PSYA02H3 Lecture Notes - Phonological Dyslexia, Buttered Popcorn, Language Acquisition Device

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20 Apr 2012
Chapter 10 Language
- Language (symbols to express many meanings) not the same as communicating.
- Many species can communicate but only humans use languages until we taught primate species to use sign
- Use language as a tool for remembering and thinking (we often encode info verbally)
- Psycholinguistics: branch of psychology devoted for studying verbal behaviour (ex. How children learn to speak
from interactions with adults)
- Belin, Zatorre and Ahad found that regions of the brain (temporal, auditory cortex) responded more when
people heard human vocalizations than when they only heard natural sounds using fMRI
- When analyzing a detailed info of speech, left hemisphere of brain plays a bigger role
- Scott, Blank, Rosen, and Wise used PET scans to determine that left regions specialize in recognizing special
aspects of speech
- Phonemes: are the smallest units of sound (ex. Pin = p + i + n )
- Voice-onset time: delay between initial sound of consonant and onset of vibration of vocal cords
- we recognize speech sounds in pieces larger than indivual phonemes, research done by Ganong (gift, giss
(sounds like kiss))
- phonemes are combined to form morphemes: smallest units of meaning in language
- Context affects perception of words through top-down processing (ex. If we were at snack bar and someone said
‘I scream’, you’d think Ice Cream)
- All languages have a syntax/grammer, they follow rules which linguists call ‘syntactical rules’ when we combine
word to form phrases, clauses, or sentences
- Syntactical rules are learned implicitly
- Ramus and squire found that patients with anterograde amnesia can learn artificial grammar
- In contrast, gabrieli, Cohen, and Corkin saw that patients couldn’t learn meanings of new words
- Meaning, syntax and word meanings involve different types of memory/brain mechanisms
- Function word: word that conveys little meaning of a sentence but is important in specifying its grammatical
- Content word: noun, verb, adjective, or adverb that conveys meaning
- Affixes are sounds we add to beginning (prefix) and end (suffix)
- Adding affixes make words seem more like a sentence (Epstein)
- Semantics: word meaning
- Prosody: use of stress, rhythm, and change of pitch that accompanies speech
- Deep structure: what the person intends to say
- Surface structure: transforming the idea into a particular form of a sentence so it can be understood
- Damage to broca’s area disrupts ability to speak, Broca’s aphasia, language disorder characterized by slow,
laborious, non-fluent speech. they cannot use grammatical info to comprehend the context of the sentence
(can’t use word order) ex. The mosquito was swatted by the man, they would only understand: man, mosquito
and swatting
- Damage of Broca’s area produces agrammatism: loss of ability to produce or comprehend speech that employs
complex syntactical rules, they rarely use function words
- Wernicke’s area: region of auditory association cortex at left temporal lobe, involves recognition of spoken
words. Symptoms: poor speech comprehension, producing meaningless speech. they do not pause and appears
- Pure word deafness: caused by damage to Wernicke’s area (they are not deaf but they cannot understand
speech) they can comprehend words but they can’t recognize it
- Fixation: brief interval where eye does not move; visual info is gathered during this time
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- University students would fixate 80% on content and 40% on function words
- We analyze word by word when reading a sentence
- The less frequent a word occurs the greater the fixation time, same with how long the word is (ex. sable and
table, ant and antiquity)
- We finish processing a word before going to the next
- Psychologists believe readers have two basic ways to recognize words (phonetic and whole-word recognition)
- Phonetic: reading by decoding phonetic significance of letter (sound reading) used for unfamiliar
- Phonetic reading activates left frontal lobe associated with Broca’s Aphasia
- Whole word: reading by recognizing word as a whole (sight reading) used for familiar words
- Three types of acquired dyslexias (damage to the brains of people that already know how to read): Surface
dyslexia, phonological dyslexia, direct dyslexia
- Surface dyslexia: deficit in whole-word reading (can’t recognize words as wholes have to sound them out)
- Phonological dyslexia: can’t sound out words
- Direct dyslexia: can read words aloud but can’t understand what words are saying
- Developmental dyslexias seem to be genetic (abnormalities in broca’s area and wernicke’s area may be
responsible) dyslexic patients have the inability to synch the two
- Meanings of words are learnt through experience
- Sentences are pictured to be understood
- Semantic priming: recognition of words having meanings related to a word that was presented previously. Ex.
movie theaters must have buttered popcorn to serve their patrons (the word butter activates a word detector to
allow you to read popcorn easier. If adequate was used then it’s slower to read because you’re not prepared to
see the word popcorn after it)
- Claim that we have innate language acquisition device that guides children’s acquisition of language: children
make hypotheses about grammatical rules they need to follow, hypotheses are confirmed or disconfirmed by
speech they hear. The device guides the children’s hypothesis formation. Reinforcement is unnecessary, device
provides motivation. There is a critical period for learning a language.
- Newborn infants preferred hearing their mothers reading a passage they had read aloud several times before
the babies were born to hearing them read a passage they had never read before.
Chapter 11 - Intelligence
- Successful intelligence(Sternberg’s view): ability to effectively analyze and manage personal strengths and
- Analytic intelligence(Sternberg’s view): mental mechanisms people use to plan and execute plans
(metacomponents (nature of problem, strategy for solving it, performance components, and knowledge
acquisition components)
- Creative intelligence(Sternberg’s view): ability to deal effectively with novel situations and solve problems
automatically that were encountered previously
- Practical intelligence (Sternberg’s view): intelligence reflecting the behaviours that were subject to natural
selection in our evolutionary history. Three forms: adaptation, selection, and shaping.
- Gardner’s view: intelligences (potentials that may/may not be activated in individual depending on the
individual’s culture values) are situated within cultures. 8 types:
- Logical mathematical: ability to reason logically and process mathematical equations
- Verbal-linguistic intelligence: ability to use language, sensitivity to meaning and sound of words
- Visual-spatial intelligence: ability to understand patterns in closed or open spaces
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- Naturalist intelligence: ability to understand patterns in nature
- Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: ability to control body precisely
- Musical intelligence: ability to understand and create musical patterns
- Intrapersonal intelligence: ability to understand self, including one’s skills, emotions, thoughts, and intentions
- Interpersonal intelligence: ability to recognize differences among people, understand their emotions, intentions,
and motivations
- Galton established the anthropometric (human measuring) laboratory at the international health exhibition in
London. Eventually becoming part of museum
- Tested 9000 people on 17 variables, (height, weight, muscular strength, ability to perform sensory
discriminations) sensory discriminations were disfavoured (galton’s program was not continued after his death)
- Contributed to seeing the normal curve in his statistical testing
- Gilbert in early 1920s proposed you can measure iq based on facial shape
- Binet and Simon disagreed with this way of thinking and created the Binet-Simon scale (intelligence test)
- The test allowed to estimate a child’s mental age
- Lewis Terman of Stanford University revised the scale and got known as Stanford binet scale. Identifying parts of
the body and remembering which box contained a marble. Tracing a simple maze with a pencil and repeating
five digits orally. Difference between two abstract words and completing complex sentences. Developed the IQ
formula devised by Stern.
- Mental/actually age = IQ at first. Then the ratio was replaced by deviation IQ.
- Wechsler’s tests WISC(for children), and WAIS(for adults) avoided cultural/linguistic biases, measure fluid
intelligence/perceptual organization and many more.
- Advantage of this test was that it tested verbal and performance abilities separately (could check for
undiagnosed brain damage)
- Validity of iq test is assessed by strength of correlation between test scores and criterion(independent measure
of variable that is being assessed.
- Motivation and social variables account at least as much as raw IQ
- Mental retardation: mental development that is below normal, caused by brain damage or abnormal brain
- Profound mental retardation = IQ lower than 20. Has problems with everything in life and has motor difficulties
(little cognitive development)
- Severe mental retardation = IQ between 20 and 34. Problem with speech development
- Moderate mental retardation = IQ between 35 and 54. Can do basic life skills
- 90% of people with mental retardation is mild mental retardation = IQ between 55 and 70. Can live
independently and learn skills/responsibilities needed to maintain employment
- Heritability: statistical measure that expresses the proportion of observed variability in a trait within a
population that is directly resulted from genetic variability (value from 0 to 1.0)
- Eye colour is affected almost entirely by hereditary factors and little by environment. Therefore value = 1.0
- Heritability is not how well the inerited genes are responsible for producing the trait. Ex. all inuit people have
black hair. The inuits have the same versions of the genes that determine this hair colour, there is no genetic
variability. Therefore the heritability value is 0 and not 1.0 just because all inuit people have black hair.
- Fetal alcohol syndrome: disorder that affects offspring’s brain development and caused by mother’s alcohol
intake during pregnancy
- Genetic abnormalities also cause brain damage and produce mental retardation (ex. down syndrome, PKU (can
be avoided by not taking phenylalanine)
- Heritability of IQ increases with age
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