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ch 6 Cognitive Functions - Textbook notes and definition

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PSYC 357
Wendy Loken Thornton

Basic Cognitive Functions Information Processing Attention MemoryCognitionStudy of abilities to learn remember solve problem become knowledgeable about worldInformation Cognitive functioning of humancomparable to functioning of processingcomputerdata from experiencesenter into brain through various sensory routesprogress through series of stages of analysiscan discard info store or use instantlyPsychomotor speedAmount of time it takes to process signal prepare response then execute that responseStudied bycomputer which record reaction times to a target in arrayStudiesmade theories about changes in overall quality of information processing in adulthoodReaction timeTime calculated for individual to study a stimulus array then respond when that stimulus array takes a certain formLower quicker in young adult vs oldseveral hundred milliseconds increase in rxn time in adulthoodChanges varies between individualsGeneral slowing Agerelated increase in reaction time reflects general decline of hypothesisinformation processing speed within aging NSStudies of reaction times of older adults vs youngerbrinle plotolder perform at similar speeds on tasks completed relatively quickly by young adult 500ms on tasks that take longer for young 1000msolder take longer 15002000msConsistent with large data on reaction time performance in adulthood but dont identify particular stage of info Processing as causing age differences in reactionExplain age differences in memoryAgecomplexity Due to slowing of central processes in NS age differences increase hypothesiswith increasing complexity of taskprocessing resources are stretched more and more to limitBrinley plotGraph which reaction times of older adultsplotted against reaction times of younger adultsAttentionAbility to focusconcentrate on portion of an experience while ignoring other able to shift that focus as demanded by situation and to coordinate information form multiple sources once focuscan perform further cognitive operationsAttention deficit disorderpersistentserious attentional problemsdifficultly learning new informationperform more than one tasks at same timeInhibitory taskdeliberately suppress one response in order to perform another Purposedetermine whether older adults can ignore aspects of stimulus thats irrelevantEx Stroop testname color of ink which word is printedcompare trials when color match word performance vs no matchinhibitory parthard because have to dissociate reading of word from colorNot all abilities decreaseOlder adults typically slower when processing info From visual displays but can remember location of item presented in visual displaymay be more efficient at this vs younger
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