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MCAT (Princeton Review) - Chapter 4 Interacting with the Environment
Terms in this set (74)
process by which one input is attended to and the rest are turned out.
Donald Broadbent's Filter Model of Selective Attention
1. Inputs (attended and unattended) from environment enters the sensory buffer
2. One the attended input is selected and filtered based on physical characteristics of the input
3. Other sensory, unattended information is blocked by the selective buffer, remains in the sensory buffer briefly, then quickly decays.
4. The filtered, attended input enters short-term memory, where semantic (meaning-
Cocktail party effect
Happens when information of personal importance from previously unattended channels catches our attention.
**Shows that unattended inputs are detected at times
Ann Treisman's Attenuation Model of Selective Attention
** tried to account for the cocktail party effect; rather a filter, the mind has an attenuator, which works like a volume knob, turning down the unattended sensory input, rather than eliminating it.
Idea that people can be selectively primed to observe something, either by encountering it frequently or by having an expectation.
The more something is primed, the more it will be picked up despite distractions.
visual attention acts like a spotlight that shine anywhere within an individual's visual field. The shifting of attention requires us to unlock the beam from its current target, move the focus, and lock onto a new target.
Binding Problem (Problem with visual processing)
The problem of how all different aspects (color, shape, orientation, etc.) are assembled together and related to single object, rather than something else in the visual field.
The solution to this problem is visual attention to one object to improve "binding"
Concerns with when and if we are able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
Resource model of attention
-says that we have a limited pool of resources on which to draw when performing tasks, both modality-specific resources and gen3real resources.
-In general, if the resources required to perform multiple tasks exceeds the available resources required to do so, then the tasks can't be accomplished at the same time.
Factors associated with multi-tasking
Difficult: listening to talk radio program & writing a paper =>same verbal modalities activated
Easy: listening to classical music * writing a paper => different modalities activated (auditory & verbal)
If the task is more difficult, it requires more resources and would be hard to do simultaneously with other tasks.
Ex: driving through an unfamiliar intersection & talking to the passenger
practice diminished task resource demand, so they free up those resources to allow for multitasking.
-Well-learned routines require fewer resources
-Novel, controlled tasks require flexibility and drain more resources
Information Processing Models
Focus on what happens between the ears
Few basic assumptions:
1. Information is taken from the environment and processed through a series of steps: attention, perception, and storage into memory
2. Along the way, information syst. transformed. Our minds are assembly lines that change, store, use, and retrieve information.
Alan Baddeley Model of Working Memory
-Renamed short-term memory to working memory
-Four components of working memory:
1. Phonological loop- allows us to repeat verbal information to help us remember.
2. Visuospatial Sketchpad- uses mental images to retain/ process info.
3. Episodic Buffer- where information in the working memory can interact with information in long-term memory (episodic/ autobiographical memory)
4. Central Executive- overseer of the entire process, and orchestrates the process by shifting and dividing attention.
- One of the first to study cognitive development in children; fought against the notion that children are mini adult
-Cognitive development involved forming schemas
-With new experiences, we either assimilate or accommodate
Mental frameworks that shape and are shaped by our experience.
assimilate & schema (Piaget)
Conform new experience into existing schema
Ex: Little girl believes in monsters, but her parents turned on the lights and show that there's nothign under the bed. Assimilation: Believing that monsters still exist but they run from the light
Accommodation & schema (Piaget)
Adjusting our scheme to account for the new experience.
Ex: Little girl believes in monsters, but her parents turned on the lights and show that there's nothign under the bed. Accommodation: girl agrees there must be no monster
Piaget's Four Developmental Stages
3. Concrete Operational
4. Formal Operational
Cognitive Changes in Late Adulthood
> 60 yrs old, the following cognitive declines are noted:
1. recognition remains relatively intact, recall declines.
2. Time-based tasks can be challenging
3. Slower information processing abilities (e.g. slower reaction times and speech)
Bio factors that affect cognition
Sensory info. Provided rae material for cognitive processes and is transmitted to parietal occipital and temporal lobes of the brain.
Frontal lobe= executive functions ( planning, organizing, inhibiting impulses, and flexible thinking)
Hippocampus- involved in formation of new memories
Amygdala & limbic system - arousal & alertness - emotional learning
Types of problem solving approaches
1. Trial and error
2. Algorithm - step by step procedure
3. Heuristics - mental shortcuts
4. Insight- flash of inspiration
Barriers to effective problem solving
1. Confirmation bias
Tendency to search only for information that confirms our preconceived thinking, rather than information that might not support it.
Overtime, this tendency unjustifiably strengthens your beleif
Inability to see a problem from a fresh perspective.
Results from the existence of a mental set, a tendency to fixate a solutions that worked in the past though they may not apply to current situation.
Tendency to perceive the functions if objects as fixed and unchanging.
Pros and cone of Heuristics
+ increase efficiency in decision making
- may lead to errors in judgment.
Tendency to judge the likelihoods of an event occurring based on our typical mental representations of those events.
Ex: thinking that dying by shark attack is more likely then dying by a vending machine.
Tendency to make judgments based on how readily available information is in our memories. If a memory is readily available, we may think the idea is more common than it actually is. Ex: watching news program about spread of crime in inner city areas mat lead to an over prediction of the likelihood of violent crime in one's own neighborhood.
Tendency to judge arguments based on what one believes about their conclusions rather than on whether they use sound logic. Once formed, these beliefs are resistant to change through belief preserverence
Tendency to cling to beliefs despite presence of contrary evidence
Overestimation of the accuracy of knowledge and judgments. It's caused by using intuitive heuristics and belief perseverance.
Awareness that we have of ourselves, our internal States and the environment.
Biological basis of alertness & arousal
Alertness and arousal are controlled by the reticular formation (RAS), located in the brain stem.
Five Stages of sleep
Awake (relaxed & sleepy)- EEG shows neural synchrony of ALPHA waves (low amplitudes & high frequencies)
STAGE 1 (less responsive to stimuli, fleeting thoughts): EEG is dominated by THETA waves (low to moderate intensity, lower frequency); EOG -slow rolling e.m.; EMG- moderate activity
STAGE 2 (increased relaxation, decreased heart rate, respiration, temperature): EEG- theta waves are intermixed with K complexes and sleep spindles; EOM - no e.m.; EMG- moderate activity
STAGE 3 (transition into slow wave sleep, moderate muscle movement, digestion slows, growth hormones are secreted) :EEG - delta waves (high amplitude, low freq.) signify deepest level of sleep; EOM- no e.m.
REM aka (low skeletal movement, nearly paralyzed except for sudden bursts of twitches, dreaming): EEG- "beta-like" waves like when person is awakeEOM - bursts of quick e.m,
Multimodal technique to measure physiological proceeds during sleep. It includes the following :
1. EEG ( measures electrical impulses in the brain
2. EMG ( measures the skeletal muscle movements )
3. EOG ( measures the eye movement )
term referred to REM sleep because the person is physiologically awake, but their muscle movement does not corroborate.
Normal sleep, a person pass through Stages 1, 2, 3 4 in order, ascend back up Stage 4, 3, 2 ,1, then enter REM.
Duration = ave. ~ 90 minutes
Repeat cycle by going from REM to Stage 1,2,3,4...... Over time, the amount of time spent in REM increases.
Why do we sleep?
1. Evolutionary survival mechanism - reduce nightime activity when they're more likely to become prey
2. Heal and restore tissues- the brain could be reorganizing and consolidating memories into long term storage
3. Plays a role in growth- pituitary gland releases GH
Refers to the biological waxing and waning of alertness over 24 hr day (biological clock)
Light (natural & artificial) influence the biological clock by activating light sensitive proteins in the retina =>signals the pineal gland- controls the production of melatonin- hormone that induces sleep.
Missing REM for one night results in an increase in REM sleep later to make up for it.
REM & Freud
Freud believed that plotlines of dreams, or manifest content, were symbolic versions of underlying latent content, unconscious drives and wishes that are difficult to express.
Activation Synthesis Theory (DREAM)
Theory that suggests dreams are byproducts of brain activation during REM sleep. This theory allows for dreams to serve some purpose. Ex: proponents have suggested that the purpose of dreams is to provide a template of consciousness on which the mind can practice conscious development.
Dyssomnia- abnormalities in the amount, quality, or timing of sleep. Encompass all the following:
1. Insomnia: difficulty falling or staying asleep
2. Narcolepsy: experience periodic, overwhelming sleepiness during waking periods that last < 5 mins.
3. Sleep apnea: shortness of breathe during sleep, waking up breathless. Repeats multiple times overnight, and often accompanied by snoring.
Parasomnias**- abnormal behaviors that occur during sleep. Encompass all the following:
1. Somnambulism: sleep walking
2. Night terrors: may sit up, walk around, or babble, but unable to recall the next morning.
** Pons- typically paralyzes the body during sleep
Difference between (drug) psychological dependence and physical dependence
Psychological dependence can be stopped by removing the individual from a painful situation. Physical dependence is evidenced by withdrawal. Alleviation comes with further drug use, which reinforces the addiction.
Biological Basis of Addiction
Addiction is biologically based. Enjoyable behaviors produce activity in dopamine circuits in the brain stem, notably the nucleus accumbens (pleasure center) of the brain. Many drugs share the characteristics of stimulating the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens.
Three Components of Emotion
1. Physiological (body) => physiological arousal
2. Behavior (action) => expressive behavior
3. Cognitive (mind) => appraisal or interpretations of the situation
Darwin assumed that emotions had a strong biological basis. It does.
6 Universal Emotions (observable): happy, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, and surprise.
Consciousness Altering Drugs
Depressants - Alcohol & Barbiturates & Opiates
Ex: alcohols, barbiturates, and opiates
General Actions of depressants: work by depressing, or slowing down neural activity, particularly the sympathetic nervous system.
Alcohol: Slowing of brain activity related to judgment and inhibition in the frontal lobe. In larger doses, alcohol can lead to deterioration of motor performance, reaction time and slurred speech (impairment of cerebellum). Overdose of alcohol can cause death by depressing respiration.
Mechanism of action: alcohol stimulates GABA and dopamine systems. GABA is an inhibitory neurotrasmittere associated with reduced anxiety, while dopamine leads to feeling of mionr euphoria.
Barbiturates: prescribes as sleep aids, can't be used with alcohol.
Opiates: temp. reduces pain by mimicking the brain's own pain relievers, endorphins- pain is replaced by blissful feeling.
Stimulants: caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamines
General Mechanism of action: work by either increasing the release of neurotrasmitter, reducing the reuptake of neurotransmitter, or both.
Overall effect is to speed up the body functions => increased energy, respiratory rate, heart rate, and pupil dilation. People use it to stay awake, enhance physical performance, and boost mood.
Cocaine: releasea supply of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, creating a "rush," which is followed by a depressive crash.
ecstasy (MDMA): simulant and a mild hallucinogen. Triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin, prevent serotonin reabsorption. The drug causes emotional elevation, but long term effect is damage to the serotonin production causing reduced production and depressed mood.
Hallucinogens: LSD, marijuana (THC)
General Action: aka psychedelis, distorts perceptions in the absence of sensory input, creating hallucinations.
LSD: emotions related to LSD can vary from euphoria to panic, depending on the individual's mood and context.
THC: stimulate cannabidnoid receptors in the brain. It relaxes and inhibits like alcohol, but also cause hallucinogen by amplifying sensory perceptions. marijuani also impairs motor skills, reaction time, and judgment. Medical use: nausea & pain.
Yerkes Dodson Law
Law stating that the relationship between performance and emotional arousal is U-shaped correlation: people perform best when they are moderately aroused, neither too complacent nor too overwhelmed.
Adaptive Role of Emotion
1. Moderating performance
2. Enhances survival by serving as a useful guide for quick decisions (e.g. fear, anger).
3. Influence individual behaviors within social context; means of nonverbal communication and empathy
4. Our choices often require consideration of our emotions
Theories of of Emotion
All attempt to explain how components of emotion- the physiological, the behavioral, and the cognitive- are interconnected.
1. James- Lange Theory
2. Cannon-Bard Theory
3. Schachter-Singer Theory
Stimulus => Physiological & Behavioral Response => Cognitive Interpretation => Labeling of Emotion
Implies that you feel afraid because you run away from the bear.
KEY: Theory suggests that the physiological and behavioral actions CAUSES the emotional experience (brain labeling the situation as fear-inducing)
SUPPORT: Ex- shallow breathing creates a feeling of panic, while long, deep breathing creates a feeling of calm.
2 PROBLEMATIC ASSUMPTIONS:
1) assumes that each emotion originates from a distinctive physiological state [Ex: Fear and sexual involve similar physiological state]
2) Theory assumes that we possess the ability to label these physiological states accurately. [Ex: physiological state similar to anxiety can be interpreted as excitement at a surprise party]
Stimulus => Physiological Response AND Cognitive Intepretation => Behavioral Response => Labeling of Emotion
The physiological and cognitive occurs SIMULTANEOUSLY and INDEPENDENTLY.
Because they occur independently, the physiological reaction is unnecessary for identifying the emotion.
STRENGTH- able to explain the overlap in physiological states between emotions like fear and sexual arousal because the cognitive and physiological aren't in a casual relationship.
WEAKNESS: struggles to explain phenomena in which the behavioral response influences the physical and cognitive aspects of emotion (ex: smiling slightly increases feeling happy)
Stimulus => Physiological reponse => Cognitive Intepretation => Labeing of Emotion and Behavioral Reponse
Commonality with James-Lange: suggests that each emotional experience begins with an assessment of our physiological reactions.
Differs from James-Lange: suggests that cognitive label is given based on the situation, rather than correlating with the physiological experience.
Commonality with Cannon-Bard: physiological experiences can be similar but cognitively labeled differently (ex: fear and sexual arousal). Weakness as in Cannon-Bard in that it can't explain how behavioral responses influence physiological and cognitive aspects of emotion.
Collection of brains structures that lies on both sides of the thalamus; together, these structures appear to be primarily responsible for emotional experiences.
Amygdala - conductor of the orchestra of our emotional experiences. communicates with the hypothalamus. Plays a key role in identifying and expressing fear and aggression.
Hypothalamus- controls the physiological aspects of emotion (sweating, racing heart). Communicates with the prefrontal cortex/
Prefrontal Cortex- executive functions; controls the approach and avoidance behaviors- the behavioral aspects of emotion. Important in temperament and decision making- Calms the amygdala when it is overly aroused.
Hippocampus- plays a key role in forming memories, which are often associated with emotions.
Phineas Cage Injury
damage to the prefrontal cortex due to work injury. After the accident, he was described as "no longer himself" prone to impulsivity, unable to stick to the plans, and unable to demonstrate empathy.
Types of Stress
2. Significant life changes
3. Daily hassles
Effects of Stress on Psychological Functions
Moderate stress can actually improve psychological functioning by providing more energy and motivation for cognitive activities
However, when stress is not at optimal level, it can impair psychological functioning by leading to fatigue, decreased ability to concentrate, and irritability.
Severe and prolonged stress => PTSD
sense of exhaustion and lack of belief in one's ability to manage situations.
Physiological Response to Stressors
Effect on Sympathetic System for acute stress: releases epinephrine and norepinephrine from adrenal glands. Response results in an increased heart and respiratory rate, directs blood flow through the skeletal muscles rather than the digestive system, release sugar into the bloodstream, dulls pain. => overall FAST ACTING RESPONSE.
Effect on Cognitive System for long-term stress: hypothalamus releases the corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH signals the adrenal glands to release cortisol into the bloodstream.
Cortisol = hormone that shifts the body from using sugar to using fat as an energy source. This makes sure that the brain has enough sugar to remain active.
Prolonged cortisol release inhibits the activity of white blood cells and other immune functions.
means of recording and feeding back information about subtle autonomic responses in an attempt to train the individual to control those involuntary responses.
Ex: people can train to adjust muscle tension, heartbeats, and respiratory rates.
Left Hemisphere, frontal lobe
Function: speech production
Inflicted individuals know what they want to say, but is unable to communicate it.
Posterior section of the temporal lobe, dominant sphere (left for most people)
Inflicted individuals do not have problems producing speech, but are incapable of producing intelligible, meaningful language.
Skinner's Behaviorist Model for Language Acquisition
Holds that infants are trained in language by operant conditioning (reinforcement and encourages imitation). Language is another behavior like the others.
Noam Chomsky's Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
LAD- innate feature UNIQUE to HUMAN MIND that allows people to gain mastery of language from limited exposure during the sensitive developmental years in early childhood.
LAD => universal grammar
His supportors study universal grammar by studying actual languages and actual cases of language acquisition. Their goal is to find the basic rules that apply to all or almost all languages and that are presumed innate in the brain
In general, theory states that humans have an innate ability to make grammatical distinctions and do so naturally when exposed to language at a young age.
Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis
Asserts that not only do language and thought overlap, but cognition and perception are determined by the language one speaks.
Unlike Choomsky's Universal Grammar, this hypothesis focuses on distinctions among families of languages, Western European vs. East Asian languages.
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