Week 1: Foundations & Themes in Cognitive Psychology
-Where do nativists think knowledge comes from? Where do empiricists think knowledge comes from?
Nativists think knowledge comes from inborn characteristics of the brain, that is we are predisposed to learn certain things. Empiricists think we start out with a blank slate and acquire knowledge through experiences with the world. -What is Behaviorism? What do behaviorists study? What don’t behaviorists study?
Behaviorism is the idea that the mind cannot be observed and that psychologists should only study things that are observable through behavioral patterns, such as classical/operant conditioning -What was the Cognitive Revolution and what brought it about?
The cognitive revolution happened with advancement in technology. The idea was that understanding mental processes that aren’t observable are still essential. Advances in computers allowed ways to simulate brain functioning, facilitating the emergence of cognitive psychology. -What is Cognitive Psychology?
The study of the internal structures and processes involved in making sense of the environment. (Allow us to think, create representations and make decisions) -What are some examples of cognitive structures and of cognitive processes? What is the difference between structure and process?
Structure: Sensory systems (eyes/ears), Attentional Systems, Perceptual Systems, Memory Systems, Language Systems, Response Systems.
Processes : Transduction, Excitation/Enhancement, Inhibition/Suppression, Encoding, Elaboration, Retrieval
The difference is that Cognitive structures are physical aspects, whereas Cognitive Processes are neuronal processes that aren’t physically there. -How do cognitive psychologists study the mind?
-What is the Information Processing Model of Cognition? What are its assumptions?
Events happen in a time ordered fashion. Mind processes in sequence of steps and there are unique processes at each step.
Assumptions: Stages are sequential, Unique processes at each stage, each stage receives and passes on information. -What is the computer analogy? How does it help us understand the brain and thought?
Analogy that the brain is like computer hardware, while the processes in the brain are like the software. -Why is Neuroscience important for understanding thought?
-What is serial processing? What is parallel processing? How are they different?
Serial processing processes things one at a time, whereas parallel processing processes things simultaneously. -What are the common research paradigms/methods used to study cognitive psychology?
Reaction Time studies: measuring the amount of time to complete cognitive tasks
Eye tracking studies: evaluation of eye fixation/movement
Psychophysics: study relationship between stimuli and the evoked sensations/perceptions.
SIngle Cell studies: measuring how a single cell responds to a particular stimulus
Priming studies: evaluate the impact of previously presented stimuli on cognitive process or behavior.
Lateralization studies: studies differences between functioning of the 2 brain hemispheres. -What is bottom-up processing? What is top-down processing?
Bottom up: driven by stimulus itself without any preconceived idea to interpret it.
Top down: controlled by a an expectation or prior knowledge. -What is automatic processing? What is controlled processing?
Automatic processing: executed without conscious intent, unaffected by demands on attentions, runs to completion. (such as reading)
Controlled processing: executed with conscious intent, affected by demands on attention, easily disrupted, requires effort. (such as learning how to read) -What is distributed processing? What is localized processing?
Week 2: Cognitive Neuroscience, Laterality, & Cognitive Disorders -What is the object of cognitive neuroscience research?
Study the brain structures and processes involved in mental activities. -What are the benefits of...
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