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Biological Sciences
Aarti Ashok

LECTURE 1 Cognitive Neuroscience: How the brain supports the mind? Field of cognitive psychology: how does mind work Field of neuroscience: how does brain work Term began to be used in late 1970s ! 1980s that it became its own due to new techniques for assessing brain activity in vivo Timeline PRE 1800S Psychology was subfield of Philosophy How knowledge is acquired: rationalists vs. empiricists TH 19 CENTURY: psychology emerged as own discipline (initially in Germany) Regarding human mind as material, mechanistic, and amenable to scientific measurement and experimentation EARLIEST PIONEERS: Weber, Gechner, and von Helmholtz Investigating relationship between stimulus characteristics and observed perception HELMHOLTZ: formulated trichromatic theory of color vision o Distinction between sensation vs. perception " Perception brains learned interpretation of sensations by unconscious inference " Perception relies on poor data to make conclusions o We learn from experience to unconsciously infer characteristics of stimulus; automatic and unconscious. HOWEVER IS NEEDED. WILHELM WUNDT [1879] Assistant to Helmholtz Narrow perspective as he avoided mental processes First TRUE Psychologist founded lab in 1879 @ Univ of Leipzig Rxn. time studies with phenomenological data NO LONGER RELEVANT; DID TRAIN MANY FROM U.S. AS WELL WILLIAM JAMES [1890] Armchair Psychologist: Thinking, observing, and theorizing about how mental states relate to one another Different from others because he considered psychology in a more modern sense, thought about the whole rich experience of mental activity (the steam of consciousness) ! A broader perspective Remains highly influential to this day; including his view of the mind as an adaptation - FUNCTIONALISM Musings on nature of will, attention, and emotion BEHAVIORISM [1910-1950] WATSON & SKINNER Psychology in USA Eschewed inrospection and speculation of internal processes of mind BLACK BOX Radical associationism derived from classical and operant conditioning of animals MAP OUT ALL SITMULUS RESPONSE ASSOCIATIONS THAT DETERMINE HUMAN BEHAVIOR Even most complex behaviors defined as conditioned reflexes that can be 1) CONTROLLED 2) PREDICTED Study what goes in and what comes out ONLY CONTENT OF PSYCHOLOGY: BEHAVIOR NOT THOUGHT(GAINING UNDERSTANDING OF MENTAL EVENTS) ANIMAL STUDIES B.F. Skinner: Operant conditioning: reinforcement; animal studies varied schedules of reinforcement GESTALT SCHOOL [1920s-1930s] Germans emigrated to US Thinking as a whole; perception and problem solving: idea of insight (think Dunckers candle task) Wertheimer, Kohler, and Kofka END OF BEHAVIORISM [1950s-1960s] Rejection of behaviorism and emergence of cog science and cog psychology Fell short in explaining much simple and complex behavior 1959: Chomskys critique of Skinners Verbal Behavior o Chomsky reasoned that behaviorism could never explain structural and generative properties of processes such as language Study of information processing in non-human machine: DIGITAL COMPUTER ANALOGY: machine has inputs and outputs, so does the brain o Brain circuitry is the hardware and mental processes are software; there are processes acting on representations Coke and the Soda Machine Coke doesnt come; we respond more strongly (i.e. beat on machine, get mad, etc.) even though no expected Coke ! STRANGE and behaviorism fails to explain because it predicts that if no coke, would weaken relationship Also the new information theory o Input ! input processor ! memory unit ! arithmetic unit ! output COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY METHODS Donders Subtraction Method (1868) o DURATION o Time b/w stimulus presentation and response reflects the sum of a series of independent successive processing stages o Assumption is pure insertion ! may not always be valid o Ex: Stimulus! Mental Response (Perceive), Behavioral Reponses (Act) o Specifically, Left light flash! Perceive left light and decide which button to push ! Push the button o Important to note that the choice is not the only difference when changing the tasks, individuals need to also remember (i.e. red means left and blue, right) o In other words, a problem with the approach is that the assumption of Pure insertion of a specific process between 2 different tasks is NOT always valid Sternberg Additive Factor Method (1969) o ORGANZIATIONAL STRUCTURE OF MENTAL OPERATION o Time between stimulus presentation and response reflects sum of series of independent successive processing stages o Manipulate factors that affect hypothesized separate stages of processing WITHIN same task o NO PURE INSERTION PROBLEM B/C WITHIN SAME TASK o Ex: changes in perceptual analysis and then semantic analysis o Observe for main effects and NO INTERACTION = 2 separate stages of analysis THE SUBFIELDS Perception Attention Memory Emotion Language Exec. Processing
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