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PSYCO258 (77)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2.docx

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University of Alberta
Blaine Mullins

Chapter 2 – Cognitive Neuroscience - Cognitive neuroscience: discover brain mechanisms responsible for learning, memory, attention study the nervous system The Brain - The brain is located at the top of the body to maximize reception of the world - Head is hard and well protected » Makes up 2% of weight » Receives 20% of blood supply - Cholinergic pathway: involved in memory/learning damage = Alzheimer’s - Dopaminergic pathway: involved in motor and behavioral functions and reward driven learning damage = Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia, ADHD - Serotonergic pathway: involved in hunger, sleep, happiness damage = Schizophrenia, OCD, ticks - We need the brain to make movements (hard to study movement of noisy feedback) The Brain and the Mind - Mind = broader concept » Consciousness = narrow concept - Interactionism: mind (non-physical) and brain (physical) are separate and interact with each other (Descartes) not popular - Epiphenomenalism: mind is a by-product of brain activity (Huxley) » Brain can cause change in the mind but mind can’t control the brain mind doesn’t control behaviour (mind is like a shadow) » Believed by most scientists and psychologists - Parallelism: mind and brain are two aspects of the same reality and flow in parallel (Fechner) » Every event in the mind is accompanied by an event in the brain » Can study mental activity to understand the brain - Isomorphism: mental events and neural events share the same structure (Gestalt) » There is more than just a point by point correlation like in parallelism (ex. external stimulus may be constant but internal stimulus is subjective illusions) Brain as an Organ of the Mind - Modules: specific parts of the brain responsible for a particular cognitive function entire brain may not be made of modules (don’t know the #) - Phrenology: charts that show which psychological function is located in which area of the brain using the shape, size, and protrusions in the brain (Gall) not taken seriously » Large function = protrusion from skull - Brain is the only organ of the mind » Characters and traits are innate » Brain has differentially developed areas creates varying characteristics and traits - Localization of function: there is correspondence between specific cognitive function and specific part of the brain not entirely true » Franz poked holes in rat’s brains and determined their cognitive abilities » Mental activity wasn’t localized to one area of the brain but resulted from activities of the brain as a whole » Ablation: part of the cortex is destroyed » Small lesions caused little symptoms but large lesions led to decreased performance in difficult tasks - Law of mass action: learning and memory depend on the total mass of brain rather than individual neurons - Law of equipotentiality: even though some cortex areas are specialized, closely surrounding areas can do their job - Even though some processes are localized, the overall experience is distributed » Fusiform face area (FFA): recognizes faces » Parahippocampal place area (PPA): recognizes visual scenes » Extrastriate body area (EBA): recognizes body parts - Specificity coding: each neuron has a special function (ex. basilar membrane – each neuron fires in response to a specific frequency) » Kiss = Neuron X activates » Slap = Neuron Y activates - Temporal coding: perception is caused by varying rate in firing of neuron » Kiss = Neuron X fires rapidly » Slap = Neuron X fires slowly - Population codin
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