DeCou Midterm Flashcards Preview

Cog & Perception - Decou > DeCou Midterm > Flashcards

Flashcards in DeCou Midterm Deck (89):

What are the 4 main approaches to human cogntiiton? 

  1. Cognitive Psychology 
  2. Cognitive Neuropsychology
  3. Cognitive Neuroscience
  4. Computational Cognitive Science


Cognitive Psychology

Trying to understand human cognition by observing the behavior of people performing various tasks


  • Top-down and bottom-up processing 
  • Serial and parallel processing 


Top-down vs. Bottom-up processing

Top-Down Processing

  • Pattern recognition  by observing BEH of people performing various cognitive acts 

Bottom-Up Processing

  • Perception starts from stimulus  


Serial Processing

Attending to and processing only one event at a time

-Part of cog. psych.


Parallel Processing

More than one process occuring at the same time


Cogntive Neuropsychology

Aims to understand how the structure and function of the brain relates to specific psychological processes


Theoretical assumptions of cogntive neuropsychology

  • Modularity
  • Anatomical modularity
  • Uniformity of structural architecture among people
  • Subtractivity 



  • Cognitive system consists of numerous modules or processors operating fairly independently
  • Domain specificity: modules only respond to one given class of stimuli
  • Theoretical assumption of cog neuropsych.



  • Performs normally on one task, but impaired on a second one 
  • mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experience. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis


Double disocciations 

  • When two related mental processes are shown to function independently of each other



mental connection between concepts, events, or mental states that usually stems from specific experiences


Cognitive Neuroscience

Using evidence from behavior and the brain to understand human cognition.

Study of how the physical brain and nervous system combine with the body, mind, intellect and other intangible factors of life to create patterns of thought and behavior.


Two major principles might determine brain organization (cog neurosci)

Principle of Cost Control

  • costs would be minimized if the brain consisted of limited, short-distance connections

Principle of Efficency 

  • efficiency in terms of the ability to integrate information across the brain can be achieved by having numerous connections, many of which are long-distance


Human brain’s optimal trade off between cost and efficiency -- so the brain network...

  • Modules and hubs

  • Modules
    •  A group of nodes that have a large number of mutual connections and a small number of connections to nodes outside their betwork
    • small areas of tightly clustered connections
  • Hubs
    • A nod occupying a central position in the overall organization of a network
    • (regions that have large numbers of connections to other regions) that include areas associated with high-level cognitive processes and consciousness


Limitations of cognitive neuroscience

  1. Often over-interpret their findings by assuming there are one-to-one links between cognitive processes and brain areas
  2. Difficult to bridge the divide between psychological processes and concepts on the one hand and patterns of brain activation on the other
  3. Most imaging studies reveal only associations; activation may be caused by other factors
  4. Many cognitive neuroscientists assume that most brain activity is driven by environmental or task demands.
  5. Ecological validity & paradigm specificity
  6. Underpowered neuro-imaging studies
  7. False+ occur 15% of the time


Computational Cognitive Science

  • Developing computational models to further our understanding of human cognition
  • Computational modeling involves programming computers to model or mimic aspects of human cognitive functioning


Artificial Intelligence 

involves constructing computer systems that produce intelligent outcomes but may do so in ways bearing little resemblance to those used by humans


Part of Computational Cognitive Science


Cognitive Architecture

comprehensive framework for understanding human cognition in the form of computer programs


Part of Computational Cognitive Science


Connectionist Models

Typically consist of interconnected networks of simple units exhibiting learning

Part of Computational Cognitive Science



What are the two attention networks?

  • Goal-directed (endogenous)
  • Stimulus-driven (exogenous)


 Goal directed (endogenous) 
attention network

  • Dorsal attention network
  • Top-down
  • Controlled by an individual’s intentions
  • Focus on stimuli directly based on current goals


Stimulus driven (exogenous)
attention network

  • Ventral attention network 
  • Bottom-up
  • Automatically shifts attention – likely to stimuli that show stark differences


Dual pathway model of attention

  • Selective pathway
    • Limited capacity in which objects are individually selected for recognition 
  • Non-selective pathway
    • Gist/essence of scene is processed
    • Can then guide the selective pathway         --> very common in real world


Cocktail party effect 

  • being able to focus one's auditory attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli           
    • E.g., partygoer can focus on a single conversation in a noisy room
  • type of focused auditory attn 


Two separate processes at work during the cocktail party effect

  • First, requires sound segregation: listener decides which sounds belong together and which do not
  • Secondly, once sound segregation has been achieved, listener must direct attention to the sound source of interest and ignore others


Sound segregation in the lense of the cocktail party effect -
consider top-down and bottom-up processes

  • Bottom-up factors
    • Make use of physical characteristics (voice, intensity, location)
    • Temporal coherence: presence/absence of features based on activation à when present, can be used to distinguish factors from one another
  • Top-down factors
    • Used when bottom-up is insufficient to produce sound segregation
    • Use depends of listener’s speech distinguishing abilities
    • Visual info can be used to assist


What is cross-modal attention?

  • overlap between modalities that can both enhance and limit attentional processing.

E.g., Cocktail Party Effect


Name 3 disorders of visual attention 

  • Visual Attention Neglect:
    • Lack of awareness of stimuli presented to opposite side of brain
  • Object-centred (or allocentric) Neglect:
    • Little awareness of left side of objects (regardless of being in left or right field)
  • Subject-centred (or egocentric) Neglect:
    • Same to right hemisphere
    • Little awareness of left hemisphere visual field


What is memory?

interaction btwn ST and LT memory; multi-store and unitary-store and what the research suggests about it


3 Stages of Learning and Memory

  • Encoding – presenting and learning info
  • Storage – encoding result of info being stored in memory system
  • Retrieval – recovering stored info from memory system


2 Memory Store Models

  • Multi-store – distinction btwn STM and LTM central
  • Unitary-store – emphasize similarities btwn STM and LTM
    • argues STM is activated LTM


2 Memory Sensory Stores

  • Iconic memory – holds visual info briefly
  • Echoic memory – holds auditory info for seconds
  • Research shows neither are pre-attentive



  • Magical #7, plus or minus 2 --> Miller’s Law
  • Logic behind 7 as limited capacity
    • We must distinguish btwn items and chunks (groups of items collected together treated as a single unit)
    • STM estimates inflated b/c performance depends on rehearsal and LTM


What does working memory do?

Use of info for manipulation


What is the WM Model?


  • Central Executive
    • Complex cognitive activities
  • Phonological Loop
    • Process and stores info briefly in a speech-based form
    • Preserves order that words are presented
  • Visuo-spatial Sketchpad
    • Stores and manipulates spatial and visual info
  • Episodic Buffer
    • Provides temporary storage for integrated info coming from the phonological loop and visuo-sptial sketchpad
    • Links WM to perception and LTM


What is WM Capacity?

  • How much info an individual can process and store simultaneously
  • Correlated w/ fluid intelligence
  • High WM capacity people are better at controlling external and internal distracting info – and less likely to exhibit goal neglect


Difference between ST and WM

  • STM --> store temporary info for immediate retrieval and discard
  • WM --> manipulate info 


What is implicit learning?

  • Learning complex info w/o complex awareness


What is the encoding specificity principle?

Retrieval depends on conditions present while encoding information relate to memory and recall of that information


How is the encoding specificity principle related to mood dept memory?

  • Researchers believe recall most effective when the conditions at the time of encoding match the conditions at the time of retrieval
  • Cue-dependent forgetting – frequently happens because we lack appropriate cues


What are the 3 categories of mental processes?

  • Automatic-cognitive processes
  • Semi-automatic cognitive processes
  • Effortful cognitive processes


What are 2 important categories of automatic cognitive processes?

  • Information processing
  • Intrusions 


What is information processing?

  • Def: Ways the brain filters, processes, retains, and recalls info
  • Consists of types of confirmation biases: attentional and memory


What are intrusions?

  • Def: thoughts that seem to pop into our heads automatically
  • Involuntary process
  • Can happen with obsessions, PSTD, schizophrenia – avoiding intrusions typically increases vulnerability to psychological problems


What is information processing bias?

Attn and memory processes inform the way that it is distorted favouring some info over other repeatedly


What are 3 types of informaiton processing bias?

  • Attentional bias: selectively attending to info that is consistent with beliefs and ignoring info that contradicts beliefs
  • Memory bias: recalls info consistent w/ beliefs and fails to recall info that’s inconsistent with beliefs
  • Confirmation bias: global term for these biases   


2 Types of Semi-automatic cognitive processing

  • Core beliefs
  • Interpretations 


What are core beliefs?

  • basic assumptions and beliefs about oneself or the external world
  • Serve as underlying program that shapes how we respond to situations and what thoughts/images come to mind
  • Trigger + Core Belief --> Interpretation à Emotional Response
  • Influence other cognitive processes and contribute to interpretations an emotional processing. People often not aware of their maintain role


What are 3 responses to core beliefs?

  • Surrender: Acts in a way to confirm belief; doesn’t challenge it
    • E.g., Abandonment --> choose non-committal partner
  • Avoidance: Arrange life so belief isn’t activated 
    • E.g., Abandonment --> not date
  • Over-compensation: Tries to behave opposite to belief 
    • E.g., Abandonment --> cling/smother partner


What are interpretations?

  • making meaning of various stimuli we encounter
    • Aka: Automatic Thoughts
  • Can usually be identified with appropriate questioning
  • Influenced by a person’s: emotions, physiological state, core beliefs, info-processing, and learning history


What is effortful cognitive processing?

  • People think (or not think) in a certain way about things – trying to influence own thoughts in an effort to cope with distress


Effortful cognitive processing can be mal/adaptive. What is this called?

  • Experiential avoidance: maladaptive efforts to control, suppress, or get away form uncomfortable thoughts/feelings


What are 2 types of experimental avoidance? 

Rumination and Worry


What is Rumination?

  • Rumination: Perseverance of negative thoughts – becomes increasingly neg


What are 2 types of rumination?

  • Depressive Rumination: Repeatedly thinking about upsetting Sx, the causes, and consequences while failing to prob solve
  • Post-event Rumination: Rehearses details about an event that has occurred, including critical self-evaluation


What is worry?

Quasi-prob solving where a person repetitively rehearses a number of uncertain (or unlikely) potential events and outcomes


What psychopathology can worry create?

  • LT maintenance of anxiety
  • dysphoric mood
  • negative interpretations
  • decreased available attentional resources 
  • diminished executive function resources


What is Beck's Cognitive Theory?

  • proposes that we all have deep cognitive structures called schemas that enable us to process incoming information and interpret our experiences in a meaningful way
  • Structural theory


What is Beck's Cognitive Theory intervention?

  • change automatic thoughts, BEH, and schemas that cause unpleasant emotions; change the relationship between them
  • Events --> 
    Schemas --> 
    Cognitions-BEH-Mood triangle


What are Beck's Cog Theroy Clinical Implications?

  • Sx made of interconnected and mutually causal emotions, BEH, and automatic thoughts --> use activity schedule or thought record
  • Schema activation:
    • triggers emotion, automatic thoughts and BEH, and changes in those Sx elements cause schema change --> schema focus can guide agenda setting decisions in the therapy
    • can account for Sx, set of Sx, and entire case à useful to build-up disorder-level formulation from emotional-event-level formulations
    • Under-pinning in Sx of psychopathology is a cognitive triad: views of self, world, and future --> look at other’s POV



  • Learned through childhood experiences à obtain a good family/social
  • Don’t easily change in response to disconfirming info because they bias retrieval information from memory and interpretation --> useful to teach Pt awareness and ways to overcome tendency to ignore disconfirming evidence
  • history is essential to learning process of developing schema hypotheses; have Pt review childhood events to look at reasonableness of their conclusions made based on experiences then
  • triggered by events that match/support them --> info about trigger helps show nature of problematic schemas; help change situation Pt place themselves
  • distort many aspects of thinking and BEH, and can do so outside of awareness --> therapist shouldn’t accept Pt interpretations at face value
  • Schema-driven BEH can produce evidence that confirms schemas --> challenge Pt to chance BEH and test irrational belief to disconfirm them


Schema change requires schema activation.

What are some strategies?

  • Strategies: in-vivo exposure, imaginal exposure, empty chair and other gestalt intervention
  • This activation doesn’t necessarily produce intense emotional expression – it can also lea to dissociated emotional states, avoidance, or minization


What is emotion?

  • Broad label that is used to refer not only to a feeling, but also it’s associated cognitive and behavioural processes
  • Brief and often a response to a stimulus
  • Signal, provide, and evoke information to others


What makes emotion a multi-component phenomenon? 

  • Subjective emotional state – how we label the feeling
  • Physical sensations – what our bodies experience 
  • Behaviour – nonverbal and spoken languages, actions


What is (de)-synchronicity?

  • Synchrony
    • Subjective emotional states and physiological sensations go together in predictable ways
    • Presence of physiological state doesn’t prove emotional state; neither is more corret, they are just different aspects
  • De-Synchrony
    • emotional state not matching outward expression; mal/adaptiveness
    • Often adaptive  (e.g., experiencing despair w/o acting it)
    • Acceptance-based therapies teach strategies/promote de-synchrony
    • Can cause problems if not societally attuned


What are some mood states that have significant and somewhat different effects on judgement and decision makingdecision making?

  • Integral emotions: Trigged by considering decision consequences
  • Incidental emotions: arise from past events unrelated to present decision
  • Somatic marker hypothesis: automatic arousal responses are triggered by emotional events and mark them with an emotional signal


What is Interception?

ability to detect subtle bodily changes


What are the two emotion schools of thought? 

  • Discrete (or categorical): Distinct emotions (e.g., 6 basic emotions)
  • Dimensional: General emotions (e.g., positive and negative affect)


What are the two  distinct, but partially communicative systems that guide discrete emotions?

  • Core system: hard-wired; designed for evolutionary adaptive Fx
    • Bottom-up processing
    • Scans incoming environmental info for stereotype activation
    • Once activated, it tends to run it’s course
  • Control system: regulates core system activities
    • Top-down processing
    • Modifies core system input by changing appraisals
    • Inhibitory control can reduce experience of neg emo state


What are the 2 dimensional models of emotion that have implications for conceptualization and treatment of psychopathology?

  • The Approach and Withdrawal Model
  • Peter Lang’s Bioinformational Model


What is Peter Lang’s Bioinformational Model of dimensional emotion? 

  • Emotions are represented in memory as linked propositions/cognitions of three types:
    • Propositions about the stimulus element
    • Response elements
    • Meaning elements
  • If someone is presented w/ enough info that matches enough elements in the proposition, the emotion is triggered.


What are the components of the Approach and Withdrawal Model of dimensional emotion?

  • BEH inhibition system (BIS)
    • Orienting twds stimuli (non-reward, punishment, novelty), suppressing ongoing BEH, activating withdrawal BEH, which generates anxiety
    • Overactive --> biological basis of anxiety
  • BEH activation system (BAS)
    • Responds to signals of reward and non-punishment (safety signals) by facilitating pos affect approach
    • Underactive --> depression/anhedonia
    • Overactive --> mania and impulsivity
  • Flight-fight system (FFS)
    • Responds to unconditioned pain and frustrating non-reward with surges of arousal and action tendencies of escape, avoidance, defensiveness, and aggression
    • Underpinning of fear and panic reactions


What are the clinical implications of the Approach and Withdrawal Model of dimensional emotion?

  • Model accounts for high rates of comorbidity --> when BAS is activated, the BIS typically is also activated
  • Disparate range of negative affect Sx suggests that it is not always important to determine precise emotion to Tx effectively – large target Tx
  • Seeing emotional extremes as linked can help modulate extreme emotional experience and BEH
  • Focus more on increasing positive affect as oppose to decreasing negative affect – different effects


What is the EmoReg Process Model?

(SS, SM, AD, CC, RM)

  • Social selection --> 
    avoid potentially stressful situation
  • Situation modification --> 
    change social situation
  • Attention deployment --> 
    use attn. processes by focusing on distracting thoughts
  • Cognitive changes --> 
    use of cognitive reappraisal
  • Response modulation --> 
    hide anxious feelings (e.g., deep breathing)




  • Emo generation: immediate & spontaneous emotional response in given sit
  • Emo regulation: deliberate and effortful processes to change spontaneous emotional-state produced by emotion-generation process
  • Emotion-generative processes are auto-regulatory --> self-correcting
  • People who are capable of fine distinctions btwn emotions are better able to regulate them


What makes emotions maladaptive?

  • Maladaptive when emotions are out of proportion to situation or they are inflexible
  • Yerkes-Dodson Law: emotional arousal can improve one’s performance (people do not perform well on either of the extremes)
    • think of a bell-curve


Where do emotions come from?

  • Behaviours
  • Information-processing
  • Classical conditioning
  • Vicarious learning
  • Interpretations


Describe 3 ways emotions affect your interpretation.

  • Primacy of cognition: emotions are caused by thoughts and interpretations
    • Research disagrees somewhat because there are 2 distinct fear pathways: slow or top-down route and fast or bottom-up route (bypasses frontal cortex)
  • Affect-as-info hypothesis: use emotions to determine thoughts about things
  • Somatic-level hypothesis: feeling plays a role in judgment and decision-making


What do emotions effect?



How do emotions work with action-tendancies?

If we fail to override these, we end up with behavioural deficits or excess. In many cases, these are used as attempts to make the thing we perceive as causing distress to stop or go away


Technical Eclecticism


Theoretical Integrationism

  • Technical Eclecticisim
    • Using strategies from diff models of psychotherapy w/o subscribing to the underlying theory --> selected solely because they work
  • Theoretical Integrationism
    • Merging theoretical models or worldviews of difference schools of therapy creating a new hybrid of understanding the client


What creates good therapy?

  • Elements are independent of therapeutic orientation
    • Pay attn. to the client
    • Solid clinical relationship à empathy, genuineness, unconditional + regard
    • Facilitating positive expectations and hope
  • NBNS View (necessary but not sufficient)
    • Trusting collaborative relationship is the foundation on which technical intervention of CBT rest


What makes a good conceptualization?

  • Develop and share a clear understanding of what is wrong and why w/ the client
  • Grounded in idea that psychological problems consist of 3 elements: cognitive, emotional, and behavioural
  • Reciprocal escalation of these factors forms the core pathological process
  • Principle of parsimony: start w/ the simplest and most straightforward


What are the stages of the case formulation approach?

  • Assessment 
  • Case formulation & Diagnosis 
  • Treatment Planning & Informed Consent 
  • Treatment
  • Progress Monitoring throughout
  • End with Termination


What are elements of a case formulation?

  • Case formulation begins with developing a comprehensive problem list
  • Following component in a logically coherent order:
    • Describes all of the Pt Sx, disorders, and problems
    • Proposes hypotheses about mechanisms causing DO and problems
    • Proposes recent precipitants of the current disorders and problems 
    • Proposes the origins of the mechanisms
  • Helps therapist understand how apparently diverse problems are related and develop efficient treatment plan to address them
  • Mechanism hypotheses


How is a mechanism hypothesis for a case conceptualizatin developed?

  • Therapist begins with a nomothetic theory and individuals it to account for the case at hand, creating an idiographic mechanism hypothesis
  • Nomothetic formulation –general one (e.g., Beck’s theory of depression)
  • Developing idiographic mechanism hypothesis:
    • ID nomothetic formulation underpinning EST --> extrapolate and individualize the formation to account for Pt problems


What are the 3-levels of the case formulation?

  • Case-level
    • Extrapolation or extension of one or more disorder and symptom-level formulations
    • Guides process of Tx planning, especially the processes of setting goals and making decisions about which problems to tackle first
  • Disorder- or problem-level
  • Symptom-level
    • Most interventions happen at this level and are guided by this level


What needs to happen in order to obtain informed consent on a CBT case?

  • Review key info in a formal process to obtain the Pt informed consent to proceed with the proposed Tx
  • Also helps with adherence by getting the Pt agreement to goals and interventions before beginning the Tx


Name 8 common cognitive or behavioral ailments and their like interventions

  • Maladaptive BEH Responses
    • Directed BEH instructions for adaptive BEH – and practice in session
  • Unpleasant emotions and physiological sensations
    • Select interventions to reduce arousal (relaxation, exercise, distraction) or that teach greater ability to tolerate distress (exposure, mindfulness, acceptance)
  • Maladaptive interpretations and beliefs
    • Select interventions aimed at correcting erroneous thoughts (challenging cognitive distortions, Socratic questioning, BEH experiments) or teach the person to notice and accept thoughts w/o becoming bogged down by them
  • Trigger
    • It too toxic, alter environment
  • Attentional bias
    • Teach how to redirect attention toward less evocative stimuli
  • Memory bias
    • Cue to remember other info that would change their interpretations
  • Current contingencies
    • Alter current system of rewards/punishments so adaptive BEH rewarded
  • Core beliefs
    • Challenge using dialogue or constructing new experiences to alter beliefs