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Flashcards in Cognition 1 Deck (46):
1

What is cognition?

How we think & remember things, attend to & process information

2

Since there is no single theory of how the brain achieves this, how is knowledge about cognition gained?

- experimental tests of cognitive hypotheses
- studying patients with brain damage
- cognitive effects of drugs

3

What are some cognitive functions? Name at least 5.

- Attention
- Impulse control
- Language
- Learning
- Decision-making
- Recognition
- Memory
- Discrimination
- Impulse control
- Categorisation
- Thinking
- Imagination

4

Define attention

The ability to focus on one thing to the exclusion of others.

5

Attending to events increases...

... the likelihood that they would be remembered.

6

There are three different types of attention. What are they?

- sustained
- selective
- divided

7

What is sustained attention?

This involves concentration and vigilance. It is the ability to focus on one thing for an extended period of time.

8

What is selective attention?

This is also known as the cocktail party phenomenon. It is the ability to filter out environmental factors and focus on one thing. It's the ability of a person to focus on one particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, much the same way that a partygoer can focus on a single conversation in a noisy room.

9

What is divided attention?

This is the ability to focus on more than one thing at the same time. It allows you to perform more than one task at a time. E.g speaking to someone on the phone and writing their details down.

10

Learning & Memory:
Memory problems are a common problem of

Cognitive and psychiatric disorders e.g. Schizophrenia, ADHD

11

Learning and memory is not a unitary phenomena:

- multiple 'systems' serve memory i.e STM/LTM
- learning occurs in different ways
- different types of forgetting

12

Explain the stages of memory processing.

- Initially, information goes to immediate/ STM
- This includes working memory e.g. shopping lists
- The memory is held temporarily before transfer
- After consolidation, memory is stored in LTM
- Rehearsal increases the chance of consolidation
- Retrieval allows for recall of the memory

13

What are the other aspects of learning and memory?

Implicit memory and Explicit memory

14

What is implicit memory?

Learning + memory
This is both unconscious and unintentional. You are unable to consciously bring it to awareness. It is any skill acquired by practice but not easily articulated e.g typing a sentence on a keyboard without looking at your hands. It is quite easy to type the sentence without having to consciously think about where each letter appears on the keyboard.

15

What is explicit memory?

This requires conscious recollection of experience. When you are trying to intentionally remember something e.g. a formula. You can consciously recall and explain the information.

16

Recognition memory. This is when

you fail to recall the answer to a question but can recognise it when the answer is provided.

17

What are the two ways we recognise things?

- the remembered item evokes a specific memory e.g I met that girl in the lipstick aisle of Sephora
- recognition in the absence of specific recollection e.g I think i've seen here somewhere before in some shop?

18

Cognition has many different domains. Which are extremely important for normal function?
What happens if there are problems in these domains?
Changes in different cognitive domains occur _______________

Attention
Learning
Memory
Problems are associated with a number of psychiatric conditions.
Throughout our lifespan

19

Normal ageing influences cognitions _______

differently.

20

At what age does memory start to decline?

>70 years

21

Sometimes, cognitive decline accelerates 3-6 years before death. This probably reflects _______

pathology. It is not a normal pattern

22

______ are associated with and regulate memory in all adults

emotion

23

__________ memory - personal information - is regulated differently in older adults

autographical

24

older people remember events in a _______ light. This is known as __-______ _________ _____.

positive
age-related positivity effect

25

For these cognitive domains, state the pattern of change, if any:
- Speed of processing
- Verbal ability
- Automatic, implicit, well-practiced skills, recognition memory
- STM, working memory, episodic memory (new events), semantic memory
- Age- related positivity effect

- Slows across adulthood
- Increases until middle-age, then remains stable
- Remains stable across adulthood
- Relatively stable until late life decline (>70years)
- Emotional regulation of memory changes.

26

In older adults with higher memory performance, you get something call _-______ ________. This increases

bi-lateral compensation
the speed of retrieval and prefrontal cortex activation

27

Cognitive problems are associated with a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Name a few

- MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT
- DEMENTIA
- schizophrenia
- depression
- parkinson's disease
- ADHD

28

What is MCI characterised by?















Who is more likely to progress for MCI to dementia

- patient complains about their memory
- confirmed by informant
- in formal memory tests they score poorly compared to their same matches
- daily activities are intact
- typical general cognition function
- does not meet diagnostic criteria for dementia
- increased risk of Alzheimers, >50% get dementia after MCI diagnosis
- cannot currently predict who will transition from MCI to dementia

29

Who is more likely to progress for MCI to dementia

- cannot currently predict who will transition from MCI to dementia
- those with APOE 4 genes are more likely to progress to dementia.
- APOE genes alter cholesterol transport and synaptic plasticity.
- imaging patterns of cortical thinning may differentiate who will progress
- serial MRI scans measuring rate of change in brain atrophy may be predictive
- poor performance on delayed recall tests may predict.
- cognitive training may help
- sensitive counselling required due to developing dementia.

30

what improves word recall in MCI?

transdermal nicotine

31

Alzheimers disease is a ___________ disorder, which accounts for ____ of dementias

neurodegenerative
50%

32

Early onset Alzheimer's occurs between

Late onset Alzheimer's occurs between

30-65 years (familial)



>65 years (most cases)

33

What are some risk factors for Alzheimers?

- age
- stroke
- high BP
- high cholesterol
- genetics
- head injury

34

Expand on the clinical picture of Alzheimer's Disease

- it is a progressive decline
- initially forgetful, tasks left unfinished, problem finding words
- need help with basic activities, poor hygiene
- cannot recognise family members or themselves in mirror

35

Expand on the mood and behavioural changes

- irritable, emotional outbursts
- agitated, disorientated, delusions of being persecuted
- loss of impulse control, use coarse language, inappropriate sexual advances to strangers

36

What is the diagnosis of Alzheimer's?

definitive - macroscopic examination of brain tissue after death.

37

Clinical problems with diagnosis of Alzheimer's?

- primarily based on memory dysfunction
- problems differentiating from delirium or geriatric depression
- problems with referral due to fear and denial

38

In alzheimer's there is a cognitive decline in:

- explicit and implicit memory
- STM
- working memory
- semantic memory
- recognition memory
- anterograde and later retrograde amnesia
- changes in attention
- episodic memory

39

What is the pathology? What is seen in the brain in people with Alzheimer's?

- atrophy of brain; sulci enlarge
- loss of cholinergic receptors in the nucleus basalis of Meynert

40

What does n. basalis innervate?

- Amygdala; emotion

- hippocampus and cortex; cognition

41

Loss of acetylcholinergic neurones leads to:

- widespread reduction in choline acetyl transferase
- depletion of nicotinic and pre synaptic M2 muscarinic receptors (postsynaptic receptors are preserved)

42

What are the 4 other neuropathological markers of Alzheimer's?

- plaques; areas of degenerating neurones. These are EXTRACELLULAR deposits of beta-amyloid protein

-neurofibrillary tangles. Tangles are INTRACELLULAR filaments formed from aggregation of tau proteins.

43

Greater Ca influx is associated with amyloid plaques through:

- VG Ca++ channels
- NMDA-receptor associated ion channels
- increase in intracellular Ca++ concentrations triggers cascades which trigger neurones.
Amyloid deposits can also trigger the production of free radicals

44

Amyloid deposits can also trigger the production of

free radicals

45

Normal function of tau proteins is to

to stabilise axonal microtubules

46

tangles are formed by

abnormal tau proteins