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University of Michigan Winter '12 Cognitive Neuropsychology Psychology 245 Exam 1


Where Aristotle believed mental experiences arose


Where Plato believed mental experiences arose


The belief that the mind and body are made up of different kinds of substance.

Dual Aspect Theory

The belief that the mind and body are two levels of explanation of the same thing.


The belief that the mind-based concepts will eventually be replaced by neuroscientific concepts.


Early anatomists believed that mental experiences were enabled by this part of the brain.


The failed idea that individual differences in cognition can be mapped on to differences in skull shape.

Functional Specialization

The accurate view that different regions of the brain serve different functions.

Broca's Area

A patient with a lesion in this region might not be able to speak but would otherwise have good cognitive abilities.

Wernicke's Area

A patient with a lesion in this region might have poor speech comprehension but good speech production.

Cognitive Neuroscience

The goal of this area of study is to provide a brain-based account of how cognitive and emotional processes operate.

Temporal Resolution

This dimension tells us when a brain even occurs.

Spatial Resolution

This dimension tells us where a brain event occurs.


The view that the heart is the seat of the soul/mind


The view that the brain is the seat of the soul/mind.

Galen of Pergamon

Doctor who found that a) perception of the world involves the brain b) the brain is probably the center of all intellect/mental faculties and c) sensation can be dissociated from perception.

Circle of Willis

An english physician, who studied brain anatomy, discovered this. A circle of arteries that supplied the brain with blood


The proposed view that different parts of the brain performed different functions. Includes discoveries of Broca and Wernicke's areas

Motor Cortex

A map of this shows that different sections stimulate different body movements.

Somatosensory Cortex

A map of this shows that different sections stimulate different somatic sensations.


The study of differences in cortical layers between areas

Stroop Task

A task invented in which a subject sees a list of words (color terms) printed in an ink color that differs from the word named. The subject is asked to name the ink colors of the words in the list and demonstrates great difficult in doing so. Early use of subtraction method

Limited Capacity

This term means that one can't attend to too many things at once or else you'll get overloaded.


Meaning "above," sometimes referred to as superior


Meaning "middle"


Meaning "front," sometimes referred to as frontal or rostral


Meaning "below" or "belly," sometimes referred to as inferior


Meaning "tail," sometimes referred to as caudal


Meaning "side"

Cerebral Cortex

The brain's outer layer; gray matter.


Valleys in the brain surface; banks and fundus


Peaks in the brain surface

Interhemispheric Fissure

This sulcus divides the brain into two cerebral hemispheres

Corpus Callosum

This term means "hard body" and was once thought to structurally support the two hemispheres of the brain

Sylvian Fissure

This sulcus separates the temporal lobe from the parietal lobe and frontal lobes.

Parieto-Occipital Fissure

This sulcus separates the parietal lobe from the occipital lobe.


Humans are this. Means that our sense of smell is relatively poor compared to most mammals.

Olfactory Cortex

This area of the brain interprets smells.


This area is at the bottom of the Sylvian Fissure and contains the primary taste cortex. Also plays a role in emotional processing.

Superior Temporal

You will find the auditory cortex by this gyrus.


This gyrus contains the motor cortex, which controls movement


This gyrus contains the somatosensory cortex, which controls somatic sensation


Means same side

Optic Chasm

Where some of the optic nerve fibers cross

Dorsal Stream

This analyzes motion, spatial relations and how to interact with objects. Stems from the primary visual cortex.

Ventral Stream

This analyzes form, color and object recognition. Stems from the primary visual cortex.


Processes almost all sensory information (except olfactory) that passes through various nuclei on its way to the cerebral cortex. Motor information also passes through here.


Regulates bodily functions/needs, such as temperature, eating and drinking, sexual activity and regulation of endocrine functions.

Limbic System

A neural system (including the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives.


This area houses the superior and inferior colliculi, which participate in subcortical routes for hearing (inferior) and gaze orienting/rudimentary vision (superior)


This area houses the pons, medulla and cerebellum.


This area of the brain integrates information about body and motor commands to produce coordinated movements (no direct control over movement).


This type of cell acts as a support system for neurons, insulates axons with myelin, removes debris following injury or cell death and aids in the maintenance of extracellular ions and neurotransmitters.


There are about 100 billion of these in the brain. They underlie cognition.


This scientist developed a stain that allowed visualization of individual neurons, and believed the brain was a continuous mass of tissue with a common cytoplasm.

The Neuron Doctrine

This idea was developed after using Golgi's stain to show that the brain was made up of individual nerve cells linked together by long extensions.


This part of the neuron receives inputs.


This part of the neuron is the cell body; it carries out basic cell functions.

Axon Hillock

This place in the neuron integrates the action of all receptor potentials and triggers an action potential if some critical threshold is surpassed.


This part of the neuron transmits action potential.


This is a fatty substance of a neuron that insulates the axon and allows faster conduction of action potentials.

Axon Terminal

This part of the neuron contains vesicles filled with neurotransmitter molecules; released into the synapse when an action potential occurs and bind with receptors on the post-synaptic cell.

Synaptic Cleft

Where neurotransmitters are released after an action potential reaches the axon terminal.


A positive post-synaptic potential


A negative post-synaptic potential

Receptor Potential

Typically sensory cell; Example: hair cell in ear is perturbed by vibrations and has local effect on local permeability of membrane to ions.

Synaptic Potential

The local interactions between cells; Example: one cell, the presynaptic cell influences the postsynaptic cell by the release of NT into the cleft


The process of creating an action potential by a rapid influx of Na+ through voltage gated ion channels.

Action Potential

A neural impulse; a sudden change (depolarization and repolarization) in the electrical properties of the neuron membrane in an axon.

Input Potential

Incoming bit of information that has local effect on membrane potential that spreads. Graded, decays over space.

Output Signal

This phase is where the action potential triggers the release of chemicals into the synaptic cleft.

Spiking Rate

Term for the number of action potentials propagated per second that varies along a continuum.

Regional Functional Specialization

Term meaning neurons that respond to similar types of information tend to be grouped together.

Tract Tracing

A way to identify neural connection

Retrograde Tracer

This is injected into axon terminals and travels back to the cell body.

Antegrade Tracer

This is injected into the cell body and travels to terminals.


The view that in between the stimulus and response there are many processes of the brain that occur.

Mental Chronometry

The use of response time to infer the content, duration, and sequencing of cognitive processes

Cognitive Subtraction

The idea that the time needed to complete a task consists of the time it takes to perceive the stimulus plus the time it takes to generate the response.

Switch Cost

Means that people are faster at performing the same operation several times in a row than at switching operations.

Pure Insertion

This is the assumption that adding a new cognitive process does not affect the process underlying the existing task.


Another way to test stage models of cognition. If two factors influence DIFFERENT stages they should produce this type of effects on response time.


Another way to test stage models of cognition. If two factors influence the SAME stage, they should produce this type of effects on response time.


This method records neural activity directly; it counts the number of APs/second. It is invasive but provides excellent spatial and temporal resolution.


Type of neural representation; all of the information is carried by just one of the neurons in a given population cell.

Fully Distributed

Type of neural representation; all of the information is carried by all of the neurons in a given population.

Sparse Distributed

Type of neural representation; all of the information is carried by a small proportion of the neurons in a given population


This type of coding provides a greater degree of response used to code information.


This type of coding provides a greater synchrony of response used to code information.

Summed Electrical Potentials

EEG picks up what on the scalp surface from millions of neurons?

Voltage Changes

EEG measures __________ __________ at the scalp surface that result from dendritic currents in large populations of neurons.

large, in parallel

To measure EEG signals 1) current must be flowing in dendrites of a _____ number of neurons, and 2) the neurons need to be positioned _________ with one another so the currents sum rather than cancel.

The Inverse Problem

Trying to determine which brain regions give rise to a particular scalp distribution of EEG signals.

Temporal Resolution

EEG has fantastic __________ ________

Event Related Potentials

This is an average voltage change to a stimulus or event across time

Mental State

Frequency analysis can help you determine what about the patient?


The series of positive and negative voltage deflections in an event-related potential


Early peaks of ERPs may approximately reflect the functioning of what process?


Later peaks of ERPs may approximately reflect the functioning of what process?

MEG (Magnetoencephalography)

This method picks up magnetic signals on the scalp surface that stem from dendritic currents in large populations of neurons.


Where the neurons are located that MEG picks up on


This type of neuroimaging uses x-rays to create a 3D image of the brain


In a CT scan, high density tissue appears this color


In a CT scan, low density tissue appears this color

Structural MRI

This type of imaging looks at the tilt protons in water-based hydrogen using a strong magnetic field.

DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging)

This type of neuroimaging measures the density and motion of water that travels along myelin covered axons. Creates images of white matter tracts in the brain.

VBM (Voxel-Based Morphometry)

MRI-based method for calculating the density of grey and white matter in each 3D pixel of a brain scan

PET (Positron Emission Tomography)

This type of neuroimaging measures local variations in blood flow which corresponds to the level of activity in a brain region; requires the injection of a radioactive isotope into the blood stream

Block Designs

Researchers use this to contrast brain activity in two different task conditions during PET


This type of neuroimaging is an indirect measure of neural activity. Its based on fact that oxygenated and deoxygenated blood have different magnetic properties.


This fMRI design measures the hemodynamic response to each stimulus in an experiment.

Double Dissociation

In lesioning, when function A is present and function B is absent in one person, and function A is absent and function B is present in another. Means that the two functions involve different mechanisms and operate independently of one another.

Functional Connectivity

fMRI is used to measure what between brain regions during the performance of a task?

Volume, Oxygen Concentration

PET is based on blood _______, where as fMRI is based on blood _____________


This type of study tries to infer the mental process that a brain region supports by observing what mental process is disrupted when the region no longer functions properly.


A possible cause of a stroke. Hardening of arteries most commonly caused by a buildup of plaque on artery walls.


A possible cause of a stroke. A weak, bulging spot on an artery wall and is prone to suddenly expand or burst, disrupting blood supply.


Common type of brain tumor. Its a tumor of white matter, glia cells.

Single Dissociation

Occurs when a focal lesion impairs one cognitive process while leaving another relatively intact.

Task-Resource Artifact

Potential explanation for a single dissociation. Maybe the impaired task is just harder

Task-Demand Artifact

Potential explanation for a single dissociation. Maybe the patient failed to understand the instructions for the impaired task.


Assumption of single case studies - focal brain damage can produce selective cognitive deficits.


Assumption of single case studies - brain damage can affect one or more components within the cognitive system, but does not result in an entirely new cognitive system being created.


Assumption of single case studies - all cognitive systems are essentially the same.


This form of neuropsychology uses lesions to infer the functions of specific brain regions and is thus very concerned with lesion location. Uses group study methodologies.

by Syndrome

Type of lesion-deficit association - this type of grouping can be useful for investigating the neural correlates of a disease pathology but not for dissecting cognitive theory.

by Behavioral System

Type of lesion-deficit association - this type of grouping can potentially identify multiple regions that enable a cognitive process

by Lesion Location

Lesion-deficit association - this type of grouping can be useful for testing predictions derived from functional imaging.

Cortical Stimulation

Method of temporary lesioning that disrupts neurons to trigger associated behaviors and reveal what "behaviors" might be lost if the neurons were damaged.

TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)

Method of temporary lesioning where an magnetic field is created to induce a current in the nearby neurons and disrupt the cognitive function that may be happening at that point in time.


Type of TMS that can measure altered performance on a behavioral task for several minutes after stimulation ends. Used to treat depression.

Single or Paired-Pulse

Type of TMS involves delivering pulses at one or more times during a trial to then measure effects of TMS on behavior with relatively high temporal resolution.

Better Performance

Temporarily lesioning a brain region could actually lead to what, for competing brain regions?


Lesions identify areas ____________ for a function.


Which two methods would you use to see what the "visual" cortex of a blind person

Information Processing

An approach in which behavior is described in terms of a sequence of cognitive stages.


This term means that later stages of processing can being before earlier stages are complete.

Neural Network

Computational models in which information processing occurs using many interconnected nodes.


The notion that certain cognitive processes (or regions of the brain) are restricted in the type of information they process.

Domain Specificity

The idea that a cognitive process (or brain region) is dedicated solely to one particular type of information.

Brodmann's Areas

Regions of cortex defined by the relative distribution of cell types across cortical layers (cytoarchitecture).

Basal Ganglia

Regions of subcortical gray matter involved in aspects of motor control and skill learning; they consist of structures such as the caudate nucleus, putamen and globus pallidus

Superior Colliculi

A midbrain nucleus that forms part of a subcortical sensory pathway involved in programming fast eye movements.

Inferior Colliculi

A midbrain nucleus that forms part of a subcortical auditory pathway.


This type of electrophysiology recording uses the electrical activity (in terms of APs/sec) of many individually recorded neurons.

Grandmother Cell

A hypothetical neuron that just responds to one particular stimulus

Additive Factors Method

A general method for dividing reaction times into different stages devised by Sternberg.

Associative Priming (semantic priming)

A term meaning reaction times are faster to a stimulus if that stimulus is preceded by a stimulus of similar meaning (RADIO and radio)


Term meaning related to properties of the stimulus

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