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Lecture One

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Susanne Ferber

Lecture One: Cognitive Psychology – “the scientific study of the processes and products of the human mind” – 1. absorbing (sensation) + 2. processing (perception, computations, integration) + 3. responding (decisions and action) Method of Inquiry: Introspection – “internal perception” + self-examination of one's conscious thoughts and feelings + self-observation of one's mental state ;; human self-reflection, contrasted with external observation Limitations: – difficult to verify (ie: private events) – not always aware – look at end product, not the process Method of Inquiry: Behaviorism – called learning perspective (any physical action is a behavior) based on proposition that all things that organisms do – acting, thinking, feeling – can and should be regarded as behaviors + individuals response to different environmental stimuli shapes our behaviors – we can observe the inputs to and outputs from the mind (behavior) – psychology → science of behavior + the mind is unobservable ;; should not be a target of inquiry Limitations: - cannot account for creativity, or the learning of language (Noam Chomsky) – Limiting science to only the observable is a bad idea Method of Inquiry: Cognitivism – we can make inferences about mental processes (cognitive) – Information processing perspective: + input (sensory) + processes (computations) + output (motor commands) – Cybernetics: + artificial neural networks + study of structure of regulatory systems – Theory of computations – Digital computer + “Von neumann machine” – we can localize the workings of the mind (physiology view of stimulus/input & response/output) Evidence of localization of function – Paul Broca + left frontal lobe (location) + damage known as Broca's aphasia + result: non-fluent output, intact comprehension – Carl Wernicke: + location: left temporal lobe + damage known as Wernicke's aphasia + result: impaired comprehension, fluent output – Paitent H.M: + suffering from chronic, debilitating epilepsy c + had his bilateral medial temporal lobe resection … something about his hippocampus + result: suffers from profound anterograde amnesia – Callosotomy (Resection of the corpus callosum): + eliminating cross-hemisphere communication + “split-brain” patients + … hemispheric differences in processing? – Wilder Penfield (1891-1976): + cortical ablation (removal/excision) for epilepsy + stimulation of human cortex + sensory and motor homunculi + association areas – Five Lobes of the Brain: + motor/premotor: movements + parietal: somatosensory/visual hallucinations + prefrontal: nothing → “silent cortex” + occipital: visual hallucinations + temporal: visual/auditory hallucinations. Whole memories – Phineas Gage: + had a total ablation of orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) + result: impact on emotion and personality (variable) – Frontal Lobotomies (leucotomies): + neurosurgical procedure, a form of psychosurgery + cuts the connections to and from the prefrontal cortex, the anterior part of frontal lobes of the brain – PET scanner + neurochemicals shown + blood flow and neural activity + produces 3-D/picture of functional processes in the body + detects gamma rays emitted – MRI scanner: + structure and [later] function + visualize internal structures in detail – Transcranial magnetic stimulation + “virtual lesions” + pre-lesion knowledge of ability + cause depolarization/hyperpolarization in the neurons of the brain
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