GenPsychCognitionAndLanguagePart1 - Cognition and Language...

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Cognition and Language Part 1 - Page 1 Lecture Outline Topics in Cognition. Types of mental representations and their organization. Imagery. Concepts. Networks of associations. Attention. Expertise: How is good thinking achieved? Problem solving. Heuristics in reasoning. Topics in Cognition The study of Cognition typically includes the topics of perception, memory, attention, thinking, language, and consciousness. We have previously visited the first two of these topics, leaving the following three as the subject of this lecture and the next. Consciousness will be discussed later in the semester. What Is Thought? Within Cognitive Psychology, thinking is considered to be the manipulation, for some purpose, of the mental representations generated by perception and memory. The result of thinking is the generation of additional new mental representations However, it is not so easy to distinguish thinking processes from processes of perception and memory. Experts solve problems in large part by rapidly perceiving the problem situation appropriately. Memory processes heavily influence the answers people produce in problem solving and reasoning tasks. Main Approaches to the Study of Thinking Examine the types of mental representations and how they are manipulated. Images, concepts, schemas, conceptual networks. Give people reasoning tasks or problems to solve and study the mental processes that occur.
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Cognition and Language Part 1 - Page 2 Inferring Cognition from Performance: The Use of Imagery in Thinking Subjects are shown a stimulus (e.g. “R”) that is rotated between 0 and 360 o , each must decide whether the letter is normal or a mirror image. Such tasks activate the visual cortex, suggesting an actual rotation of the stimulus. Concepts Concepts are mental representations of categories. Cognitive psychologists examine how concepts are organized in memory and how they are activated in mental tasks. In general we form concepts when objects, people, events, or ideas have similarities or common functional qualities. Concepts are essential for powerful and efficient cognition. For example, you can utilize categorical knowledge in dealing with a person, object, idea, or situation that you can categorize. Can this object be eaten?
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GenPsychCognitionAndLanguagePart1 - Cognition and Language...

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