Psych Study Guide
• Visual Information Processing
Parallel Processing: doing it simultaneously, what/where is it moving at the same
Ventral Stream: contains a flow of visual information about “what” we’re looking at
in our visual field.
Dorsal Stream: contains a flow of visual information about “where” it is located.
you can damage one, and the other can be intact.
• Processing Color Vision
Subtractive Coloring: removing wavelengths of light being reflected, such as when
you mix colored paints.
Additive Coloring: increasing wavelengths of light being reflected from the surface
with mixing colored lights.
Young and Helmholtz Trichromatic Theory: 3 important colors: red, blue, and
green. Describes processing at Retina level,
but not cortical.
Flaws: after images
Karl Hering’s Opponent Processing Theory: colors are paired together in an
antagonistic fashion: red with green, blue
with yellow. Best Describes central
• Theories of Hearing
Theories of Pitch:
Place Theory: organ of corti, specific place on that membrane vibrates.
Frequency Theory: pitch related to vibration speed of basilar membrane.
Which Theory is true?: Frequency theory for lower pitch, place theory for high
Volley Principle: for frequencies in between.
Impact: Mood: irritable
Attention and Alertness: Reaction speed slow
Problem Solving and Reaction
Micro sleeps: only a couple of seconds of sleep, can’t control whe it
Example: Randy Gardner(1965): 11 days without sleep, he was delusional,
experienced hallucination, monotoned.
Circadian rhythm: 24 hour bodily rhythm
Zeitgebers: cues to help entrain our rhythm (train body into 24 hour cycle)
Free running cycle: slightly longer, roughly 25 hours.
Suprachidsmatic nucleus: internal clock tells people wake up/fall asleep
(wrist watch in brain), associated with dawn and
dust. • Why We Sleep
Preservation Adaptive Theory
Preservation and Protection: animals evolved sleep patterns to avoid
predators by sleeping when predators are most
Memory Storage Theory: allows us time to consolidate and organize our
Restorative Theory: Provides us a point where cells can repair after
• Measuring Sleep,
Polysomnigram (left and right eye movements, muscle tension (EMG), brain waves
Stages of Sleep:
PreSleep: Beta Waves (smaller and faster): person is wide awake and
Alpha Waves (larger/slower): person is relaxed or lightly sleeping
NonREM: Stage 1: Theta Waves light sleep lasting roughly 1015 minutes
Stage 2: temperature, breathing and heart rate decrease, speed
spindle and k complex.
Stages 3 and 4: Delta waves: deepest points of sleep with delta
REM: REM rapid eye movement: active stage when dreaming occurs
EEG patterns resembles a wakeful state (paradoxical sleep)
Muscles still relaxed (REM sleep disorder: get up and act it out)
REM rebound can occur, we need REM body requires.
• Sleep Disorders
Dysomnias: difficulty with initiating or obtaining sleep or excessive sleepiness
Continuity: staying asleep
Latency: how long it takes to fall asleep
Parasomnias: problems related to sleep stages
Insomnia: primarily involves difficulties with initiating and or maintaining
sleep. May be caused by a number of factors, from anxiety to
behavioral patterns. Treatment is based on cause, but drug
treatments are usually GABA agonists (warm milk: dysomnia).
Sleep Apnea: intermittent periods of suffocation during sleep, leading to
continual interruptions of deep sleep (dysomnia). Can lead to
strokes. Nighttime and daytime symptoms (headaches fatigue,
daytime napping, very loud snoring). Treatment can include
change in diet, surgery, or use of a CPAP( continues positive
airway pressure) Narcolepsy: excessive daytime sleepiness that leads to strong uncontrollable
urges to take brief naps. General symptoms also include cataplexy,
hallucinations (usually visual), and sleep paralysis. Narcoleptics
also struggle with getting a restful night sleep. Cause is not known,
but possibly genetic in some cases. Treatments generally include
Ex. Kid interview on the news CNN. Anthony who sleeps every
chance he gets. Never well rested, cataplexy (randomly collapse,
come on by emotional excitement).
Narcoleptics don’t have hypocretin.
Nightmares VS Night Terrors (parasomnia)
Nightmares: Time: Late in cycle
State when waking: upset, scared
Response to care: comforted
Memory: vivid recall of dream
Return to sleep: usually rapid
Sleep stage during which event occurs: partial arousal from
deep NREM (SWS) sleep.
Night Terrors: Time: within 4 hours of bed time
State when waking: disoriented, confused
Response to care: unaware of presence
Memory: none, unless fully awakened
Return to sleep: delayed by fear
Sleep stage during which event occurs: REM sleep.
Sleep Talking (parasomnia)
Developmental (happened when younger)
Stage 1 or 2 of sleep, beginning.
Ex. Dion McGregor, in REM stage, would narrate own dream. Recorded them.
Sleep Walking (somnambulism, parasomnia)
generally occurs in deeper stages of sleep (stage 3 or 4)
definitely should wake them (ex. girl climbed crane at construction)
appears to be developmentally linked
REM behavior disorder
lack of muscle paralysis during REM sleep leads the person to act out their
More common in the old age
treatment includes GABA agonists (primarily inhibitory)
• Why we dream
Aspects of dreaming
psychoanalytic approach: dreams are a mechanism for wish fulfillment
Manifest content: reflects the dream itself and what happens (teeth falling
Latent content: underlying true meaning of the dream (teeth symbolize
power structure so dream is fear of control and authority) Cognitive Theory: dreams can be used to analyze and potentially solve
Activation Information Mode Model: dreams are relatively random, but
involve daytime experience.
Ivan Pavlov: 18491936
discovered classical conditioning through his study of salvary
reflexes with dogs
Unconditioned stimulus: a stimulus that elicits a reflexive response in the
absences of learning.
Unconditioned response: a reflexive response elicited by a stimulus in the
absence of learning.
Conditioned stimulus: an initially neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a
conditioned response after being associated with an
Conditioned response: a response that is elicited by conditioned stimulus, it
occurs after the conditioned stimulus is associated with an
Contiguity VS contingency
Temporal contiguity theory: responses develop when the interval between
unconditioned stimulus and conditioned stimulus is
Contingency Theory: association was dependent upon the perceived
predictability of the conditioned stimulus of the
Rescoria and Wagner’s study
2 types of trials
Format A: tone▯followed by shock
Format B: tone with light ▯followed by a shock
Principles of Conditioning
Generalization: a new stimulus resembling the original elicits a response
similar to conditioned response.
Ex. Pavlov dogs or dentist drill.
Discrimination: learning to response to certain stimuli and not others.
Extinction and Spontaneous recovery
Higher Order Conditioning: procedure in which a neutral stimulus becomes
a conditioned stimulus through association with an
already established conditioned stimulus.
Ex. Dave Matthews (reminds him of bad ex
girlfriend) Learning to Fear: Applications
Fears and Phobias
An 11month old boy named Albert was conditioned to fear a white
laboratory rat. Each time Albert reached for the rat, Watson made a loud
clanging noise right behind Albert. Albert’s fear generalized to anything
white and fuzzy (rabbits and Santa Clause)
Applications of Conditioning
Counter Conditioning: the process of pairing a conditioned stimulus with a
stimulus that elicits a response that is incompatible with an
unwanted conditioned response.
Mary Cover Jones (mother of behaviorism) collaborated with Watson and did the
same experiment with Little Peter.
Conditioned Taste Aversion (food poisoning) ex. Ramen Noodles.
Psychological Conditioning: Ex. Pupil Dilation
Place Conditioning: Physiological, Drug overdosing.
Learned helplessness: tendency to fail to act to escape from a situation
because of a history of repeated failures.
Operant Conditioning: voluntary behavior learned through consequences.
Edward Thorndike’s Law of Effect: responses followed by pleasurable
consequences are repeated, followed by
unpleasant consequences will not be
Thorndike’s puzzle box: placed a hungry cat inside a “puzzle box” and the
only escape was to press a lever located on the floor
of the box. Cats don’t like being confined, and there
is food outside the box so the cat is motivate