Course: PSYC*1000 (DE)
Professor: Harvey Marmurek
Schedule: Summer, 2012
Textbook: Psychology – Tenth Edition in Modules authored by David G. Myers
Textbook ISBN: 9781464102615
Module 07: Consciousness and the Two-Track Mind
What is the place of consciousness in psychology’s history?
• Behaviorism – direct observations on behaviour
• Cognition – mental processes
• How do brain cells jabbering to one another create our awareness of the taste of a taco, the idea of infinity,
the feeling of fright?
Some states occur spontaneously: daydreaming; drowsiness; dreaming
Some are physiologically induced: hallucinations; orgasm; food or oxygen starvation
Some are psychologically induced: sensory deprivation; hypnosis; meditation
What is the “dual processing” being revealed by today’s cognitive neuroscience?
• Marvin Minsky (1986) “the mind is what the brain does” – we still don’t know how to make a conscious robot
• One view sees conscious experiences as produced by the synchronized activity across the brain
Those working in the interdisciplinary field called (cognitive neuroscience) study the brain activity associated with
perception, thinking, memory, and language.
• Dual processing: the two-track mind
o Beneath the surface, unconscious information processing occurs simultaneously on many parallel
o Perception, memory, thinking, language, and attitudes all operate on two levels – a conscious and
o Temporary blindness (magnetic pulses to your brain’s primary visual cortex area)
o Visual perception track enables us to think about the world
o Visual action track guides our moment-to-moment movements
o On occasions these two conflict – hollow face illusion
o Automatic pilot – our mind’s CEO – monitor the whole system and deal with new challenges, while
neural assistants automatically take care of routine business
o In everyday life, we mostly function like an automatic point-and-shoot camera, but with a ma