PSYC 339Lg WEEK 1 NOTES
PSYC 339Lg WEEK 1 NOTES PSYC 339
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Isaac Lemus on Sunday August 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 339 at University of Southern California taught by Justin Wood in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 152 views. For similar materials see Origins of the Mind in PSYC at University of Southern California.
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Date Created: 08/28/16
PSYC 339Lg: Origins of the Mind Lecture Notes 8/23: Introduction ● Just a basic intro to this class: Here are some overarching questions: What is the origins of knowledge? How did our brains evolve in complexity and are the cultural reasons for this happening? Why do humans have unique abilities and where do they come from? How have aspects like the internet spread the span of knowledge and capability? ● This class will answer these questions from two sides: ○ John Locke: The idea that we are all born with a blank slate and everything in the mind is learned through experience. ○ Immanuel kant: Knowledge begins with experience, but it can be innate, programmed into our DNA. ● With that in mind there are also two main points in this class ○ ALL animals have some innate cognitive systems, ancient building blocks in the mind, core systems. ○ Only humans have the ability for cultural evolution and knowledge (science, religion, medicine, and politics) ● To study in this class, we’ll look at a particular trait in a person then see how this trait is carried out by babies, other animals, and people of other cultures. ● Finally here’s the basic roadmap for this class: Space perception, navigation, object representation, numbers, social cognition(agents/tools, social partners, language, teaching, religion, and morality). Lecture Notes 8/25: Space Perception 1 ● When talking about space perception, we’re referring to how we see the world around us and understand concepts like: depth, direction, shape, size, etc. ● One reason it’s so hard to study perception is because perception is literally just us perceiving light hitting our lives. ● Here are some ways to tell what’s where ○ Interposition: If one object blocks another, the blocking object is in front ○ Linear perspective: We account linear tilts as distance. Ex: Train tracks ○ Convergence: The closer an object is to our eyes, the larger of an angle our eyes have to pivot in order to focus ● But how do these traits exist or develop? We have two possible answers: ○ Nativism (Rene Descartes) core knowledges in our mind. We’re born with the capabilities inside of us. 2) ○ Empiricism (George Berkeley) We learn about our environment through experience. ● When asked how we perceive objects this is what they answered: ○ Descartes: our minds have natural trianglement and instinctually analyze the angle of convergence to figure out the distance ○ Berkeley: We consciously process the distance. Introspection. ● Again, the debate between Nativism and empiricism is for all categories of knowledge. ● Let’s put it to the test: Molyneux's question to locke: If a person who’s been blind their whole life felt a cube and sphere and suddenly could see, could they tell which is which? ○ Descartes:Yes, through natural understanding of geometry ○ Berkeley: Nope, because the person never gained visual association ○ Answer? Berkeley. The results show extremely low transfer rates but it also kinda goes against Berkeley because the patient never picked up/learned overtime (unless really young) EX: Gregory (Blind 50 years) never developed skills. Patient S.D. (Blind 12 years) picked up skills after 12 years. ○ The problem? Patients are more likely to rely on color and segmentation to perceive objects. So to them, two overlapping squares looks like three shapes and a ball looks like multiple objects because of shading. ○
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