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Lecture 7

PSYC 1000 Lecture 7: Psych notes - module 7 - oct 21.docx

Course Code
PSYC 1000
Paula Barata

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Psych Module 17 – Brain States and Consciousness
Consciousness: our awareness of ourselves and our environment.
Cognitive Neuroscience: the inter-disciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition
(including perception, thinking, memory, and language)
Dual Processing: the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate
conscious and unconscious tracks.
Blindsight: a condition in which a person can respond to a visual stimulus without consciously
experiencing it.
Selective Attention: the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus.
Inattentional blindness: failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere.
Change blindness: failing to notice changes in the environment.
Even in a motionless body, researchers concluded that the brain and the mind may still be
If a stimulus activates enough brain-wide coordinated neural activity-with strong signals in one
brain area triggering activity elsewhere-it crosses a threshold for consciousness. A weaker
stimulus-perhaps a word flashed too briefly to consciously perceive-may trigger localized visual
cortex activity that quickly dies out.
A stronger stimulus will engage other brain areas, such as those involved with language,
attention, and memory.
A visual perception track enables us to think about the world – to recognize things and to plan
future actions. A visual action track guides our moment-to-moment movements.
With consciousness, action tends to precede awareness.
Selective Attention
Cocktail party effect – one voice at a time
Change blindness
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