Cognition & Consciousness Flashcards Preview

MCAT Behavioural Sciences > Cognition & Consciousness > Flashcards

Flashcards in Cognition & Consciousness Deck (119):
1

Cognition

How our brains react to the information received from the outside world

2

Which lobe is disproportionately large in humans

Frontal

3

4 pillars of the Information Processing Model

1. Thinking requires sensation, encoding, and storage of stimuli

2. Stimuli must be analyzed by the brain to be used in decision making

3. Decisions made in one situation can be applied to others (situational modification)

4. Problem solving is dependent not only on the person's cognitive level but also the complexity and the context

4

Cognitive development

Development of one's ability to solve problems

5

Piaget's stages of cognitive development

1. Sensorimotor
2. Preoperational
3. Concrete operational
4. Formal operational

6

Piaget: infants learn through ____ interactions with the environment?

Instinctual

7

Schema

Organized patterns of behaviour/concepts/sequences of events
-ex: what is a dog? what happens when someone calls you name? What do you do at a restaurant ?

8

Adaptation

The process of adding new information to different schemata's
-either occurs by assimilation or accomodation

9

Assimilation

Process of classifying new information into an existing schemata

10

Accomodation

Process in which existing schemata are modified to encompass new information

11

Sensorimotor stage: time & features

From birth until about 2 years

Child learns to manipulate environment to get needs

2 different types of circular reactions (primary and secondary)

*Key milestone that ends this period: developing object permanence = objects continue to exist when they are out of sight

12

Primary circular reactions

Repetition of body movements that originally occurred by chance
-ex: thumb sucking

13

Secondary circular reactions

Repeated actions (manipulation) that is focused on the environment, not the body
-tend to be repeated if a child gets a response
-ex: throwing toys

14

Representational though

Marked by the development of object permanence
-child begins to create mental representations of external objects and events

15

Preoperational stage

From ~ age 2-7

Characterized by:
-symbolic thinking= play make believe/imagination
-egocentrism= inability to think how others may feel
-centration= focus only on one aspect of a phenomenon

*unable to understand conservation (has to do with centration)
-ex: cant tell that a piece of cake cut in half is still the same size

16

Concrete Operational stage

From ~age 7-11

Children can understand conservation and consider the perspectives of others

Can engage in logical thought about concrete objects and ideas

*can't think abstractly yet

17

Formal Operational stage

From ~11+

Able to think logically and abstractly about ideas

Reason with abstract concepts and problem solve

*Piaget's pendulum experiment - only those in FOS could manipulate the equations to see which variables affected length

18

Lev Vygotsky - ideas of cognitive development

Thought that the force driving cognitive development in kids was their own internalization of their culture

19

Fluid intelligence

Problem solving skills
-peaks in early adulthood
-declines with age

20

Crystallized intelligence

Related to the use of learned skills and knowledge
-peaks in middle adulthood
-declines with age

21

Activities of daily living

Eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, ambulation
-the longer a person is able to retain function in these areas the less likely they are to experience intellectual decline

22

Dementia

Begins with impaired memory but progresses to impaired judgement and confusion
-personality changes can also occur

23

2 common causes of dementia

1. Alzheimer's

2. Vascular (multi-infact) dementia caused by high BP and repeated micro clots in the brain

24

Delirium

Rapid fluctuation in cognitive functional that is reversible and caused by medical causes
-pH or electrolyte imbalances
-malnutrition
-pain
-alcohol withdrawal
--etc.

25

Mental set

Tendency to approach similar problems in the same way

26

Functional fixedness

Inability to consider how an object can be used in a non-traditional manner

27

Trial and error

Less sophisticated means of problem solving
-try various ways until one works

28

Algorithms

Formula or procedure for solving a certain type of problem

29

Deductive reasoning

Top down reasoning
-starts with a general set of rules and draws conclusions from the information given

30

Inductive reasoning

Bottom up reasoning
-create a theory via generalizations
-starts with a specific instance and then draws a conclusion from it

31

Heuristics

Simplified principles used to make decisions
-"rules of thumb"

32

Availability Heuristic

Used to try and decide how likely something is
-make decisions based on how easily similar instances can be imagined

33

Representativeness Heuristic

Used to categorize items on the basis of wether they fit the representative image of a category

34

Base rate fallacy

When you use prototypical or stereotypical factors while ignoring actual numerical information

35

Disconfirmation principle

Evidence obtained from testing proves the solution doesn't work => therefore solution should be discarded

36

Confirmation bias

Tendency to focus on information that fits an individual's beliefs, while rejecting opposing information

37

Overconfidence

Tendency to erroneously interpret one's own knowledge and beliefs as infallible
-confirmation bias supports this

38

Belief perseverance

Inability to reject a particular belief despite clear evidence to the contrary

39

Intuition

Ability to act on perceptions that may not be supported by evidence

*recognition primed decision model = brain uses past experience to create patterns and apply them to situations without awareness

40

Emotion

Subjective experience that a person has in a given situation
-often influences how they think and make choices
-also include the emotion the person expects to feel from a particular decision

41

Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences - 7 types

1. Linguistic
2.Logical-mathematical
3. Musical
4. Visual-spatial
5. Bodily-Kinesthetic
6. Interpersonal
7. Intrapersonal

42

Intelligence quotient (IQ)

Standardized way of measuring intelligence
-largely pioneered by Alfred Binet

43

Stanford-Binet IQ test

From Binet's work and a professor at Harvard

IQ = (Mental age / chronological age) x 100

44

Consciousness

Level of awareness of both the world and one's own existence in the world

45

Alertness

State of consciousness in which we are awake and able to think
-experience physiological arousal
-cortisol levels tend to be higher

Maintained by neurological circuits in the prefrontal cortex
-communicate with the reticular formation in the brainstem keeps the cortex awake and alert

46

Electroencephalography (EEG)

Records the average of the electrical patterns within different portions of the brain

47

Beta waves

High frequency and occur when a person is alert or concentrating on a mental task
-neurons are randomly firing

48

Alpha waves

Awake but relaxed with closed eyes
-slower and more synchronized than beta waves

49

Stage 1

First stage of sleep
-appearance of theta waves : irregular waveforms, slower frequencies and higher voltages

50

Stage 2

Deeper stage of sleep

Theta waves along with:
-sleep spindles - high frequency
-K complexes - look like an action potential

51

Stages 3&4

Slow wave sleep stages
-much slower activity picked up on the EEG
-very hard to wake someone up during this stage
- (declarative) memory consolidation, cognitive recovery

Delta waves - low frequency and high voltage

52

Non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM)

Stages 1-4

53

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep

Happens between cycles of NREM sleep
-arousal levels reach that of alertness but the muscles are paralyzed
-paradoxical sleep => HR, EEG, and breathing mimic awake

Where dreaming is most likely to occur
-also involved in (procedural) memory consolidation

54

Sleep cycle

Single complete progression through the sleep stages
-50 min in children
-90 min in adults

Early in the night = mainly SWS
Late in the night = mainly REM

55

Circadian Rhythms

Daily cycle of sleeping and waking that is internally regulated
-~24 hours and is influenced by outside factors like light

56

Melatonin

Serotonin derived hormone from the pineal gland
-released due to decreased light
-retina is in direct contact with the hypothalamus which controls the pineal gland

57

Cortisol

Steroid hormone of the adrenal cortex
-levels rise in the morning due to increased corticotropin releasing factor CRF from the hypothalamus (stimulated by increased light)
-CRF causes adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) to be released from the anterior pituitary
-ACTH stimulates cortisol release

58

Activation-synthesis theory

Dreams are caused by widespread, random activation of neural circuitry
-can mimic sensory info or memories

59

Problem solving dream theory

Dreams are ways to try an solve problems while sleeping

60

Cognitive process dream theory

Dreams are the sleeping counterpart of stream of consciousness

61

Neurocognitive models of dreaming

Seek to unify biological and psychological perspectives on dreaming by correlating the subjective experience of dreaming with measurable physiological changes

62

Dyssomnias - 3 examples

Disorders that make it difficult to fall, stay, or avoid asleep

-insomnia
-sleep apnea
-narcolepsy

63

Narcolepsy - symptoms

lack of voluntary control over sleep
-cataplexy = loss of muscle control and sudden intrusion of REM sleep
-sleep paralysis
-hypanagogic hallucinations - while going to sleep
-hynopompic hallucinations - while waking up

64

Sleep apnea

Inability to breathe during sleep
-obstructive = physical blockage of pharynx/trachea
-central = brain fails to send signals to diaphragm

65

Night terrors

Periods of intense anxiety during slow wave sleep
-sympathetic NS overdrive
-most common in kids

66

Sleepwalking/Somnabulism

Usually occurs during SWS
-can do a bunch of activities and wake up in the morning without knowing

67

Sleep deprivation

Results in irritability, mood disturbances, slowed reaction time
-extreme cases can cause psychosis

68

REM rebound

When people are permitted to sleep normally after sleep deprivation, they have earlier and longer REM sleep

69

Hypnosis

State in which a person appears to be in control of their normal functions but is in a highly suggestible state

70

Hypnotic induction

Hypnotist seeks to relax the subject and increase their level of concentration

71

Meditation

Involves the quieting of the mind
-slow alpha waves and theta waves

72

Parasomnias

Abnormal movements or behaviours during sleep
-night terrors and sleepwalking

73

Depressants

Reduce nervous system activity
-reduced anxiety and a sense of relaxation
-ex: alcohol, barbiturates and benzos

74

Alcohol

Increases activity of GABA receptor (chloride channel that causes hyperpolarization)
-results in generalized brain inhibition

Increases dopamine levels = mild euphoria

Higher levels = decreased logical reasoning and motor skills and increased fatigue

75

Alcohol myopia

Inability to recognize consequences of actions

76

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

Brain disorder cause by long term alchohol use
-deficiency in thiamine
-severe memory impairment
-changes in mental status
-loss of motor skills

77

Barbiturates

Historically used as anxiety reducing and sleep medications
-eg. phenobarbital

78

Benzodiazapenes

Replaced barbiturates as anxiety/sleep medications because they were less prone to OD
-eg. diazapam, clonazepam...
-increase GABA activity = relaxation

79

Stimulants

Increase in arousal of the nervous system
-increases frequency of action potentials

Ex: amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy

80

Amphetamines

Increased arousal by increasing dopamine, norepinepherine, and serotonin release and decreasing their reuptake

Reduction in appetite

Increased heart rate and BP

Euphoria, on edge, anxiety paranoia, grandeur

81

Cocaine

Decreases reuptake of dopamine, norepinepherine, and serotonin but through a different mechanism than amphetamines

Has anaesthetic and vasoconstrictive properties

82

Crack

Form of cocaine that can be smoked

83

Ecstasy

Hallucinogen combined with an amphetamine

Euphoria, increased alertness, wellbeing and connectiveness are all feelings associated with it

Causes blurry vision, sweating, nausea, increased BP..

84

Opiates and Opiods

All derived from the poppy plant (opium)

opiates = naturally occurring like morphine and codeine

opioids = semisynthetic like oxy, hydrocodone and heroin

Bind to opioid receptors in the PNS and CNS
-decreased reaction to pain
-increased euphoria

*OD = death by respiratory suppression

85

Heroin

Diacetylmorphine - originally made as a morphine substitution
-body ends up metabolizing heroin to morphine

86

Methadone

Longer acting opiod that is used to treat addiction as it has a lower risk of overdose

87

Hallucinogens

Complex interaction between neurotransmitters -especially serotonin - that cause distortion of reality and fantasy

Increased heart rate & blood pressure, dilation of pupils, sweating, increased body temperature

88

Marijuana

Active ingredient is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
-acts at cannabinoid receptors, glycine receptors, opioid receptors
-increases GABA activity

Falls into the category of depressant, stimulant, and hallucinogen

89

Mesolimbic reward pathway

One of 4 dopaminergenic pathways in the brain and is linked to drug addiction (as well as gambling and love)

Includes:
-nucleus accumbens (NAc)
-ventral tegmental area (VTA)
-medial forebrain bundle (MFB - connects NAc and VTA)

Normally involved in motivation and emotional response

90

Attention

Concentrating on one aspect of the sensory environment (or sensorium)

91

Selective attention

Focussing on one part of the sensorium while ignoring other stimuli

92

Cocktail party phenomenon

Even when you are engaged in an activity and concentrated, you are still able to perceive your name being mentioned
-will shift attention to other things if they are particularity important

93

Divided attention

Ability to perform multiple tasks at the same time
-usually for familiar routines
-done with automatic processing

94

Language - 5 basic components

1. Phonology
2. Morphology
3. Semantics
4. Syntax
5. Pragmatics

95

Phonology

Actual sound of language

96

Phonemes

Seech sounds
-about 40 in English

97

Categorical perception

Being able to tell when subtle sound differences are changing the meaning of a word or not

Being able to understand that the pronunciation of a word changes between people

98

Morphology

Structure of words

99

Morphemes

Building blocks of words
-each connotes a particular meaning

100

Semantics

Association of meaning with a word

101

Syntax

How words are put together to form sentences

102

Pragmatics

Dependence of language on context and pre-existing knowledge

103

Prosody

The rhythm, cadence, inflection of our voices
-affects pragmatics

104

Language development: 9-12 months

Babblin = Important precursor to language
-highest frequency 9-12 months (for hearing children)

105

Language development: 12-18 months

Children learn about 1 new word per month `

106

Language development: 18-20 months

Explosion of language - learns dozens of words
-gestures, inflection, and context are important for caregivers to be able to identify the meaning

Combining words - gesturing becomes less important because sentence assembly begins

107

Language development: 2-3 years

Longer sentences and exponential vocabulary growth
-grammatical errors increase as kids learn complex grammar rules

*errors of growth: applies a grammatical rule (morpheme for example) where it does not work

108

Language development: 5 years

Children have largely mastered language by this age

109

Nativist (biological) theory

Credited to linguist Noam Chomsky

Advocates for the innate capacity for language
-language acquisition device (LAD) which is a theoretical pathway in the brain that allows infants to precess and absorb language rules

Transformational grammar - changes in word order that retain the same meaning

110

Critical period

Nativist theory - critical period between age 2 and puberty

111

Sensitive period

Time when environmental input has maximal effect on the development of an ability
-for language this is before the onset of puberty

112

Learning (behaviourist) theory

Credited to B.F. Skinner

Explains language acquisition by operant conditioning

Babies up to 6 mo. can distinguish between phonemes of different languages
-after 6 mo. they prefer those phonemes in the language spoken by their parents
-occurs by reinforcement: repetition of sounds the baby makes that are most like the parents language (mama)

Accounts for the development of words by not for the explosion of vocabulary

113

Social Interactionist Theory

Focuses on the interplay of biological and social processes

Language acquisition is driven by the child's desire to communicate with others

Brain development also plays an important role
-sound and meaning grouped together
-neural circuits stimulated by social interactions

114

Linguistic relativity hypothesis

aka the Whorfian hypothesis
-our perception of reality is determined by the content of our language
*language affects the way we think

More specific vocabulary and expansive framework allow for more sophisticated processing

115

Broca's area

Located in the inner inferior frontal gyrus of the dominant hemisphere (usually left)
-controls the motor function of speech (connects with motor cortex)

116

Wernicke's area

Located in the superior temporal gyrus of the temporal gyrus
-responsible for language comprehension

117

Arcuate fasciculus

Buncle of axons that connects Broca's and Wernike's areas
-allows for proper association between language comprehension and speech production

118

Aphasia

Deficit of language production or comprehension
-Broca's : expressive aphasia, reduced ability to produce speech
-Wernicke's: receptive aphasia, motor production and fluency of speech is disrupted (fully understand and to them their speech production is working)`

119

Conductions aphasia

Occurs due to damage to the arcuate fasciculus
-very rare
-comprehension and production are intact but patients are unable to repeat something that has been said to them