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  1. Cognition
    –The mental processes involved in perception, attention, memory, language, problem solving, reasoning, and decision making
  2. How can the mind be studied scientifically
    –Mental processes cannot be observed directly, but can be inferred by measuring behavior.
  3. The First Cognitive Psychologists
    • Donders (1868): Mental Chronometry- Measuring how long a cognitive process takes
    • Helmholtz (1860s): Unconscious inference- •Some of our perceptions are the result of unconscious assumptions we make about the environment
    • Ebbinghaus (1885): Read list of nonsense syllables aloud many times to determine number of repetitions necessary to repeat list without errors
    • Wundt (1897): First psychology laboratory in 1879
  4. Wundt (1897) founded the first psychological
    laboratory in 1879.

    • –Approach
    • Structuralism: experience is determined by combining elements of experience called sensations
    • –Method
    • Analytic introspection: participants trained to describe experiences and thought processes in response
    • to stimuli
  5. What problems are there with Wundt's experiment?
    John Watson noted two problems with this:

    1. Extremely variable results from person to person

    2. Results difficult to verify

    3. Invisible inner mental processes
  6. Classical Conditioning
    1. Pair a neutral event with an event that naturally produces some outcome

    2. After many pairings, the “neutral” event now also produces the outcome
  7. Behaviorism:
    John Watson proposed a new approach called behaviorism: Instead of studying the relationship between behavior and the mind study the relationship between behavior and stimuli.

    Bam Skinner operant conditioning
  8. Language Development
    • Skinner (1957):  argued children learn language
    • through operant conditioning. Children imitate speech they hear with correct speech being rewarded

    • Chomsky (1959): argued language developed
    • through inborn biology. Children say things they have never heard and can not be imitating. Children say things that are incorrect and have not been rewarded for.
  9. Image Upload 1
    Frontal Lobe: Higher functions of the brain Language, thought, memory, problem solving, judgment, and some motor functioning. –“Executive function”

    Parietal Lobe: Sense of touch and integrates information involved in vision and attention processes

    Temporal Lobe: Auditory processes hearing, language, and speech + Some Memory

    Occipital Lobe: Receives and processes visual information coming into the brain
  10. Cerebral Cortex
    1. Outer layer of the brain

    • 2. Contains the mechanisms responsible for most
    • cognitive functioning

    3. Contains the four lobes
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    Cerebellum: Sensory perception, Motor output, Proprioception

    Hippocampus: Important in memory, Spatial functioning

    Amygdala: Memory formation (Specifically emotional memories)

    • Thalamus: Important for processing in senses of vision,
    • hearing, and touch
  12. Localization of Function: Perception
    1. Fusiform face area
    2. Parahippocampal place area
    3. Extrastriate body area
    • •Fusiform face area (FFA) responds specifically to faces
    • Temporal lobe
    • Damage to this area causes prosopagnosia (inability to
    • recognize faces)

    • •Parahippocampal place area (PPA) responds specifically to places (indoor/outdoor scenes)
    • Temporal lobe

    •Extrastriate body area (EBA) responds specifically to pictures of bodies and parts of bodies
  13. Localization of Function: Language

    Broca’s Area

    Wernicke’s area
    • Broca’s area: Language production 
    • Frontal lobe

    • Wernicke’s area: Language comprehension 
    • Temporal lobe
  14. Neuron
    • •Cell that is specialized to receive and transmit information in the nervous system
    • Image Upload 3
  15. Cell Body
    •Also called Soma

    • •Part of a cell that contains mechanisms that keep the cell alive
    • Image Upload 4
  16. Axon
    • •Part of the neuron that transmits signals from
    • the cell body to the synapse
    • Image Upload 5
  17. Dendrite
    • •Structure that branches out from the cell body
    • to receive signals from other neurons
    • Image Upload 6
  18. Synapse
    Site of communication between neurons

    Space between the end of an axon and the cell body or dendrite of the next neuron
  19. Receptor
    Specialized neuron involved in the transduction of environmental energy.

    Transduction is the transformation of energy in the environment into electrical energy that represents the environment within the nervous system
  20. Action Potentials
    Potential- Relative difference in charge between the inside and outside of the neuron


    Strength depends on frequency
  21. Two types of neurotransmitters
    Excitatory neurotransmitters- Increase the rate of firing of action potentials on postsynaptic cell

    Inhibitory neurotransmitters- Decrease the rate of firing
  22. Specificity coding:

    Distributed coding:
    Specificity coding: Grandmother cell

    Distributed coding: representation by a pattern of firing across a number of neurons
  23. PET (Positron Emission Tomography)
    •Radioactive tracer is injected into bloodstream

    •PET apparatus measures the amount of tracer in each location of the brain
  24. fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
    Measures blood flow without radioactive tracers

    Uses magnetic field to measure blood flow
  25. Brain Lesioning
    Intentional damage or removal of part of the brain

    Allows us to see which cognitive impairments are associated with certain brain areas
  26. Perception Is
    The process of recognizing, organizing, and interpreting information from senses

    Not an exact copy of “the world”

    Based on our past experience and  expectations
  27. Bottom-up and top-down processing
    • Bottom-up processing
    • Perception may start with the senses: Incoming raw data

    • •Top-down processing
    • Perception may start with the brain: knowledge, experience, expectations
  28. –Geons
    three-dimensional volumes

    • •View Invariance
    • Can be identified from different angles

    • •Discriminability
    • Won’t be confused with other geons at different viewpoints

    • •Resistance to visual noise
    • “Noisy” conditions such as low light or fog
  29. Two Approaches to Perception
    • •Structuralism
    • Perception consists of the adding up of small elementary units

    • •Gestalt Psychology
    • The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

    Perceptual organization: grouping of elements to create larger objects
  30. Types of attention
    Image Upload 7
  31. Attention
    • •What we are conscious of
    • •Limited capacity
    • •Occurs after sensation
    • •Interacts with perception
    • •Memory, language, and problem solving
  32. Filter Model of Attention
    • •Sensory store -> Filter
    • Filter identifies attended message based on physical characteristics

    • •Filter -> Detector
    •  Detector processes for meaning

    •Detector -> Memory
  33. Attenuation Theory
    Image Upload 8
  34. Visual spotlight
    •We respond to stimuli more quickly if we know where in our visual field it will appear

    •Not surprising, but this happens at a neural level, meaning neurons respond to location
  35. Zoom lens
    •Attention is like spotlight, but can be zoomed to focus on small or spread over large area

    •The further distractors are away from spotlight, the less effect they have

    •Less rigid than spotlight
Card Set
CogPsych Test 1
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