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Chapters 2 & 3.1

by: Aimee Castillon

Chapters 2 & 3.1 PSYC317

Aimee Castillon
GPA 3.61
Cognitive Psychology

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Cognitive Psychology
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Aimee Castillon on Thursday September 10, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC317 at George Mason University taught by Wiese in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Cognitive Psychology in Psychlogy at George Mason University.


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Date Created: 09/10/15
acastil7amuedu PSYC 317 Fall 2015 Main questions Building blocks of the nervous system 1 What are the basic inside of the brain is made up of small units the neurons principles of the neurons are cell specialized to store receive and transmit information nervous systems neurons communicate with each other 2 What methods are Figure 1 Parts of a neuron used to study the functioning of the nervous system fill IIquot il quot3 E 392 5 MELIHH mIleiliul 1 Rf EJI I I53 I I 5 cal Liar a cell body contains mechanisms to keep cell alive Axon transmits electrical signal to other neurons Dendrite receives information from other neurons receptors respond to light energy vision mechanical information touch pain pressure changes in the air hearing molecules in the air smell and molecules in liquid taste transduction receptors transform energy from environment into electrical energy Electrical energy represents environment within the nervous system Information travels down the axon of neurons to the dendrites of another neuron example perceiving a tree Light energy that is reflected from the tree enters the eye through the pupil Light energy activates receptors in the retina a network of neurons that line the back of the eye Electrical signals from these receptors exit the back of the eye in axons that make up the optic nerve action potential electrical signal generated by neuron measured with microelectrodes positioned in the axon made visible by an oscilloscope Inside of neuron becomes more positive within 1ms During cognitive processes multiple action potentials can be measured in one time unit eg 100 ms Size is not measured remains consistent Rate of firing is measured Low intensities slow firing High intensities fast firing Information about stimulus intensity is represented not by the size of action potentials but by their rate of ring How neurons communicate basic principles action potentials are propagated Once a signal is generated at one end of the axon it travels to the other end without decreasing in size Signals can travel over long distances because individual neurons are linked together neurons are not directly connected with each other there is a gap between neurons called the synapse Information between neurons is transmitted via synapse Action potentials do not travel across the synapse Electrical signal is converted into chemical response Synapse is bridged by using neurotransmitters chemical substances the affect the electrical signals of the receiving neuron When the electrical signal reaches the end of the neuron the synapse releases neurotransmitters onto the next neuron Figure 2 Synaptic transmission of information DEI39IIZIIHE39E Jinanquot Tanainsist III g lb j I 11 I 39 7amp3er h V r L FH EI SI39 E Ian t V YE EI quot39h railSfquot i39quot 15 i Kg HermitH 531 I39 i 39 93 Transmission of information from one neuron to the next based on excitation and inhibition Excitation and inhibition interact at the synapse Excitatory connections increase the chance of firing Inhibitory connections decrease the chance of firing How neurons process information neurons do not operate alone Brain contains 180 billion neurons 80 billion of which are involved in cognitive processes Neural processing occurs when a number of neurons synapse together to form a neural circuit Neural circuits are groups of interconnected neurons basic principles of neural circuits Convergence number of neurons send signals to single neurons Interaction of excitation and inhibition at synapse feature detector examples certain neurons react more when seeing houses than when seeing a person prosopagnosia specificity coding cons identical twins traumatic brain injury neurons respond best to specific stimuli Highest firing rate for stimuli the neuron is specifically sensitive to Convergence inhibition and excitation make sure that neuron responds best to specific type of input Hubel amp Wiesel 1965 feature detectors Neurons which fire in response to specific features of the stimulus Simple cells neurons that respond best to bars of light of a particular orientation Complex cells neurons that respond best to an oriented bar of light moving in a certain direction Endstopped cells neurons that respond best to an oriented bar of light with a specific length or cornerlike shape How stimuli are represented by neurons how does a neuron respond to a specific face Firing of neurons in the cortex must contain information that represents the face Neural code Pattern of firing of multiple neurons in response to any objectexperience Coding of perceptual information is also called sensory coding fusiform gyrus area in the brain that s specialized in recognizing faces distributed coding each face is represented by a pattern of firing across number of neurons Code is distributed among multiple neurons advantages of distributed coding firing ofjust a few neurons can signal a large number of different stimuli neurons can be used again to encode new information or stimuli information can be represented more flexibly within existing networks representation of stimuli Figure 3 Specificity coding vs distributed coding Figure 426 Hownc ces could be coded according to a specificity coding and b distributed coding The 39 onse o neu e ex r a height ofthe bars indicates the resp t rons 1 2 and 3 to each stimulus face Se t t explanation to Specificity Coding Single neurons that respond only to specific stimuli grandmother cells respond to the concept of a grandmother image of grandmother in general your own grandmother Females have a stronger corpus callosum Pons receive body information first are two functions independent idea of grandmother problems with grandmother cells there are too many different faces to assign specific neurons to each one although neurons respond only to specific types of stimuli eg faces they respond to a number of different faces objects are represented not by firing of single neurons but by the firing of groups of neurons Cognitive processes and the brain why study the brain since the brain produces thought studying the brain will help us understand cognition localization proposes that there are locations of the brain that are specialized for specific cognitive functions cerebral cortex 3 mm thick layer of neurons neurons responsible for higher mental functions Divided into four lobes Frontal higher cognition language executive functions decisions theory of mind motor functions Parietal integration attention higherorder vision sensory integration association Temporal representation language memory hearing perception biological motion Occipital sensory processing vision early attention subcortical areas thalamus sensory integration hippocampus memory amygdala emotions hypothalamus motivation methods used to measure different brain functions lesion studiesneuropsychology study of loss of functionality after brain damage idea if brain area X supports function Y then damage to X should impair tasks that require Y eg if the temporal cortex is used in image formation then damage to that area should impair the ability to form mental images single dissociation studied win participant brain injury causes a deficit in one function but not in a related one double dissociation studied bt participants Brain injury in patient 1 causes loss of function A not B and brain injury in patient 2 causes loss of function B not A EEG electrodes placed on scalp read the electrical activity of the neurons below temporal resolution is extremely high spatial resolution is low brain imaging Brain area used for cognitive function is activated idea if brain area X supports funcion Y then X should be activated during tasks that require Y Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI provides structural images with high spatial resolution Positron Emission Tomography PET measures blood flow blood flow increases in areas of cognitive activity Radioactive tracer is used to measure which areas of the brain is activated Excellent spatial resolution low temporal resolution functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging fMR measures blood flow map of the brain showing amount of oxygen in the blood Highly activated areas have more oxygen in the blood Activated areas light up in the images Fantastic spatial resolution temporal resolution low subtraction technique baseline activity is subtracted from the activity generated by a specific task single cell recording goal detect electrical signal of one neuron and to relate this signal to cognitive processes eg perceiving stimulus electrode is implanted and firing of neuron is recorded Animal engages in some behavior and the researcher determines under what conditions the neuron fires Higher fire rates indicate specialization of neuron to isolate a specific aspect of cognition we need a task that uniquely uses that cognitive function Brain and the environment brain needs to adapt to the environment different brain areas are associated with specific functions Functioning of different parts of the brain is not fixed Brain can adapt to the environment Brain needs to respond best to what is currently encountered Adaptation as basic principle of evolution Adaptation achieved through experiencedependent plasticity brain is organized so that specific areas process specific kinds of information functioning can also be tuned to operate best win a specific environment perception shows experiencedependent plasticity eg greebles vision in cats experiencedependent plasticity has also been demonstrated for other cognitive functions eg Navigation skills in London taxi drivers Figure 4 Neurons in the hippocampus responds to specific concepts ie Luke Skywalker neurons Number of spikes i 1D El 3U dill 5U Evil Ill Nature Reviews Neuroscience 91015 Main questions 1 What is bottomup and topdown processing How do bottomup and topdown processes interact How do we recognize basic perceptual elements How are elements grouped into objects Do experience and knowledge in uence perception Does perception depend on a en on Bottom up top down perception Chapter 3 Perception Introduction perception is more complex than we think it is almost impossible to create humanlike perception for robots object perception is central to everyday perception perception is not objective incoming stimulation bottomup processing knowledgeexperience topdown processing Bottomup and topdown processing cooperation between stimulus and knowledge bottomup light reflected from moth stimulates receptors and is electrically communicated to the brain topdown applying knowledge to perceptual input knowledge of the object is used to determine perceptual input belonging to that object the ratman demonstration is an example of how recently acquired knowledge can influence perception


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