing affecting reaction time.  Target = Foil Slope: Doesn’t matter if the number is or is not there, still go through the same process of going through all the numbers before making a final decision (exhaustive search). The self terminating isn’t likely to occur because even when find the target number in the set, still finish looking through it.  Intercept: The larger the set, the longer it takes to answer if the target or foil were in the set or not. ▯ ▯ -Classic Abstract Information Processing Account:  No attempt to conceptualize in terms of brain location or brain processes.  Information processing has a symbolic character.  Information processing compared to computer high speed scanning.  Measurement of time to make a judgment is a critical variable ▯ ▯ Cognitive Neuroscience: Study of how cognition is realized in the brain. Need to comprehend strengths and weaknesses of nervous system to understand the nature of human cognition.  We use multiple cells to form the big picture of perception. One neuron perceives color, another light, smell, etc. etc.  Redundancy in the purpose of neurons so as to make sure there is no missed information especially if there is damage.  Memories may be encoded by changes in the synaptic connections among neurons to recreate pattern at that time. ▯ ▯ Neuron: Cell that accumulates and transmits information via electrical (voltage gradient) and chemical (neurotransmitter) activity.  Body: Contains the Nucleus  Dendrite: Receive information from presynaptic cells.  Axon and Axon Hillock: Portion where the body and axon meet each other. o Myelin Sheaths: Protein sheaths that cover the axon. Speed up the electrical impulse going through the cell.  Terminals: Neurotransmitter release into the synapse. o Synapse: Space through which the neurons communicate. Neurotransmitter passes through the synapse gap to the post synaptic neuron to communicate. o Neurotransmitter: Chemical that is released by the presynaptic neuron to the post synaptic neuron to facilitate communication between the two.  ACH: Excitatory. Helps neurons reach an action potential by making them more positively charged.  Dopamine: Inhibitory. Prevents neurons from reaching action potential, increased polarization through increased negative charge. o Summation: Multiple small impulses can combine to make a big one that will trigger an action potential. Temporal and spatial.  Action Potential: Depolarization (more positive) of the cell due to an influx of K+ and Na+ ions into the cell. Needs to be triggered at the axon hillock for it to open channels along the axon and propagate the action potential to the next neuron. At terminals Ca+ enters the cell prompting the releases of neurotransmitter into the synaptic cleft.  Rate of firing: Number of impulses a nerve transmits per second. Can vary. The great the rate, the greater the effect on postsynaptic cells. o Neurons interact by driving up the activation level (excitatory) or decreasing it (inhibitory). ▯ ▯ Spinal Cord: Carry neural messages to and from the brain and muscles. ▯ ▯ Medulla: Controls breathing, swallowing, digestion, heartbeat. ▯ Hypothalamus: Regulates expression of basic drives. ▯ Cerebellum: Motor coordination and voluntary movement. ▯ Thalamus: Relay center for motor and sensory information from lower areas to the cortex. ▯ ▯ Cortex: Has 52 distinct regions. Largest part of the brain, mostly conscious.  Gyrus: Wrinkles in the cortex.  Sulcus: Creases in the cortex. ▯ ▯ Lobes: 5 lobes.  Frontal Lobe: Motor function, primary motor cortex. Higher level functioning and planning, prefrontal cortex.  Parietal Lobe: Perceptual function, spatial processing, attention.  Occipital Lobe: Vision, visual cortex.  Temporal Lobe: Object recognition and audition, auditory cortex. ▯ ▯ Limbic System: Important for emotions.  Hippocampus: Memory, smell is very important.  Amygdala: Fear response. ▯ ▯ Basal Ganglia: Basic motor control and complex cognition. Damage results in Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. Muscle memory and remembering how to do something after large amounts of practice. ▯ Localization of Function: ▯ Corpus Callosum: Area where the L and R hemisphere connect by switching over axons.  Split Brain: Corpus Callosum is severed and the two hemisphere can’t communicate with each other. Done to prevent seizure. ▯ ▯ Broca’s Aphasia: Speak in short ungrammatical sentences. Still hold onto meaning. Temporal brain region. ▯ ▯ Wernicke’s Aphasia: Speak grammatically however its devoid of meaning, generate empty speech. Temporal brain region. ▯ ▯ Lateralization of Function: hemispheric asymmetry.  The right and left hemispheres have different functions, not the same. Proven through split brain research.  The R. hemisphere processes visual information from the L. eye and vice versa.  Left Hemisphere: Linguistic and analytic processing.  Right Hemisphere: Perceptual and spatial processing. ▯ ▯ Topographic Organization: Information processing is structured spatially.  Hands and face have a bigger area devoted to them because can make more subtle discriminations among tactile stimuli than the back or thigh.  Neurons processing similar regions can interact with one another more easily without taking up spatial resources.  Monkey: Brain activation in monkey brain similar to the image shown for perception.  Humans: Feel more in our hands and face than in our leg, so this area is more sensitive and has more space devoted to its sensory perception. o Adjacent cells in the cortex tend to process sensory stimuli from adjacent areas of the body. ▯ ▯ Neuroimaging Methods:  EEG: Records electric potentials that are present on the scalp. How processing a stimuli will impact brain activity. See activity when activation occurs, high temporal resolution not very good spatial. o ERP’s: EEG responses aligned to a particular stimulus. o MEG: Records magnetic fields caused by electrical activity of the brain. Higher sensitivity to sulci activity. Low on spatial resolution.  PET: Use radioactive ions injected to measure brain activity location. Focuses on use of resources such (blood sugar and oxygen) that go to the areas being used. High spatial resolution low temporal.  fMRI: Measures activity by following the oxygen flow. Areas of the brain that are using the most oxygen, are the ones that currently most active. High spatial and low temporal. o Hemodynamic Response: Body responds to effort by overcompensating and increasing oxygen in the blood. Can be delayed because neural activity delayed due to arrival to corresponding location. o BOLD: Blood oxygen level dependent response. AT peak allows view of when activity took place. Height of graph reflects amount of activity that took place.  TMS: Coil placed over head and pulse is delivered to that region. Disrupts the processing in the region under the coil. Helps to determine what that area is responsible for. ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯


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