Perception: front end processes through which you organize and interpret incoming
Attention: ability to attend is flexible but limited
Immediate Memory: shortterm/working memory
Identifying and Classifying Objects
LongTerm Memory: store for later use and retrieving
Autobiographical Memory: most dynamic
Memory Distortion: forgetting and memory distortion
Language: syntax and semantics
Decision Making: complex interplay among other cognitive processes such as attention,
memory and knowledge retrieval.
Problem Solving: involves operating within constraints such as time and reaching a goal
from a starting state that is nowhere near that goal.
Cognition comprises half of the subject matter
provides critical insights into other sub disciplines that define psych
cognitive science: interdisciplinary effort to understand the mind with five different
disciplines: philosophy, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, linguistics, anthropology.
study of the relationship between the physical properties of a stimulus and the properties
taken on when the stimulus is filtered through subjective experience.
Gustav Fechner: there is not a one to one relationship between changes in the physical
intensity of a stimulus and changes in its psychological intensity.
Helmholtz: visual perception talk and process of unconscious inference. Perceiver plays
an interpretive role in what is perceived, perceptual and cognitive processes are
influenced by previous experience, perceptual and cognitive processes often occur
outside of conscious awareness
psychoscientists were among the first to apply scientific method to bridge the physical
and the mental.
Structuralism: The contents of mental experience
model psychology after chemistry and can it be applied to conscious experience.
strucuralists said they could be broken down into three categories: sensations, feelings
used introspection: a procedure that requires participants to provide rigourous, unbiased
report of every element of the conscious experience that accompanies the presentation of
Titchener: termed structuralism
distill conciousness into its basica elements
Functionalism: The Functions of Mental Experience
James: stream of conciousness to capture the continuous changing nature of our
experience (structuralism) he believed they should figure out the functions of the mind. study the emotion of being angry and try to determine the purpose of being angry
(structuralist would attempt to determine the basic feelings and sensations of conscious
had a more profound influence on cognitive psychology than structuralism
Behaviourism: The Rejection of Mental Experience
Watson proposed the banishment of consciousness because it does not lead to
observation, measurement, and repeatability.
behaviourism emphasized the study of observable responses and their relation to
SR psychology, dedicate to discovering these connections. Between these connection is
a black box which houses consciousness.
believed consciousness existed but they did not believe it could be studied.
dominated experimental psychology In USA
Laying the Foundation for Cognitive Psychology
behavioursits wanted to establish psych as a rigorous experimental science alongside
other disciplines acknowledged as “scientific”
rigorous observation and measurement of mental processes is possible.
Ebbinghaus: Pioneering Experiments on Memory
complex mental processes could be submitted to experimental test.
tested his own memory
savings: refer to the reduction in trials it took to relearn a list.
found recall more difficult with a longer list
ability to retain got better after repetition
forgetting curve: memory performance declines over the time interval since study
forgetting occurs rapidly then slows down considerably
demonstrated well controlled experimental methods could be applied to study complex
established a number of core principles of memory that are still being replicated and
extended in laboratory research today
Bartlett’s Memory Research
objected to the use of tightly controlled lab studies
should be as generalisitc as possible
characterized it as a reconstructive process rather than reproductive
schemata: generalized knowledge structures aobut events and situations that are
constructed based on past experience
was an alternative to a SR view and prescience foreshadowing some major concerns
left more to chance
role that organizational processes play in perception and problem solving
configuration = gestalt
the whole is different than the sum of its parts still has strong influence on how we view particular cognitive processes such as
perception and problem solving
Learning without Responding
Responding is essential for learning
rats that ran on their own would knows the correct response because R is required for
learning those rats that got a ride to the food also knew where to go.
Learning without Reinforcement
3 diff rats in a complex maze and had them explore it
reinforced, not reinforced, reinforced after 10 days
rats in group 1 and 2 behaved as predicted
starting on day 12 they were as error free as the other rats and had been learning all a
long even without reinforcement = latent learning
three possible responses: 1 had strongest SR and 3 had the weakest
formed a mental map of the layout
freely explore the maze over a series of trials
chose path 3 90% of the time when blocked
failure of SR theory
science needs to explain both simple and complex
argued complex cannot be dominated by a series of SR connections
rejected the SR view of language and claimed it to be vague and unscientific
concept of stimulus control has no meaning in language
stimulus loses all meaning when applied to language
the productivity and novelty observed in language use can be explained only by
appealing to mental representations
behaviourism was failing
communications engineering: consider human thought processes and ways it might be
analyzed and investigated
input, processing and output… humans work the same way.
behaviourism is still represented in a lot of the research and theorizing in current
cognitive psychology. Information Processing: A computer metaphor for cognition
preeminent paradigm for cognitive psych
used the computer as a model for human cognition
humans are symbol manipulators who encode, store and retrieve and manipulate
active and creative information scanners and seekers who aren’t passive
contrasts with behaviorist approach by saying they think step by step.
classify brain as the “hardware” and the cognitive processes as “software”
Connectionism: A Brain Metaphor for Cognition
major differences between humans and computers
humans do not work in a serial/step by step
brain does not have a central processor
information is processed differently in each system
connectionism: uses the brain as a basis for modeling cognitive processes (replace info
the cognitive system is made up of billions of interconnected nodes that come together
to form complex networks.
networks underlying cognitive processing operate largely in parallel
processing involved in a given task does not occur in only one specific location; the
networks involved in cognitive processing are distributed throughout the brain.
building blocks of these networks in a connection between two individual nodes and
how the neurons interact
the connections are built up, solidified and modified
connections between nodes are strengthened if they are activated at the same time
models are used to generate predictions but it is often not used
The Brain: More than a metaphor
cognitive neuroscience is the most rapidly expanding research frontier
▯ euron: basic unit. 100 billion neurons. Many located within the cerebral cortex.
communication is an electrical process where the signal travels from the dentrites to the
cell body down the axon this is called an action potential.
action potential causes the release of neurotransmitters in the tiny gap between the
the neurotransmitters interact with the dendrite which lead to it being exhibitory or
Hebb suggests the more the interact and the association becomes stronger
primary focus of cognitive neuroscience
anterior/rostal: front of brain
posterior/caudal: back of the brain
dorsal/superior: top of the brain
ventral: bottom of the brain
lateral: closer to peripheral medial: area closer to midpoint of the brain
hindbrain: base of the brain: breathin heartbeat
midbrain: sensory reflex
forebrain: comprises most of the brain and the cerebral cortex
cerebral cortex: primary neural substrate/higher cognitive functioning
has two hemispheres with four lobes
frontal lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobe and occipital lobe
broca’s area (frontal lobe) related to production of speech
parietal: regulate the process of attention and working memory
occipital: primary visual cortex responsible for vision
temporal: auditory cortex and wernickes area (speech comphrension)
lateralized and communicate via the corpus callosum
left: verbal processing /language
right: non verbal/spatial
split brain relieve epileptic
stimulus left goes to right side but cannot go to left because of corpus callosum split
help learning and remember new info and process emotion
hippocampus: new info into memory
amygdala: regulate emotion
thalamus: relay point for incoming sensory info
hypothalamus: maintain important basic survival processes (temp reg.)
diencephalon: thalamus and hypothalamus
Tools of Cognitive Neuroscience
spatial resolution: take a picture
temporal resolution: how well the technique pinpoints when the neural activity occurs
Brain Trauma and Lesions
left frontal lobe (broca area)
left temporal lobe (wernickes area)
allow us to learn about the brain
Single and Double Dissociations
single: performance deficits in one task but no performance deficits in another task.
double: X deficit in reading, but not spoken language Y deficit in spoken language but
not reading. Provide evidence that any two processes are based on completely different
brain processes and structures.
argue the performance on two different experimental conditions. EEG
placed on scalp to pick up electrical current being conducted through the skull by the
activity of neurons underneath.
records a combo of activity of millions of neurons at the brains surface
good temporal resolution