IBP Cognitive Psychology- Disorders in perception and attention-ch4

IBP: Introduction to cognitive psychology


Chapter 4: Disorders in perception and attention

Synaesthesia: A condition in which individuals presented with sensory input of one modality consistently and automatically experience a sensory event in a different modality

  • For example: seeing colour on hearing musical notes
  • Illustration of how a synaesthete would see numbers compared to how non-synaesthetes see them: http://www.scielo.br/img/revistas/dn/v9n1//1980-5764-dn-09-01-00016-gf02.jpg
  • Inducers: The triggers of synaesthetic experience
  • Synaesthesia is usually a unidirectional process; the letter A may give rise to the perception of red but not vice versa.
  • Synaesthetes are usually highly consistent – e.g.: Monday is always the smell of cheese
  • Even when blind, synaesthetes see colours on hearing or thinking about letters or numbers
  • Brain-imaging studies of synaesthesia:
    • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
    • Electroencephalography (EEG)
    • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • Most neural accounts of synaesthesia are based on the idea that regions related to the perception of the inducer (e.g. letter reading) become linked to regions related to the experience (e.g. colour perception) such that the occurrence of the former automatically activates the latter
  • Certain hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD can induce temporary synaesthetic experiences in non-synaesthetes, suggesting that the pathways connecting the different sensory modules exist in normal brains

Blinsight: the ability to respond to visual stimuli without consciously perceiving them

  • Scotomata (plural of scotoma): The areas of blindness
  • Perhaps blindsight patients are responding to light which was reflected from the object onto the functioning areas of the visual field
    • This doesn’t explain, however, how the patients can distinguish between X’s and O’s
  • While patients do not have any conscious experience of perception, at some level below that accessible to introspection, the visual system does have access to information about the outside world.
  • The most widely accepted explanation for blindsight is that we have two separate visual systems, one primitive non-striate system and a more advanced striate system
    • The primitive non-striate system: might be sensitive to movement, speed, and other potentially important characteristics of a stimulus without giving rise to conscious perception
    • Striate visual system: conscious perception. Perhaps
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Summaries & Study Note of Ilona
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