cognitive exam 1 review

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psychology & Brain Sciences
Andrew Cohen

Chapter 1 Learning Objectives: How the brain gives rise to the mind Explain what cognitive psychology is (pp. 2-3).  Internal interpretation or transformation of stored information Explain who was involved in the early evolution of cognitive psychology, from philosophy to introspection to behaviorism (pp. 3-7).  Wilhelm Wundt  Nature of consciousness  Characterized basic sensations and feelings  Finding rules whereby elements are combined  Titchener  Mental activity can be broken down into more basic operations  Objective methods for assessing mental activity  Introspection  Internal perception: looking within oneself to assess one’s mental activity  Oswald Kulpe  Mental images do not always accompany mental activity  William James  Functions of specific mental activities  Certain practices are better suited than others to accomplishing certain tasks; we should change our thoughts and behavior as we discover those that are better adapted to our environment  Hull  Focus on immediately observable: stimuli, responses, and the consequences of those responses  Propose internal events that are inferred directly from behavior  B.F. Skinner  Reject absolutely all discussion of internal events Understand how and why the cognitive movement was predicated upon computers (pp. 7-11).  The cognitive revolution sought to specify the internal mechanisms that produce behavior  Developed new methods to test predictions from computational methods  Levels of analysis  Various degrees of abstraction we can use to describe an object  We depend for accurate description on the language of information processing (storage, manipulation and transformation of information) Explain what mental representation and mental processing are (pp. 11-13).  Mental representation: a physical state that conveys information  Two distinct facets  Format: means by which it conveys information  Content: meaning, conveyed by a particular representation  Mental processing: transformation of information that obeys well-defined principles to produce a specific output when given a specific input.  Processing system: set of processes that work together to accomplish a type of task, using and producing representations as appropriate Understand what the structure-process trade-off is, including the difference between serial and parallel processing (pp. 13-15).  Structure-process trade-off:  Serial processing:  Parallel processing: Identify the structures of cognitive brain; from the most basic parts of the neuron to the structure of the nervous system, the lobes of the cerebral cortex and subcortical structures (pp. 17-24).  NEURONS  Sensory neurons: activated by input from sensory organs  Motor neurons: stimulate muscles, causing movements  Interneurons: stand between sensory and motor neurons or between other interneurons forming a vast network  Glial cells: critical role in the way connections among neurons are set up  Dendrites: receive input from other neurons  Dell body & axon: transmits output to other neurons  Synapse: connection between neurons  Synaptic cleft: gap in the synapse  Neurotransmitters: released chemicals via terminal buttons  Action potential: excitatory input reaching a neuron or inhibitory input produce an action potential; all-or-none law  NERVOUS SYSTEM  Peripheral nervous system  Skeletal system governs striated muscles, which are under voluntary control  Autonomic nervous system is carried out by smooth muscles and controls some glands  Divided into 2 parts: sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems  Sympathetic nervous system prepares an animal to respond more vigorously and accurately during an emergency  Fight or flight response  Changes in the autonomic nervous system prepares an organism for successful challenge or successful escape  Parasympathetic nervous system  Counters sympathetic nervous system (dampens them down)  Targets single organs or small sets of organs  CEREBRAL CORTEX  Meninges  Topmost three membranes covering the surface of the brain  Cerebral cortex  Each up-bulging fold is called a gyrus and each crease a sulcus  Subcortical structures  Contain gray matter  Ventricles  Filled with same fluid that runs inside the spinal cord  Cerebral hemisphere  Brain is divided into two halves  Corpus callosum  Hemispheres are connected in the interior of the brain by a massive collection of nerve fibers  Lobes of the brain  Parietal  Representing space and relationship to it  Contains the somatosensory cortex  Organized so that different parts of the body are registered by different portions of cortex  Occipital  Process visual input from both eyes and memory  Frontal  Managing sequences of behaviors or mental activities  Producing speech (Broca’s area)  Contains the primary motor cortex  Temporal  Involved in many different sorts of functions  Visual memories  Receive visual input from occipital lobes and match visual input to visual memories  Input from the ears and the posterior portion of the left temporal lobe contains the Wernicke’s area which is crucial for comprehending language  SUBCORTICAL AREAS OF THE BRAIN  Thalamus: switching attention  Sensory organs send fibers to the thalamus and in turn sends fibers widely through the brain  Regulating sleep  Hypothalamus  Controls many bodily functions  Hippocampus  Entering new information into the memory  Governs processes that allow memories to be stored elsewhere in the brain  Amygdala  Central in appreciation of emotion and in production of behaviors that express our own emotions  Basal ganglia  Allowing us to plan movements and to develop habits  Nucleus accumbens  Important role in learning  Brainstem  Located at the base of the brain and contains many structures that receive information from and send information to the spinal cord  Reticular formation  Involved in sleep and alertness  Neuromodulators  Chemicals that affect far-flung portions of the brain  Pons  Connects the brain stem to the cerebellum and contributes to the functions that both structures perform, such as controlling sleep and forming facial expressions  Cerebellum  Concerned with physical coordination, aspects of attention and in the estimation of time Compare the different types of neurons (sensory neurons, motor neurons, interneurons, glial cells) (p. 17).  See above Understand how dissociations and associations are critical for studying cognition (pp. 25-26).  Dissociations  To establish that an activity or a variable affects the performance of one task but not of another  Association  Occurs when the effects of an activity or variable on one task are accompanied by effects on another task  Double dissociation  An activity or variable affects one process but not another and a second activity or variable has the reverse properties or effect Identify the different behavioral methods of measurement (p. 27).  Behavioral methods  Measures directly observable behavior  Accuracy  Participants perform a task is used to address a wide variety of types of processing  Response time  Judgments  Protocol collection Identify the different correlational neuroimaging techniques and their spatial and temporal resolutions (p. 30).  EEG  Uses electrodes placed on the scalp to record fluctuations in electrical activity over time  Spatial resolution is poor  Temporal resolution is excellent  MEG  Records magnetic rather than electric fields  Spatial resolution is good  Temporal resolution is excellent  PET  Radioactive isotope of oxygen; when a brain becomes active it drawms more blood to it  Spatial resolution is good  Temporal resolution is poor  MRI  To assess brain structure, not function by using magnetic fields to alter orientations of specific atoms in a substance  Spatial resolution is superb  Temporal resolution depends on the level of resolution  fMRI  instead of charting the structure, the fMRI tracks activity in different parts of the brain  same as above  Optical imaging  Takes advantage of light  Spatial resolution is poor  Temporal resolution depends on level of resolution Identify what causal neural methods are available and how they work (pp. 36-40).  Neurophysiological studies  Tests theories of casual role of specific brain areas  Trans cranial magnetic stimulation  Temporarily disrupts normal brain activity in a relatively small area  Drugs that affect specific brain systems  Can alter the processing of specific brain systems Compare computer simulation, process, and neural-network models (pp. 40-43).  Computer simulation  Intended to mimic the underlying mental representations and processes that produce specific types of human performance  Process models  Specify a sequence of processes that convert an input to an output  Neural-network models  Rely on sets of interconnected units, each of which is intended to correspond to a neuron or a small group of neurons Chapter 2 Learning Objectives: Perception Explain what perception is and how it is guided by cognition (pp. 50-51).  Perception’s goal is to take in information about the world and make sense of it Identify the structures of the visual system, including the dorsal and ventral pathways (pp. 53-55).  Structure of the visual system  Retina  Photoreceptors: layer of cells that respond to light  Optic nerves: bundle of long axon fibers of ganglion cells in the retina  Lateral geniculate nucleus: axons make contact with neurons of the LGN in the thalamus  V1 (primary visual cortex): LGN neurons send signals here and output from the striate cortex feeds a host of areas  Dorsal pathway: reaches into the parietal lobes and is important in processing information about where items are located and how they might be acted on  Ventral pathway: reaches into the temporal lobes and is important in processing information that leads to the recognition and identification of objects Explain how critical periods are related to perceptual development (pp. 56-57).  Critical periods: periods during which animal/person must develop particular responses  Characteristics of the infant’s environment at particular times strongly influence some of the capabilities of the adult Explain what bottom-up processing is and how the processing of visual features includes spots and edges, colors and shapes, and movements and textures (pp. 57-65).  Bottom-up processing: driven by sensory information from the physical world  Extracts from the physical equivalent of this mass of numbers the features that will permit the subsequent processes to figure out what is out there in the world  Spots & edges:  Center-surround organization of ganglion cells is designed to pick out edges in the visual environment  The ganglion cells respond only to light that lands on those receptors  Light in some portions of the receptive field excites the cell making it more active and light elsewhere inhibits the cell making it less active  Ganglion cell receptive field with excitatory regions and inhibitory regions are shown over a visual display  The gray areas appear lighter on the right side and each darker area appears darker on the left side—Mach bands—and is created by responses of ganglion cell neurons  Edge information is important for defining the shape of objects and providing cues for where to direct action  Colors & shapes:  Color perception is found in a specialized region within the V4—the extrastriate cortex  The value of a particular color is determined by the comparison between two or more sets of neurons with different sensitivities responding to that stimulus  Movements & textures:  Motion is detected in area V5  Cells in this area respond to an object moving in a particular direction  Explain how center-surround cells work (pp. 58-61).  These receptive field receive input across an edge in the image in the visual scene  See above how edges are perceived  Understand why edge detection is so important in perception (pp. 60-62).  Edge Information is important for defining shapes of objects  Explain how hypercolumns are arranged and how they support neural processing of visual features analogous to the real visual environment (63-64).  The visual cortex is made up of hypercolumns  Chunks of brain with a surface area of about a millimeter  Cells in the hypercolumn will be activated by stimuli in a small part of the visual field  Cells in the next hypercolumn responds to input from a neighboring portion of visual space  Within hypercolumns, cells are ordered by their sensitivity to specific aspects of a visual feature I.e.: edges  Understand how akinetopsia and achromotopsia provide evidence for the neural processing of motion and color, respectively (p. 65).  Akinetopsia: motion blindness—the loss of the ability see objects move  Damage to the V5  Still see a collection of images but difficulty making judgments about moving things  Achromotopsia: damage to the V4 resulting in cortical color blindness  ALL color vision is lost and the world appears in shades of gray  Even memory of color is gone  These provide evidence that perception starts by breaking down the visual scene into features that are processed separately  Identify the Gestalt grouping principles for visual organization of features (pp. 65-67).  Grouping principles: guide the visual system and produce our perception of what goes with what  Proximity  Things that are closer to one another are more likely to grouped together than things that are farther apart  Uniform connectedness  Forms a vertical organization that overrules proximity (i.e.: dots that are closer together and seen as columns are grouped by uniform connectedness)  Colineraity
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