Experiment 1: Signal detection (decide whether a suspect is in the line-up)- Data: Yes NoSignal present Hits MissesSignal absent False alarms Correct rejection - The things that prevent us from detecting a signal is referred to as noise.- Sensitivity = the ability to distinguish a signal from noise.- Criterion= our tendency to detect a signal, regardless of whether it is really there or not.- Intern response > criterium: ‘yes’ Hits and false alarmsIntern response < criterium: ‘no’ Correct rejections and misses- Decisions whether a signal is present depend on the strength of the signal itself and on the characteristics of the person doing the detecting. Experiment 2: Mental rotation 3D (mentally rotate 3D-objects to decide whether they are similar)- When our mental representation of an object is bigger at a certain point of time, it is easier to answer questions about details of this object.- There is a strong relation between the degree of mental rotation that is necessary and the time it takes to make a judgement about an object’s similarity to another. Experiment 5: Attentional blink- During attentional blink experiments, participants usually don’t have any trouble reporting the first target. However, whether participants perceive the second target as well, depends on the time interval between the first and the second target. An explanation to this is that the working memory opens...

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      Cognitive Psychology - IBP Year 1 - Lecture notes

      Cognitive Psychology - IBP Year 1 - Lecture notes

      Lecture 1:                Chapter 1&2

      Chapter 1:

      - Cognitive psychology: the study of fundamental cognitive processes, such as: perception, attention, memory, language, etc.
      - Initially it was thought that each process had a specific place in the brain. This was founded to be untrue, though it is true that some processes have localised areas in the brain, though it always works together with other regions.
      - Cognitive psychology is different from Cognitive science because:
                  --> It works with levels of analysis instead iof the study of processes
                  --> It works more simulations

      - William James was the first cognitive psychologist -> we need to limit ourselves to observable events. The problem is that we do not learn much other than stimulus and response. Thus, we need to take cognitive processes into account.
      - The computer analogy: the human brain is an information processing device. There is an input, which then starts processing, resulting into an output.
      - Donders, end of 19th century: mental chronometry, aka the first response time experiment

      - Bottom up processing: all information comes from the stimulus
      Top-down: a concept in our brain influences the way we process information
      - The big question is: what is consciousness and why does is exist? Cognitive psychologists are materialists -> all that happens in the brain happens through material systems.

      Chapter 2:
      - Kant: we can’t see the world as it is, we can only see our own interpretation of it.
      - Does visual perception work bottom-up or top-down?
      - Template: internal schemas with information about objects and concepts. Gestalt laws: the perceptual organisation of separation of objects, using templates to figure out what objects are. The problem: we would need a lot of templates.
      - Feature theory: smaller templates of parts of a template -> important that features alone aren’t enough, you also need the relationship between them.

      - Marr’s theory: three phases of processing
                  1. Primal sketch: contrast and edges create foreground and background
                  2. 2.5-D sketch:  viewer centred perception
                  3. 3-D sketch:  object identification
      - Recognition-by-components: features are determined by Geons (geometric shapes)
      - Perception-for-recognition: naming what you are seeing.
      - Classification of visual illusions (Richard Gregory)
      1. Physical phenomena    2. Physiological phenomena      3.Top-down influence
      - Gibson: the only reason we perceive the world is in order to interact with it -> what can we do with the object that we see? This is called affordances (opportunities for action).
      - Perception-for-action theory:  affordance rich objects stimulate brain activity and action


      • What subjects are discussed during the lecture?

      Chapter 1 and 2 of the book are discussed; yet only the parts about visual perception.

      • What subjects are discussed that are not covered in the literature?


      • What recent developments in the area are discussed?


      • What remarks are made about the exam?

      We should only focus on the literature about visual perception. The information about the perception of other senses is excluded.

      • What questions are discussed that may be asked on the exam?


      Lecture 2:                Chapter 3

      - William James defined attention as focalization and concentration on specific information and simultaneously withdrawal of other information.

      Endogenous attention is intentional, top-down and controlled. Exogenous attention is unintentional, bottom-up and drawn by external stimuli.

      - Attention is limited: Under some circumstances, even large changes in our environment are not noticed = change blindness. An example of change blindness is the flicker paradigm, in which two slightly different images are alternated with a blank in between. 

      - Broadbent’s filter model of auditory attention: early selection. Experiment: Cherry’s dichotic listening task: Read back a story from one ear as it arrives and ignore the information you hear in the other ear. When one of the physical properties changes; a male voice becomes female, we notice. Ignored information is filtered in an early stage. 

      - Arguments against early selection:     

      1. Some information from the ear that you ignore is still noticed; for example your name; cocktail-party phenomenon.

      2. If the content of the story is switched to the other ear, we also notice.

      3. Unconscious fear response: We cause a conditioned fear response in ignored ear.

      4. Negative priming: Categorize a red image and ignore the blue image. Categorizing a hammer that is always red but now blue, is more difficult.

      5. Global-local task andEriksen flanker task

      - Other theories:      

                  --> Late selection; all information is processed but some is quickly forgotten.

                  --> Attenuation; important information is spared; information that is           unimportant is attenuated.

                  --> Capacity explanation; the amount of processing distracting information    depends on the capacity required to process the important information.


      - Forms of attention:

      1. Endogenous and overt; attention and the eyes fixate relevant information.

      Overt attention; focus of attention coincides with fixation point of eyes.

      2. Endogenous and covert attention; effortfully focus attention on something else than what your eyes fixate on. 

      3.Exogenous and covert attention; attention is drawn by external stimuli.

      4. Exogenous and overt attention; attention and eyes are drawn to a position where another person is looking at. Gaze following is a learning mechanism that helps to learn shared attention. It is often used in commercial advertising.


      - Visual and auditory attention are not independent. Attention is visually dominant. Example: McGurk effect: What we see overrides what we hear; a ‘ba’ sound can be interpreted different when the facial expression doesn’t match the ‘ba’ sound.

      Feature integration theory (FIT) is a theory about visual search. It states that the brain works with feature maps. When we search based on one feature we can use one feature map, which is fast: feature search or pop-out search. When we search based on multiple features, we need to bind features from different maps, which is slow: conjunction search.This is easier when distractions are visually similar.


      - Lavie’s perceptual load theory: Two factors determine what happens to ignored information: 1. How much processing capacity does the main target require? And 2. How much cognitive control do you need to ignore the irrelevant information? 

      When perceptual load is low, irrelevant information is more easily processed. 

      - De Fockert’s working memory load: When there is more demand on cognitive control, irrelevant information is more distracting.

      - The Gorilla experiment is a good example of a case in which there is high perceptual load and therefore irrelevant information goes unnoticed.


      Attentional blink is an example of when sometimes even relevant information is suppressed. 

      - Automatic routine tasks are easy to combine with other tasks and sensitive to slips; repeating steps or replacing them by other sub-steps. Controlled relatively new tasks are hard to combine with other tasks.

      - The Supervisory Attention System (SAS) activates a schema or schemas that is/are applicable to a situation.

      Multitasking results in both tasks being done less effective. Multitasking while driving works better for experienced drivers. With enough practice it is sometimes possible to perform two tasks simultaneously. 

      - Disadvantages of automatic action: We can’t really explain how we perform a skill. 


      • What subjects are discussed during the lecture?

      Chapter 3 of the book is discussed.

      • What subjects are discussed that are not covered in the literature?


      • What recent developments in the area are discussed?


      • What remarks are made about the exam?


      • What questions are discussed that may be asked on the exam?


      Lecture 3:                Chapter 4

      Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)is characterized by pathological attention. Symptom: easily distractible, age-inappropriate impulsivity, hyperactivity.

      There is a relative high prevalence of ADHD; 5-7%.

      - Patients with ADHD are often prescribed methylphenidate. Amphetamines and tricyclic antidepressant are other medications. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is effective as well.

      CNS stimulantsimprove the teachers’ and parents’ ratings of hyperactive and impulsive behaviour. 

      - People with ADHD have a slightly thinner cortex. 

      - Some controversy exists around ADHD: “ADHD diagnosis is a socially constructed explanation to describe behaviours that do not meet prescribed social norms”.

      - As we know from the previous lecture, attentional blink performance increases with distraction. However, patients with ADHD perform worse on attentional blink experiments compared to a control group.


      Synaesthesia (joint sensation)can take on different forms: visual/visual, auditory/visual, visual/taste, days/numbers in spatial patterns.

      - Synaesthesia has equal distribution in males and females, however there are differences in the forms it takes on between genders. 

      - Synaesthesia works unidirectional: ‘Monday’ induces ‘red’, however, ‘red’ does not induce ‘Monday’. 

      - Subjects have a strong memory of the moment they discovered that not everyone had these synesthetic experiences.

      - The association (e.g. a colour) is determined by the interpretation of the stimulus, not its pure shape; so the context is of influence.

      - Imaging studies towards synaesthesia have theorized that the area that is involved in for example letter recognition is linked to or overlaps more with the area involved in for example colour sensation.

      - People with synaesthesia often have an above average quality of perception.

      - Ramachandran: For people with synaesthesia, there is a spread of nerve activation.

      Booba-Kiki effect:The figure with the sharp edges is most often defined as the Kiki and the figure with the round edges is most often defined as the Booba.

      - Related to this effect is the McCollough effect: A relationship between colour and spatial information (graphemes) can easily be conditioned.


      - Blindness is the results of disorders of the eye, damage to the optic nerve or disorders of the visual cortex. 

      - Some patients who report to be blind can in fact respond to visual stimuli. Blindsight is the ability to respond to visual stimuli despite cortical blindness. 

      - Weiskrantz’s experiment: Patients have no conscious perception, however when asked to choose between two answers they choose the correct answer above chance level.

      - Blindsight: The dorsal route (where and how) seems to work and the ventral route (what-channel; shape) does not work.


      - Patients with unilateral spatial neglect are not blind, but neglect stimuli on one side of the body (often left), or neglecting one side of an object.

      - Patients with unilateral spatial neglect are possible to see things if they are pointed to them. The neglect often spans different modalities; so also sound or touch for example. 

      - Sometimes neglect is limited to the “peri-personal space” (the space within a patient’s arm reach). 

      - Patients do have some implicit knowledge about the object that is neglected. 

      - Neglect often occurs after sleep deprivation. Therapies to treat this are neck muscle stimulation to induce re-orientation and adaptation to rightward deviating prism lenses.

      - Left neglect is possibly due to a strong left hemisphere.


      Visual agnosia is characterized by the inability to recognize objects, without dysfunctions in visual acuity, memory, language or intelligence.

      - Patients with form agnosia are unable to perceive shapes; they cannot draw, match or describe elements. Patients with integrative agnosia aren’t able to recognize shapes. They are able to describe elements, but are unable to recognize the total.

      - Agnosia can be category-specific, characterized by specific impairment in recognizing for example living objects.


      Prosopagnosia is characterized by impairment in face recognition. Patients cannot remember the person associated with a face. 

      - The fusiform face area is the brain area that is responsible for face recognition. Patients with prosopagnosia often have bilateral damage to this brain area.

      - A cognitive perspective on prosopagnosia is that patients have trouble at some point in the face recognition model.

      Capgras delusionis characterized by the delusion that an identical-looking imposter has replaced a partner, friend or family member. This is the opposite of porospagnosia; there is explicit recognition, but no implicit recognition.

      - The Fregoli delusion is the delusion where the patient believes that different people are in fact one and the same person, changing appearance. Patients are often paranoid in nature and believe that they are being followed by this person.


      • What subjects are discussed during the lecture?

      Chapter 4 of the book is discussed.

      • What subjects are discussed that are not covered in the literature?


      • What recent developments in the area are discussed?


      • What remarks are made about the exam?


      • What questions are discussed that may be asked on the exam?


      Lecture 4:                Chapter 5

      - William James distinguished the primary memory; the content of immediate consciousness, and the secondary memory; everything that has to be retrieved to become conscious. The computer metaphor is used to describe the relationship between these two memories; the primary memory is the cache memory and the secondary memory is the hard disk.

      - The multi-store model of memory distinguishes the long-term memory (LTM) and the short-term memory (STM). 

      - Atkinson & Shiffrin assumed the short-term memory was the smaller memory with input from the senses. Some information is immediately forgotten; other information is stored in the long-term memory.


      - The scientific evidence for the existence of two different memory systems: 

      - STM-LTM model evidence: In general, people can remember 7 +/- 2 letters from a series of nine letters. However, when people have to do another task, they generally do worse at memorizing the letters. The STM has a capacity of 7+/- 2 with duration of maximum 20 sec. Encoding is required to be able to memorize information for a longer period of time.

      - Neuropsychological evidence: Amnesia patients have a normal STM but a defective LTM. Patients with local lesions have a defective STM but a normal LTM.

      - STM-LTM model evidence: The recency effect; the sooner participants are asked to memorize information, the more information they are able to retrieve.

      The dual store model describes the STM as a system with a small capacity and brief duration in which information can be maintained in active format. The LTM is a system with a large (unlimited) capacity and long duration in which information is stored in a passive format.

      - There are problems with the dual store model:

                  --> The Stroop task experiments for example, showed that the word information (LTM-codes) is already active when we try to name the colour (STM). So the STM and LTM interact.

                  --> The STM’s capacity has to be measured in meaningful entities, but these are LTM codes. So LTM codes are activated in the STM. The STM seems not to precede the LTM, but follow it. 


      - In the development of theorizing about the STM, the STM got renamed as the working memory. The WM manipulates incoming information by using the activated LTM. The information is transferred to the LTM where information is retained and activated to the WM again; where the information is manipulated again.

      - The WM is a ‘mental workspace’ for complex tasks (reasoning, understanding and decision-making) and for the control of behaviour (suppressing or executing actions).

      - The WM consist of the visual, auditory and coordinating subsystems.

      Dual-tasks methodology demonstrates the existence of the separate subsystems of the working memory. Dual-tasks experiment provided proof: Visual serial positions task: “Remember visually presented words and at the same time auditory presented numbers”. Recall of the numbers had no effect on recall of the visually encoded words in the WM.


      - The capacity of the phonological loop: With immediate recall of words we recall more short words than long words. So, the capacity of the phonological loop is a fixed amount (duration) of speech sounds that we can encode.

      - The phonological loop presumably has two subsystems: the phonological store and articulatory loop. The articulatory loop: Worse recall if articulation of words is suppressed by counting aloud. The phonological store: Similarity-effect: Letters that sound similar are more difficult to retain than letters with distinctive sounds.

      - Functions of the phonological loop:    

                  1. Understanding language by maintaining speech signals for further analysis.

                  2. Learning to read

                  3. Language proficiency

                  4. Language acquisition: ‘Less-is-more effect’: Children have a limited           phonological loop. They can only encode and understand short sentences. This actually helps with language learning, especially grammar acquisition.

                  It is also why it is more difficult to learn a language at a higher age.


      - If there is a visual subsystem, we would expect that performing two visual-spatial tasks is difficult and performing one visual and one phonological task

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