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How Does the Brain Think.docx

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Carleton University
PSYC 2800

How Does the Brain ThinkThe Nature of ThoughtoThinking is an activity of complex neural circuits not some region of the brain oCell AssemblyHypothetical group of neurons that become functionally connected because they receive the same sensory inputs Hebb proposed that cell assemblies were the basis of perception memory and thought oThinking is due to activity of many different systems which in the mammalian brain are located in the CortexoIt is difficult to study thought language memory etc As these are not observable oThey are Psychological Constructs They are names without understanding of what they areThe idea resulting from a set of impressions that some mental ability exists as an entity examples include memory language and emotionDifficult to localize constructs in the brain oCognition Act or process of knowing or coming to know In psychology used to refer to the processes of thoughtLanguage Memory etc Characteristics of Human ThoughtoHuman thought is verbal we think in language while in other animals thinking is none verbal oLanguage gives humans an edge in thinkingLanguage makes our thought much more complexLanguage provide the brain with a ways to categorize informationLanguage provides a means of organizing time ex Monday at 300pmLanguage has syntaxWays in which words are put together to form phrases clauses or sentences it is proposed to be a unique characteristic of human languageIt allows humans to have a language that moves beyond the concrete world of the here and now Ex The boy who learned language late The Neural Unit of ThoughtoEach neuron is capable of understanding and thinkingoNewsome and Colleagues 1995Neurons in area V5 that are activated by movementTrained monkeys on an apparent motion paradigm and performed singlecell recordingsThey found that the perception of apparent motion was influenced by individual neurons not by the summed activity of many neurons These individual neurons can communicate to the cortexoNeurons are the foundation of thought and cognitive processesoMultiple neurons converge to form cell assemblies to represent complex thought
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