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Cognitive Psychology – Midterm Review.docx

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 221
Richard Wright

PSYCH 221 Fall 2013 Cognitive Psychology – Midterm Review Lecture One: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology What is Cognitive Psychology? - A branch of psychology that is concerned with the scientific study of the mind and mental processes.  Perception  Attention  Memory  Language  Problem-Solving  Reasoning  Decision-Making What is the Mind? - A system that controls mental functions (e.g. cognitive processes) and that creates mental representations of the world. Part I: Early Attempts at Studying Mental Processing - Late 1800, Early 1900s: Wilhelm Wundt, Structuralism and Empirical Psychology  Empirical Psychology = First form of Psychology  Structuralism: Overall experience is determined by combining basic elements of “sensations”.  Method = Analytic Introspection: “The Verbal Report” it is a technique used on trained participants described their experiences and thought processes in response to stimuli. - Early Experiments: Studying of the Mind  Donder’s Pioneering Experiment: How long does it take to make a decision?  Measuring reaction time by how long it takes to respond to a presentation of a stimulus. - Simple Reaction Time Task: Light Flashes  Perceive Light  Press Button - Choice Reaction Time Task: Left Light Flashes  Perceive Left Light and Decide which Button to Press  Press Left Button  One of the first “Cognitive Psychology” Experiments  Mental processes cannot be measured directly; they must be inferred from behaviour.  Ebbinghaus’ Memory Experiment: What is the time-course for forgetting?  Determining the nature of memory and forgetting – How information that is learned is lost over time. PSYCH 221 Fall 2013 - Memory Drum “Computer”  Presents Nonsense Syllables (one at a time)  Learn, Repeat, Check (until no mistakes)  Delays (ranging from immediately to 31 days)  Noted Number of Trials needed to learn the list after Delay. - Calculated Savings Score: Initial Repetitions subtract (Relearning Repetitions/Initial Repetitions) x 100 o Savings curve demonstrated that memory could be quantified and that it functions like a forgetting curve, which describes the ability to retain information. - In the 1900s, John B. Watson founded an approach called Behaviourism  Behaviourism was based on the argument that it was not possible for the mind to study itself because it could not be measure (abstract entity) Part II: Behaviourists bring a halt to Cognitive Psychology - John B. Watson founded Behaviourism because he dissatisfied with Wundt’s introspective method: 1. Analytic Introspection gave extremely variable results. 2. Psychology should not focus on the unobservable processes and should be more directed to observable behaviour. - Watson proposed at the APA conference that psychology should focus on only studying observable behaviour – threw out all the best parts of cognitive psychology (limiting research studies)  Cognition research was interrupted for about 50 years.  The mind is like a black box, it is not observable  We can only observe what goes in and what comes out.  Stimulus  “Mind”  Response  We have specialized boxes for different mental processes. - Behaviourism: Observable behaviour provides only valid data for psychology.  Consciousness and unobservable mental processes are not considered worthy of the study of psychology.  Examples of Behaviourism Studies: - Ivan Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning Dog-Bell Study - Watson’s & Rayner’s Classical Conditioning of Fear-Little Albert Study - B. F. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning of Rats - Tolman’s Cognitive Map Study *outside main stream of Behaviourism* PSYCH 221 Fall 2013 Part III – The Rebirth of Cognitive Psychology “The Cognitive Revolution” - Behaviourist theories were too simple to explain complex cognitive processes (e.g. Language)  B. F. Skinner vs. Noam Chomsky debate:  Skinner: Children learn language through operant conditioning  imitation of what they hear correctly with reinforcements.  Chomsky: Opposed imitation and reinforcements as the cause of language development and believed it was an inborn (innate) biological program that holds across cultures. - “The Cognitive Revolution”  The shift from the behaviourist’s stimulus-response relationships to the information-processing approach.  Applied Research (1950s), on cognition and attention. - Research done privately and specific/directly applied to everyday life. Part IV – What do Cognitive Psychologist study? - Models of the Mind:  Make complicated systems easier to understand.  Provides a “starting point” for further research questions. - Medical Imaging:  Can help us see the unobservable:  Functional Neuro-Imaging: - PET Scan (Landmark Finding) 1980 - fMRI = Functional MRI 1990  Structural Neuro-Imaging: - CAT Scan 1970 - X-Ray - MRI Part V – What is this stuff good for? - Education  Learning Disabilities - Disorders  Dyslexia PSYCH 221 Fall 2013 Lecture Two: Cognitive Neuroscience Methods *Behaviourism - Behaviourism was needed because the introspective method wasn’t working.  Therefore, the behaviourists brought in rigorous research methods  Psychology = Rigorous Science Cognitive Neuroscience: The study of the physiological basis of cognition. Part I: Overview of the Brain’s Structure - The Lobes of the Brain 1. Occipital Lobe “Visual Cortex”  Lobe at the back of the brain  Primarily devoted to analyzing incoming visual information. 2. Temporal Lobe “Auditory Cortex”  Lobe on the side of the brain that contains mechanisms responsible for:  Language  Memory  Hearing (Auditory Processing)  Vision (Higher Levels of Visual Processing) 3. Parietal Lobe “Association Cortex”  Lobe at the top of the brain that contains mechanisms at the top of the brain that contains by stimulation of the skin, and also some aspects of sensory information (visual, auditory and touch) to help make sense of the world.  Combines input from different sensory modalities.  Somatosensory Cortex  Skin Responses to Touch, Temperature and Pain.  Controls the ability to pay attention  If damaged (stroke-related)  people can have difficulties with attention - Stroke damage to right parietal lobe  Results in lack of awareness of the left side of the world (Spatial Neglect) 4. Frontal Lobe “Brain’s Executive Area”  Lobe at the front of the brain that serves for higher functioning: (Carried out in the Pre-frontal Cortex)  Language  Though  Memory  Motor Functioning  Planning  Formulating Goals  “Sea of Consciousness” PSYCH 221 Fall 2013 The Brain - “Folded Structure” = Convolutions  Fissures (Depressions) = Sulci (Sulcus)  Ridges (Bumps) = Gyri (Gyrus) - Larger fissures separate the lobes of the brain:  Central Sulcus: Between the parietal lobe and frontal lobe  Sylvian Fissure (Lateral Sulcus): Divides the frontal lobe and parietal lobe above from the temporal lobe below. - Monkey Brain Studies (Macaque Monkeys)  Visual Cortex: Similar to humans in terms of structure and function of the occipital lobe.  Temporal Lobe: Similar to humans, except ours is bigger.  Parietal Lobe: Correlation between monkey’s brain and humans is not as great compared to the occipital lobe.  Frontal Lobe: No correspondence between Monkey and Human. - Sub-Cortex: Evolutionary-speaking, it is the oldest part of our brains (more like monkey brain) Part II – Searching for Brain Localization Areas of Mental Processes - Localization for Language  Aphasia: Difficulty producing language in terms of actual speech or clear semantic language. - Broca’s Aphasia: Difficulty using speech to express thoughts, but can still understand speech. Caused by damage to the left frontal lobe “Broca’s Area” - Wernicke’s Aphasia: Difficulty understanding language, but can still create speech that is incoherent. Caused by damage to the left temporal lobe “Wernicke’s Area” - Localization of Cognitive Functions  Due to specialization of language areas, researchers were very keen to find other areas that would specialize on other mental processes.  Franz Gall (1800s):  Two important and one silly idea: 1. Explained why the cortex of the brain (thin outer layer) was so convoluted. - We can fit more cortical tissue if we have convolutions in the cortex. PSYCH 221 Fall 2013 2. One of the first to explain the brain’s White Matter and Grey Matter. - White Matter (Inner Layer) = Connective Tissue for different parts of the brain. - Grey Matter (Outer Layer) = Important for lots of different brain functions. 3. Phrenology: Measuring the size of bumps on the skull and trying to map it out  Drawing conclusions about different personality traits and cognitive processes. - Brain tissue is soft and cannot push on the bone or retract the skull.  Facts about White Matter:  When white matter degrades it can lead to multiple sclerosis or other diseases like that.  Scientists became more interested in white matter in the past 10 years.  Practice Effects: Increasing white matter for certain neurons involved in tasks that we are doing. - “Practice makes perfect”  Lashley (Early 1900s): He wanted to find a specialized area in the brain for memory.  Large Group of rats  Systematically made tiny lesions in each rat brain to find the specialized area for memory – but had no luck. - There are no single areas that specialize in a specific mental processing. - Each of the different types of cognitive processes is mediated by the network of different brain areas  spread out (including memory). - Localization for Perception  Primary-Receiving Areas: Areas in the cortex that is first to receive inputs from one of the senses.  Identified by noting the effects of brain damage - Damage to the occipital lobe  Blindness. - Damage to a certain area in temporal lobe (lower right side of the brain)  Prosopagnosia.  Prosopagnosia: The inability to recognize faces due to damage of the Fusiform Face Area (FFA) in the lower right side of the brain in the temporal lobe. PSYCH 221 Fall 2013  Grandmother Cell: A neuron that only corresponds to one specific stimulus. Part III – The Brain’s Neural “Electricity” - Galvani  Exploratory Scientist  Made a shocking discovery in 1700s.  Used Leyden Jar (which works like a capacitor and holds an electric charge for days) and touched frog legs – which made them kick.  Resulted in the idea that we have electrical potentials situated inside of us. - Single-Cell Recording  Using microelectrodes positioned near a neuron (recording electrode), which is also connected to a recording device and another microelectrode (reference electrode) that is connected to the outside of the tissue.  It measures the nerve’s action potential when transmitting/firing impulses down the axon.  Can use single-cell recording with microstimulation (introducing an electrical charge into the axon – motor cortex based) to see if two areas of the brain are connected and have a functional relationship. - Berger  Discovered the EEG (Electroencephalography)  Recorded the first Human EEG Recording in 1924.  Method: Attaching electrodes to the scalp.  Studies and research were based on humans having neural “electricity” within them.  The EEG is used for measuring large-scale cell recordings.  Cognitive neuroscientist: Interested in a certain measurement ERP (Event Related Potential)  Event Related Potential: Measured brain response that is direct result of specific sensory, cognitive or motor stimulation. - It is good for telling when a neural activation has occurred = The “When” Method. - Röntgen th  Discovered the X-ray in the beginning of the 19 Century.  Serendipity Observation = Ground Breaking Discovery.  Certain objects cannot be penetrated by X-rays and appear to be solid black. - Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT Scan): Used to define normal and abnormal structures in the body (1970s). PSYCH 221 Fall 2013  Involves radiation and X-ray procedures  Used to determine areas of stroke and internal bleeding  Produces “slices” to generate cross-sectional views of internal organs and structures of the body.  Records different levels of “sections” of the body. Part IV – Blood Flow Indicates Brain Locations of Mental Processes - Mosso:  Conducted demonstrations that supported the idea that were dependent on what we were thinking, blood flow will those areas of the brain.  Suggested that the brain uses disproportionately large amounts of oxygenated blood, because neurons need lots of oxygen.  Hypothesis: Blood will flow more to the area that is required when completing a task. - Brain Imaging  Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan): Shows what areas of the brain are working when doing specific tasks.  Landmark Finding (1980): First functional neuroimaging method.  Measures activity through changes in blood flow of the brain.  Needs a radioactive tracer.  Electrons collides with the positron and two photons are released “annihilation photons”, which are then detected and allows us to figure out where the collision took place by the time of arrival and distance.  Subtraction Technique: Interprets the results of brain imaging by measuring brain activity in a “controlled state” before the stimulation is presented and measured during the stimulation is presented.  Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI): Shows what areas of the brain are working when doing specific tasks.  Currently the best functional neuroimaging method (1990).  It uses the iron found in the hemoglobin and therefore when a magnetic field is presented near the brain the hemoglobin line up like little magnets.  Indicates the presence of brain activity because the hemoglobin molecules in areas of high brain activity lose some of the oxygen they are transporting – make hemoglobin more magnetic so they respond to the magnetic field of the fMRI.  No radioactive tracer needed. PSYCH 221 Fall 2013  Used to determine which areas of the brain are activated by different cognitive functions. - Fusiform Face Area (FFA): The area of the brain found in the lower right side of the temporal lobe that responds to faces.  Damage to this area results in Prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces. - Parahippocampal Place Area (PPA): The area of the temporal cortex that is activated by pictures representing indoor and outdoor scenes or spatial layout. - Extrastriate Body Area (EBA): Another area in the temporal cortex that is activated by pictures of bodies or parts of bodies (excluding faces). Part V – Creating Virtual Lesions with TMS - Modern Lesioning Method  Lesioning: Breaking down something and seeing what stops working  Temperature: Using temperature change to temporarily deactivating an area of the brain.  Chemical Deactivation: Using drugs to temporarily deactivate an area of the brain.  Data might not be accurate/specific  Neighboring area could be the cause - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): A procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression.  Can be used to deactivate parts “Virtual Lesions” of the brain but it could cause disruption, especially in the visual, auditory and parietal cortex. PSYCH 221 Fall 2013 Lecture Three: Sensory Systems Far Senses: Can be stimulated by things faraway “more cognitive based”  Seeing  Hearing Near Senses: Have to make physical contact.  Touch  Taste  Smell Why talk about Perception and Sensation in a Cognitive Course?  To understand Cognitive Processing, you have to have a good understanding of Perception.  Perceptual Processing is the initial stage of Cognitive Processing.  A lot of perceptual processing is Cognitive. Stages in Visual/Auditory Systems: Information (Stimulus Energy)  Stimulates Sensory Receptors (Photoreceptors in Eyeball /Hair Cells in Inner Ear)  Transduction (Conversion) of Stimulus Energy into Neural Code Transduction: The conversion of stimulus energy from information gathered from our environment into neural code, in which our brains can understand. - When we see things:  Electromagnetic Radiation  Enters our eyes  Photoreceptors are able to Convert the Radiation into a Neural Signal. - When we hear things:  Eardrums vibrate  Hair Cells in our Inner Ear Bend  Bending of Hair Cells  Physical Bending of Hair Cells Converts Sound Pressure Waves to Neural Code. * Sensory Memory (More Information in Lecture 5)* - Iconic Memory  Very short-term visual memory  Lasts for about 250 ms after exposure to the visual stimuli.  E.g. Sparkler “Creates a Trail” - Echoic Memory  2 to 3 seconds of short-term auditory memory  E.g. Sound or a word PSYCH 221 Fall 2013 Part I – Eye & Vision - Contralaterality  When the left side of the visual world is projected onto the right hemisphere of the brain.  When the right side of the visual world is projected onto the left hemisphere of the brain.  “Cross-over”  Right side information activates the left side retina inside the eyeball and that goes to the left hemisphere. (Information on right side is contralateral to left hemisphere)  Left side information activates the right side retina inside the eyeball and that goes to the right hemisphere. (Information on the left side is contralateral to the right hemisphere) - Visual Pathway  Retinal image out there in the real world is inverted in the retina (in the eyeball)  E.g. Camera Metaphor Light  Enters the Eye  Cornea (Outside of Eyeball)  Iris (Coloured Area)  Lens  Ciliary Muscles (Changes Lens Shape)  Vitreous Humour (Fluid in Eyeball)  Photoreceptors (Layer of Cells at the Back of Eyeball)  Optic Nerve - Cornea  The transparent part of the outside of the eyeball that covers the iris, the pupil and the anterior chamber.  It refracts light into the eyeball through the iris. - Iris  The colour part of the eye that controls the size of the pupil when light is refracted through it, which means it also control the amount of light that reaches the retina. - Lens  Transparent structure of the eye that helps to refract light to be focused on the retina.  Accommodation: The way the lens change shape in order to focus the retinal image directly on the back of the retina.  Faraway = Flatter Lens  Close by = Rounder Lens - Ciliary Muscles: Muscles that push or pull the lens, which changes the shape of the lens in order for us to see faraway or see close by.  Faraway = Flatter Lens PSYCH 221 Fall 2013  Close by = Rounder Lens  As we get older, the lenses in our eyes start to stiffen making it harder for the muscles to change the shape. - Vitreous Humour  Clear fluid situated in the eyeball that fills in space between the lens and the retina. - Retina: Photoreceptors & Blind Spot  Retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eye.  Photoreceptors are the neurons that are situated within the retina.  Rods - The photoreceptors that we have the most of - Not sensitive to colour - Very sensitive to motion and slight changes in light levels - Used for night vision  Cones - Sensitive to colour. - Sensitive to three kinds of wavelengths (red 560 nm, blue 430 nm and green 530 nm)  Blind spot is the area of the inner surface of the eye that contains no photoreceptor but is where the axons of the ganglion cells form together to become the optic nerve.  We do not notice the blind spot because our brain is good at filling it in (interpolates).  The brain interpolates the blind spot based on the details of the surroundings.  There 3 types of cell layers in the eye:  Outer Layer = Ganglion Cells  Medial Layer = Bipolar Cells  Inner Layer = Photoreceptors - Convert light energy to neural code - Needs a lot of oxygenated blood and therefore they are embedded at the back of the eye where the blood vessels are. Image in Real World  Retinal Image Inverted  Cornea  Iris  Lens focuses image to back of the Eyeball  Fovea PSYCH 221 Fall 2013 - Fovea  Moving the eyes to look at something directly.  It improves acuity  Image clarity  Sharpness  This is where most of the cones are situated in, and the rods are situated outside the fovea. - Dark Adaptation  It takes 20 minutes for our eyes to fully adapt to the dark.  Process of going from a Bright Environment to a Dark Environment  The eyes are light adapted so we can’t see anything in the darkness.  Cones dark adapt very quickly but are not very functional in the dark conditions  No colour vision in darkness, therefore we need bright levels of light intensity. - Exit Signs: Why are they Red?  Rods in our eyes are not sensitive to long wavelengths of light  Red light has longer wavelengths compared to blue and green  Rods are not really sensitive to red light so when emergency lights go on our eyes dark-adapt and the red light won’t affect dark adaptation (or urge to light adapt).  Rods are used in night vision and are not sensitive to red light; so a little cone functioning is needed to help us see. - Pupil  An opening in the eye.  Dark Adapt  Pupils dilate to let in more light.  Bright Condition  Pupils constrict to limit the amount of light.  The pupil can also dilate when we are aroused (E.g. Poker Players wear sunglasses. - Cataracts  Lens gradually can get cloudier due to a build up of proteins.  The lens thickens with impurities affecting vision.  Cataract Operation: Replacing original lens with plastic malleable lens - Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)  Layers of the retinal wall begin to delaminate  Strands of floaters (proteins) are not cleaned out properly  leads to Macular Degeneration  Deficiency of Vitamin B  Vision is impaired. PSYCH 221 Fall 2013 - Floaters  Strands of protein that float in the eyeball in the vitreous humour. - Glaucoma  Build up of pressure inside the eyeball due to clogs in the ducts, which puts stress in the optic nerve, which can damage the layers of retinal wall.  Pressure Test - Vision Changes when we age  Nearsighted: Eyeball flattened  Solution: Concave Lens  Farsighted: Eyeball rounded  Solution: Convex Lens - Accommodation  When our ciliary muscles change the shape of our lens to accommodate the distance of the stimulus we are seeing.  The ciliary muscles pull the lenses to become flat when looking at stimuli that are nearby.  The ciliary muscles push the lens to become more round when looking at stimuli that are far away. Part II – Ear & Hearing - Pressure Waves  Sound that stimulates the ear is a traveling pressure wave.  E.g. Our vocal chords vibrate when we speak and they create a pressure wave. That pressure wave is propagating all through out the room and the pressure wave is making your eardrum vibrates a tiny little bit.  Pressure wave, in terms of air molecules.  E.g. Vibrating pitch fork, as it vibrates the tongs push forward the air molecules closer together and then when the tongs move backwards then the air becomes less dense.  When pressure is at its peak the air molecules are denser.  When pressure is at its lowest point the air molecules are at their lowest density.  Traveling pressure wave is what makes our ear drums vibrate so we can perceive sound to that frequency. - Properties of Sound Waves  Height of sound wave (amplitude) corresponds to loudness.  The bigger it is the louder the sound is.  The smaller it is the quieter the sound is. PSYCH 221 Fall 2013  Amplitude Range: Humans are sensitive to a range of  Frequency of sound wave corresponds to pitch.
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