PSY246 COGNITIVE PROCESSES – Course Notes.docx - PSY246...

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PSY246 COGNITIVE PROCESSES – Course NotesWeek 1: IntroductionApproaches to human cognition:-Relate to word recognition-Face recognition-Safety cognition-The study of cognition aims to understand the workings of the human mind by studying behaviour, often usingexperimental methods (and also computational modelling, neuroscience and neuropsychological data)-Topics covered in this courseoAttention, short term/working memory, language processes (reading and speech production), long termmemory (episodic memory and semantic memory), concepts, decision making, cognitiveneuropsychologyA general information processing model:-Most cognitive behaviour (e.g. reading, remembering) involves more than just onecognitive process-Make use of a lot of what is in your permanent memory to do complex cognitiveprocessesInformation processing approach:-Major goal: specify the processes and structures in cognition-The picture depicts a bottom-up and serial processing-Types of processingoParalleltwo processes can occur at the same timeoSerialthe step goes from on to the secondoCascadingthe happen after one another but can happen at the same time-Bottom up vs top down:oBottom upexternal stimulus causes internal cognitive processes to occur,producing the desired responseoTop downProcessing influenced by the individual’s expectations and knowledgeParis in the the springThe c(h)atHow many animals each did Moses take on the ark?Noah not MosesYou interpret the stimulus differently – as what you expect – not just taking in the stimulusApproaches to study of cognition:Cognitive psychology:
-The attempt to uncover the nature of human cognition by observing people’s behaviour-Use experimental method to test a research hypothesisComputation cognitive science:The attempt to use computational models to further understanding of humancognitionCognitive neuroscience:-The attempt to use information about behaviour and the brain to understand human cognition-Study of human brain and cognition-Techniques include:oSingle-unit recordingoEvent-related potentials (ERPs)EEG non-invasively measures electrical activity in the brain during cognitive activityElectrodes are places on the scalpEvent-related potentials (ERPs) are recorded during repeated eventsLimitationsLimited spatial resolution, despite high temporal resolutionRequires many trialsSkull and brain tissue distort electrical fieldsissues with spatial resolutionCan’t be too precise about where in the brain its occurringLargely blind to subcortical activityoPositron emission tomography (PET)oFunctional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRIs)Blood oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) contrastMeasures changes in the blood flow (haemodynamic activity) during cognitive activityActive brain regions have a higher ratio of oxygenated to deoxygenated haemoglobin (blood),which have different magnetic propertyfMRI provides a non-invasive, indirect measure of brain activity

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