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Archive for May 2008

PSY 101 Recorded Lectures

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[splashcast DMVU2076EO]

This is and Entire semester worth of recorded lectures for Psychology 101.

Written by Joseph Eulo

May 28, 2008 at 3:11 pm

The Brain’s Functions III: Managing Thought and Memory

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What part of the brain process thoughts and memories?

The association cortex which makes up the unspecified areas of the cerebral cortex, is concerned with consciousness—awareness of self and the ability to think about the past and imagine the future.

The association areas called frontal lobes play a key role in such human capabilities as solving problems, planning, and relating the past to the present.

The hippocampus appears to be essential in transforming new information into semantic and episodic memories, but not procedural memories.

In what ways does the brain grow and develop after birth?

How do the left and right hemispheres differ?

The right hemisphere of the brain deals with the left side of the body. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and the use of language; in most people, it is the dominant hemisphere.

The two hemispheres are in constant communication through the corpus callosum, a thick cable of interconnecting neurons.

Experiments with patients whose corpus callosum has been cut—split-brain patients—indicate that the left hemisphere specializes in individual items of information, logic, and reasoning; the right hemisphere specializes in information about from, space, music, and entire patterns and is the intuitive half of the brain.

The Brain’s Functions III: Managing Thought & Memory: Definitions

Association Cortex

Diverse areas of the cortex that contribute to self-awareness and the ability to think about the past and imagine the future.

Frontal lobes

The front portions of the brain that play a key role in problem solving and planning.

Hippocampus

The part of the brain that transfers information from short-term memory to long-term memory.

Corpus callosum

The structure of the brain that connects the right and left hemispheres of the cerebrum and enables these hemispheres to interact

The Brain’s Functions II: Overseeing Emotions and Survival

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What brain structures are involved in experiencing emotion?

The limbic system, a network of brain structures and pathways, helps regulate emotional behavior.

One of these structures the amygdala comes into play in experience of such intense emotions as anger, fear, or joy.

A prominent part of the limbic system is the hypothalamus—the brain’s most direct link to the body glands that are active in emotions. The master gland the pituitary gland, is connected to the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus plays a role in maintaining Homeostasis, the state of dynamic equilibrium among physiological processes.

The medulla is also responsible for coordinating a number of essential bodily processes, including breathing, heart rate, and digestion.

How are our body functions regulated to keep us alive?

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) exercises more or less independent control over the endocrine glands, the heart muscles, and the muscles of the body’s organs and blood vessels. It helps regulate breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and digestion; in times of emergency it works in conjunction with the endocrine glands to mobilize the body’s resources.

The endocrine glands influence behavior by secreting hormones into the bloodstream. The most important endocrine glands are the following:

  1. The pineal, which affects sleep-waking rhythms and mood.
  2. The pituitary, which produces hormones that control growth, cause sexual development at puberty, and regulate other glands.
  3. The parathyroid, which maintain a normal state of excitability of the nervous system.
  4. The thyroid, which regulates metabolism and affects levels of body activity, temperature, and weight.
  5. The adrenals, which secrete the powerful stimulants epinephrine (active in states of emergency or fear) and norepinephrine (active during physical effort or anger).
  6. The pancreas, which governs blood sugar level.
  7. The female ovaries and male
    testes
    , which regulate sexual characteristics and behavior.

The Brain’s Functions II: Overseeing Emotions and Survival: Limbic System


Limbic System

The Limbic System is a group of brain structures that play a role in emotion, memory, and motivation. For example, electrical stimulation of the amygdala in laboratory animals can provoke fear, anger, and aggression. The hypothalamus regulates hunger, thirst, sleep, body temperature, sexual drive, and other functions.

Homeo-stasis

A state of equilibrium, or balance, in the physiological systems within the human body.

Limbic System

The set of interconnected structures and pathways in the brain involved with emotion and memory.

Amy-g-dala

The part of the limbic system that plays a role in intense positive or negative emotions.

Hypo-thala-mus

The portion of the limbic system that serves as a mediator between the brain and the body and helps control metabolism, sleep, hunger, thirst, body temperature, sexual behavior, and emotions.

Pit-u-i-tary Gland

The master endocrine gland, which secrets hormones controlling growth and sexual development at puberty and regulating other endocrine glands.

The Brain’s Functions II: Overseeing Emotions and Survival: Definitions

Endocrine glands

Glands that discharge hormones directly into the bloodstream, bringing about a variety of physiological and psychological changes.

Medulla

The structure in the brain stem that helps regulates breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, and digestion.

Autonomic nervous system (ANS)

The neural network connecting the CNS with glands and smooth muscles, involved in maintaining Homeostasis.

Para-sympathetic division of the ANS

A part of the nervous system made up of scattered ganglia near the glands of the muscles of organs. It helps maintain functions such as heartbeat and digestion.

Sympathetic division of the ANS

Long chains of ganglia that extend down the sides of the spinal cord and activate the glands and smooth muscle for “fight” or “flight”



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The Brain’s Functions I: Experiencing the World

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What brain structures process incoming sensory stimulation?

The specialized area of the cerebral cortex responsible for analyzing and interpreting messages from the sense organs is referred to as the somatosensory cortex.

The thalamus is a relay and processing center for incoming sensory messages and outgoing bodily commands.

The reticular activation system (RAS) is another sensory processing center; it helps keep the upper parts of the brain in an appropriate state of arousal, attention, and activity

 

What brain structures initiate and coordinate body movements?

The specialized strip on the cerebral cortex that controls body movements and speech is the motor cortex.

The cerebellum controls body balance and coordination of complex muscular movements; its two lobes are connected by the pons.

 

 

The Brain’s Functions I: Experiencing the World: Definitions

Somatosensory complex

The specialized area of the cerebral cortex responsible for analyzing and interpreting messages from the sense organ.

Thalamus

The brain’s relay station for messages to and from the body. 

Reticular activating system (RAS)

A network of neural cells in the brain stem that serves as a way station for messages from the sense organs.

Motor cortex

The specialized strip on the cerebral cortex that controls body movement. 

Cerebellum

A brain structure involved in controlling balance and movement. 

Pons

The brain structure connecting the two hemispheres of the cerebellum.

 

Written by Joseph Eulo

May 28, 2008 at 1:50 pm

The Brain-Behavior Link

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What effects do the major neurotransmitters and other biochemicals have on behavior?

Anything that alters the amount and effectiveness of neurotransmitters in the brain is likely to profoundly influence thoughts, feelings, and behavior in general.

Among the best known neurotransmitters are acetylcholine, involved in PNS activities such as motor functions and also many CNS activities, and glutamate, known to play a role in learning and memory.

The catecholamines include norepinephrine (involved in arousal as well as depression) and dopamine (involved in goal-directed motor behaviors and numerous mental and behavioral disorders). Serotonin is also involved in mental and behavioral disorders, including depression.

Peptides act like neurotransmitter or like hormones. One important peptide, corticotrophin-release factor (CRF), is secreted by the hypothalamus, stimulates the pituitary, and leads to production of Cortisol by the adrenal glands. Another important group is the endorphins the body’s natural painkillers.

Why can’t the physical processes of the nervous system tell us everything we want to know about behavior?

Just as biological factors affect human behavior, psychological and environmental forces (behavioral factors), in reciprocal fashion, affect biology.

 

The Brain-Behavior Link: Definitions

Acetylcholine

A neurotransmitter involved in motor activity and numerous CNS functions

Glutamate

An abundant neurotransmitter known to play a primary role in learning and memory.

Nore-pine-phrine

A neurotransmitter involved in arousal and depression. 

Dopamine

An abundant neurotransmitter involved in goal-related motor behaviors and various mental and behavioral disorders including schizophrenia. 

Serotonin 

A neurotransmitter involved in various mental and behavioral disorders, including depression.

Peptides 

Essential biochemicals that may function like neurotransmitters or hormones. 

Corticotrophin-release factor (CRF) 

A neuropeptide secreted by the hypothalamus.

Cortisol 

The hormone secreted by the adrenal gland during emotional upset of in response to pain. 

Endorphins 

Neuropeptide that serve as natural painkillers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Joseph Eulo

May 28, 2008 at 1:46 pm

How Neuroscientist Study the Brain and Mind

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How does brain imaging work and what does it tell us?

In mapping the brain and studying its structures and functions, researchers once had to rely on changes in behavior that were attributable to brain damage. They later began studying brain lesions in laboratory animals and using electrical brain stimulation (EBS) in humans.

Computerized tomography (CT) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are methods of studying brain structures but not brain functioning.

Positron emission tomography (PET) and Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are methods of studying brain structures and pathways, as well as what they do, in an ongoing manner.

How do neuroscientists measure electrical changes and what do they tell us?

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a method of measuring overall brain electrical activity. Quantitative Electroencephalography (QEEG) allows measurement of precise event-related potentials (ERPs).

 

How Neuroscientist Study the Brain and Mind: Definitions


MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Scan

Radiology uses X rays and other forms of radiant energy to both diagnose and treat diseases. This magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of a normal adult head shows the brain, airways, and soft tissues of the face. The large cerebral cortex, appearing in yellow and green, forms the bulk of the brain tissue; the circular cerebellum, center left, in red, and the elongated brainstem, center, in red, are also prominently visible.

Computerized tomography (CT)

A structural brain imaging method that uses X-rays to produce two-dimensional images.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

A structural brain imaging method that uses the magnetic properties of brain tissue to produce two or three dimensional images.

Positron emission tomography (PET)

A functional brain imagining method that uses the brain’s metabolism of substances containing radioactive isotopes to produce ongoing brain images.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

A functional brain imaging method that uses the brain’s natural metabolism of oxygen to produce ongoing brain images.

Electro-encephalography

A method of measuring overall brain electrical activity using electrodes placed on the scalp.

Quantitative Electroencephalography (QEEG)

A method of assessing brain activity that uses a large array of electrodes in a skull cap to measure and localize minute electrical reactions to areas of the brain.

 

Written by Joseph Eulo

May 28, 2008 at 1:33 pm

How the Brain Governs Behavior

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How do the neurons work and what do they do?

The brain governs all physical and psychological functions through its connection with other parts of the body.

The brain contains many billions of neurons, or neural cells; each neuron receives messages, processes them, and transmits them to thousands of other neurons throughout the body.Some neurons act as glands and transmit into the bloodstream various hormones, which affect the bodily functioning in areas distant from the brain. The brain also contains even more billions of glia, which performs functions such as regulating the biochemical environment of the brain, helping sustain neurons, modulating neural transmissions, and helping guide early brain development and maturation. Each neuron in the nervous system is a fiberlike cell with receivers call dendrites at one end and senders call terminal braches at the other. Stimulation of the neurons at its dendrites—or receptor sites on its cell body—sets off an electrical impulse that travels the length of the axon to the terminal branches. There the stage is set for stimulation or inhibition of other neurons, as well as muscles or glands. Other important structures include the nucleus, myelin sheath, and nodes.

A neuron ordinarily fires in accord with the all-or-none principle. The key to the transmissions of nervous messages is the synapse, a junction where the sender of one neuron is separated by only a microscopic distance from the receiver of another neuron. When the neuron fires, it releases neurotransmitters, which flow across the synaptic cleft and act on receiving neurons.

What constitutes the central nervous system?

The central nervous system (CNS) is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. The neurons of CNS affect functions and behavior throughout the rest of the body through the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Afferent Neurons carry information from the sense organs to the brain; efferent neurons carry messages from the brain to the glands and muscles; and interneurons are the intermediaries between other neurons in the CNS.

 

Why do psychologist and other scientist place so much emphasis on understanding the functions of the brain’s outer surface?

The topmost and largest area of the brain is the cerebrum, which is covered by the cerebral cortex; each is divided down the middle into a left hemisphere and a right hemisphere.

The cerebral cortex, which is larger in relation to body size in human beings that in any other species, is the part of the brain primarily responsible for higher processes such as thinking, remembering, and planning. When damaged, it sometimes displays remarkable plasticity.

 

How the Brain Governs Behavior: Neuron Definitions


Neuron

The Neural cell; the basic unit of the nervous system

Dendrites 

The primary “receiving” parts of a neuron. 

Receptors Sites 

Spots on the cell body of a neuron that, like the dendrites, can be stimulated by other neurons. 

Cell Body 

The part of a neuron that converts oxygen, sugars and other nutrients into energy

Nucleus 

The core of the cell body of a neuron or other cell, containing the genes. 

Axon 

The fibrous body of a neuron that carries the neural impulse to the terminal branches. 

Myelin sheath

A whitish coating of fatty protective tissue that “insulates” the axons of neurons.

Nodes

Constrictions of the myelin sheath of an axon that act as booster stations for neural impulses.

Terminal branches 

The parts of a neuron that send messages to other neurons or to muscles or glands. 

Synapse 

The connecting point where a terminal branch of one neuron is only a microscopic distance from a dendrite or receptor site of another neuron.

Neurotransmitters 

Biochemicals released at neuron synapses that aid or inhibit neural transmission. 

Hormone

A biochemical that typically is released into the bloodstream to perform its function at locations distance form the brain, but that can also effect brain functioning itself.

Glia

Cells that perform a wide array of functions such as regulating the biochemical environment of the brain, helping sustain neurons, modulating neural transmissions, and aiding in the repair of neurons in case of injury. They are also important in early brain development.

All-or-none Principle

The general rule that a neuron either fires or doesn’t

 

How the Brain Governs Behavior: CNS Definitions



Functions of the Cerebral Cortex

Many motor and sensory functions have been “mapped” to specific areas of the cerebral cortex, some of which are indicated here. In general, these areas exist in both hemispheres of the cerebrum, each serving the opposite side of the body. Less well defined are the areas of association, located mainly in the frontal cortex, operative in functions of thought and emotion and responsible for linking input from different senses. The areas of language are an exception: both Wernicke’s area, concerned with the comprehension of spoken language, and Broca’s area, governing the production of speech, have been pinpointed on the cortex.

Spinal Cord 

The thick cable of neurons that mostly connects PNS neurons to the brain. 

Central Nervous System (CNS) 

The brain and the spinal cord 

Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

The network of neurons outside of the CNS 

Interneuron 

A CNS neuron that carries messages between neurons. 

Cerebral cortex 

Among its many other functions, the part of the brain responsible for thinking, remembering, and planning. 

Cerebrum 

The large brain mass that is covered by the cerebral cortex. 

Plasticity 

The power of the brain to reorganize and shift functions. 

 

Written by Joseph Eulo

May 28, 2008 at 1:12 pm

The Brain, Nervous System and Behavior

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Neuron: The basic unit of the nervous system, the “nerve cell” is a long thin call which receives, processes, and generates “messages” (neurological impulses) to and from the brain, as well as within the brain itself.

The neuron is made up of various structures

Dendrites – the receptors of the neuron which receive stimulation.

Cell body – the part of the neuron which perfume metabolic activity, generates nervous impulses, and transmits outgoing impulses;

Cell nucleus – the “core” of the neuron which contains the genetic material;

Axon – the fiber shaped part of the neuron which transmits impulses to other neurons or receptors by forwarding them to the end of the branches (axon terminals) where they are released to other neurons, muscles or glands of the body;

Myelin sheath – the fatty protective tissue that covers, insulates and protects neurons, as well as speeding up the process of neural transmissions;

The nodes (nodes of Ranvier) – the constriction along the axon which serves to speed up the transmission of neurological transmissions;

Terminal branches – The parts of a neuron that send messages to other neurons or to muscles or glands.

Synaptic knobs (“bouton”) – enlarges tips at the end of the axon terminals (end branches) where the synaptic vesicles are located.

Synaptic vesicles – the very tiny “sacks” which contain neurotransmitters;

Synapse – the space between the axon of one neuron and the dendrites of another

 

 

Types of neurons

Afferent Neurons

Neurons which transmit impulses from the various sensory organs to the central nervous system (also known as sensory neurons).

Association Neurons 

Neurons which transmit impulses between neurons within the nervous system (also known as connecting neurons).

Efferent neurons 

Neurons which transmit impulses from the central nervous system to various glands, muscles, and organs systems of the body.

 

 

Branches of the Nervous System

Central Nervous System (CNS)
The part of the nervous system which consists of the brain and spinal cord.

Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

The part of the nervous system that is made up of nerves (bundles of neurons “ganglia” ) which exist outside the brain and spinal cord, that extend throughout the body. 

Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
The part of the nervous system that extends down the sides of the spinal cord that extend (with many connections to the spinal cord), which connect the central nervous to the various glands and smooth muscle of the body. Ther are two divisions of the ANS,:

  1. The Sympathetic Division: (which “activates” the various glands and muscles to prepare the body for “fight of flight”).
  2. The Parasympathetic Division (which slows down the body, promotes relaxation, regulates heart beat and digestion, etc.)

 

The human brain and Central Nervous System (CNS) have been described as the most complex living structure in the known universe. Although rather unimpressive in its appearance, (about the size and shape of a cantaloupe weighing about three and one half pounds) the brain contains billions of neurons and trillion of synaptic connections among them. The brain regulates and controls all of the physical and psychological functions of the human being

Subcortical structures of the brain

Subcortical refers to all the parts of the brain that lie under the cerebral cortex

 

Subcortical Structures of the brain


Brainstem

As the spinal cord enters the head, it enlarges and becomes the brainstem (the “hindbrain” or “old brain”), the oldest part of the brain where neurological messages are received; the entry of the twelve cranial nerves that control all vital functions and coordinate reflexes.

Medulla 

Responsible for circulation, respiration, digestion, and coordinating autonomic nervous system function; relay station.

Pons

Connects the two hemispheres of the cerebellum, organize reflexes associated with posture, helps maintain balance and equilibrium; helps organize basic movement patters working in coordination with the medulla.

Cerebellum 

(Term means “little brain”) coordinates muscular activity and most important function is to initiate and control rapid movement of the limbs (i.e. run, jump a hurdle, kick a ball, throw a ball, etc.); receive and integrate information from various senses and determines which muscle groups to activate.

 

 

 

Subcortical Structures of the brain: Midbrain

Midbrain

The region between the “old brain” and the evolutionary “new brain” or cerebrum (Latin word for brain); it is the second anatomical structure to have evolved and is made up of several structures whose functions are interrelated.

Reticular Activation System (RAS)

A network of nerves that controls attention, wakefulness, alertness and states or arousal; serves as a relay station for messages from sensory organs.

Thalamus

A major relay station for information from the body to the cerebral cortex.

Hypothalamus

A small but extraordinary important structure connected to the structures of the limbic system, and directly involved in regulating the internal environment of the body by influencing the autonomic nervous system, controlling the release of hormones, controlling certain drives such as hunger, thirst, sexual arousal, regulating body temperature and helps regulate emotional states such as lust, fear, and rage.

Limbic System 

(from the Latin word limbus meaning border or edge) this structure is the border between the older evolutionary parts of the brain (below) and the newest part of the brain (above) and is made up of the Amygdala (connected with the olfactory sense [smell] and its relation to certain drives and emotions), and the Hippocampus (critical to the formation of memories).

 

 

Anatomically the uppermost part of the brain and the “newest” part in the evolutionary sense, and the mass of tissue which surrounds the suborbital structures, some times referred to as the forebrain, neocortex, or “new brain”.

 

cortical Structures of the brain

Cerebral Cortex

The outer part of the brain (cortex from the Latin word for “bark” in anatomical use means outer layer of a structure). It is by far the largest part of the human brain, accounting for about 80 percent of its volume, and its surface area is much greater that it appears because it folds inward in many places. Approximately one third of the surface is visible, and the remaining two thirds is buried within the folds. The cerebral cortex is divided into left and right hemispheres, and each hemisphere is further divided into four lobes that are demarked by rather prominent folds. the lobes are the Frontal, Parietal, Temporal, and the Occipital lobes.

Left Hemisphere

Receives sensory messages from and controls the right side of the body; associated with analytical thought, language and speech, writing, mathematical calculations, step-by-step reasoning, critical thought and other intellectual functions.

Right Hemisphere

Receives sensory messages form and controls the left side of the body; associated with spatial orientation and spatial relationships, pattern recognition, emotionality, music, unstructured thought, intuition and creativity.

Corpus collosum

A thick bundle of interconnecting neurons that connects the two hemispheres and assures constant communication between them.

Frontal lobes 

Association cortex associated with planning, problem solving, relating past to present, thinking and a variety of other higher mental processes, including memory. 

Sensor-i-motor Cortex

A specialized strip behind the frontal lobes which regulates voluntary movement of the body in response to impulses from other parts of the cortex. 

Temporal Lobes 

Associated with processing auditory stimuli ad language formation. 

Parietal Lobes 

Associated with integrating and processing sensory, bodily sensation, touch, texture, etc.

Occipital Lobes 

Associated with processing visual stimuli. 

 

Important Terms and Concepts

Afferent Neurons 

Neurons which transmit impulses from the various sensory organs to the central nervous system (also known as sensory neurons).

Association Neurons 

Neurons which transmit impulses between neurons within the nervous system (also known as connecting neurons).

Association Cortex

 

Axon 

the fiber shaped part of the neuron which transmits impulses to other neurons or receptors by forwarding them to the end of the branches (axon terminals) where they are released to other neurons, muscles or glands of the body;

Brain imaging 

 

CAT scan 

 

Cell body 

the part of the neuron which perfume metabolic activity, generates nervous impulses, and transmits outgoing impulses;

Central Nervous System (CNS) 

The part of the nervous system which consists of the brain and spinal cord.

Cerebellum 

(Term means “little brain”) coordinates muscular activity and most important function is to initiate and control rapid movement of the limbs (i.e. run, jump a hurdle, kick a ball, throw a ball, etc.); receive and integrate information from various senses and determines which muscle groups to activate.

Cerebral Cortex 

The outer part of the brain (cortex from the Latin word for “bark” in anatomical use means outer layer of a structure). It is by far the largest part of the human brain, accounting for about 80 percent of its volume, and its surface area is much greater that it appears because it folds inward in many places. Approximately one third of the surface is visible, and the remaining two thirds is buried within the folds. The cerebral cortex is divided into left and right hemispheres, and each hemisphere is further divided into four lobes that are demarked by rather prominent folds. the lobes are the Frontal, Parietal, Temporal, and the Occipital lobes

Connecting neuron 

 

Corpus collosum 

A thick bundle of interconnecting neurons that connects the two hemispheres and assures constant communication between them

Electroencephalogram (EEG) 

 

Dendrite 

the receptors of the neuron which receive stimulation.

Efferent neurons 

Neurons which transmit impulses from the central nervous system to various glands, muscles, and organs systems of the body.

Endocrine glands 

 

Endorphins 

 

Frontal lobes 

Association cortex associated with planning, problem solving, relating past to present, thinking and a variety of other higher mental processes, including memory

Ganglia 

 

Glia cells 

 

Hippocampus 

 

Hypothalamus 

A small but extraordinary important structure connected to the structures of the limbic system, and directly involved in regulating the internal environment of the body by influencing the autonomic nervous system, controlling the release of hormones, controlling certain drives such as hunger, thirst, sexual arousal, regulating body temperature and helps regulate emotional states such as lust, fear, and rage.

Left hemisphere 

Receives sensory messages from and controls the right side of the body; associated with analytical thought, language and speech, writing, mathematical calculations, step-by-step reasoning, critical thought and other intellectual functions.

Limbic system 

(from the Latin word limbus meaning border or edge) this structure is the border between the older evolutionary parts of the brain (below) and the newest part of the brain (above) and is made up of the Amygdala (connected with the olfactory sense [smell] and its relation to certain drives and emotions), and the Hippocampus (critical to the formation of memories).

Medulla 

Responsible for circulation, respiration, digestion, and coordinating autonomic nervous system function; relay station.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 

A structural brain imaging method that uses the magnetic.

Myelin sheath 

the fatty protective tissue that covers, insulates and protects neurons, as well as speeding up the process of neural transmissions;

Neurons 

The basic unit of the nervous system, the “nerve cell” is a long thin call which receives, processes, and generates “messages” (neurological impulses) to and from the brain, as well as within the brain itself.

Neuroscience 

 

Neurotransmitter 

 

Nodes 

the constriction along the axon which serves to speed up the transmission of neurological transmissions;

Nucleus 

the “core” of the neuron which contains the genetic material;

Parasympathetic division 

which slows down the body, promotes relaxation, regulates heart beat and digestion, etc.)

Peripheral Nervous System

The part of the nervous system that is made up of nerves (bundles of neurons “ganglia” ) which exist outside the brain and spinal cord, that extend throughout the body.

Positron emission tomography (PET) 

 

Pituitary gland 

 

Reticular Activation System (RAS)

A network of nerves that controls attention, wakefulness, alertness and states or arousal; serves as a relay station for messages from sensory organs

Right hemisphere 

Receives sensory messages form and controls the left side of the body; associated with spatial orientation and spatial relationships, pattern recognition, emotionality, music, unstructured thought, intuition and creativity.

Written by Joseph Eulo

May 28, 2008 at 8:44 am

PSY101: Unit III: Memory Handout

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Memory

In order to remember, it is necessary to organize, store, maintain, and retrieve information. In order to do so the following processes are used:

  • Encoding: arranging information into a form so that it can be stored.
  • Storing: maintaining information and knowledge for future use.
  • Retrievel: locating and recalling stored information for use.

Three component model of memory

The idea that memory consist of three stages:

  • Sensory Memory: where information is “picked up” when it is taken in by the various senses; lasting only a few seconds.
  • Short-term Memory: where information is forwarded for processing (i.e. scanning, rehearsal, encoding); limited storage capacity (hold 5-9 items).
  • Long-term Memory: where information is permanently stored for an undetermined period of time (i.e. a lifetime).

There are various processes used to facilitate information storage which include Mnemonic Devices, “Chunking” (short term), and “Clustering” (long term memory).

Three general types of memory

  1. Procedural Memory: learned associations, habits, patterns of behavior, routine ways of doing things, habitual response associations.
  2. Semantic Memory: language based information, factual data, and verbal knowledge.
  3. Episodic Memory: autobiographical record of memories derived from personal life experiences.

Levels of Information Processing

The various methods (levels) of processing cognitive information.

  1. Maintenance Rehearsal: rote repetition of information in order to retain for a short period of time.
  2. Elaborative Rehearsal: to form associations, classifications, and categories of information in order to make it meaningful (forming connections).
  3. Concept Formation and Utilization: to form “prototype”, group data together, and form hierarchies within categories (language based groupings of words and other units of information).

Cognitive Psychology: Cognitive Science

Cognition: The full range of “higher mental abilities” and activities used to represent and process information (knowledge) including perception, thinking, reasoning, memory, problem solving, and learning.

Cognitive Processes

The processes of learning, thinking and memory are very closely related.

  1. Learning: is the process by which most forms of knowledge are acquired;
  2. Thinking: is the mental manipulation of information and knowledge;
  3. Memory: is the storehouse where information is maintained.

    Information Processing: How information and knowledge are represented and processed (how data are mentally manipulated [i.e. how we think]).

 

Sensing: (Perception) à
Selecting: (Categorizing) à
Storing: (Memory)

Computational Metaphor: The use pf a “computer analogy” (i.e. computer model) to understand or explain mental functioning.

Symbols and Concepts

Symbols: are the basis for representational thought (symbols are mental constructions which we use to represent objects, events, or people); known as “symbolic thinking” the use of symbolic representation may include the use of words (language), the use of numbers (mathematical equations), or the use of symbols (chemical formulae) which the user mentally manipulates.

Concepts: are a group of objects, events, or things that have some essential similarity, which are grouped together (or organized) into categories. Within categories they can then be arranged into hierarchy (in some order, according to our familiarity with them).

Cognitive Economy: The abstraction information, objects, and events in order to minimize the time and effort necessary to process information and data.

Learning: A relatively permanent modification in functioning which occurs as a result of experience. The ability to bring past experiences into the present in useful forms.

Thinking: The construction, manipulation, and modification of facts, data and internal concepts and symbols.

Reasoning: The processes of arriving at conclusions by analyzing a set of facts.

  • Deductive Reasoning: arriving at conclusions drawn logically from two (2) or more statements of fact (going from the general to the specific);
  • Inductive Reasoning: arriving at unknown, new information by a reasoning process that leads to discoveries (from the specific to the general).

    Problem Solving: Arriving at solutions to questions or problems by means of one of the following methods:

  • Algorithms: a specific set of rules to questions or problems in a “step by step” manner.
  • Huristics: a flexible and inventive approach rather that a fixed set of “mechanical rules” (step by step).

 

 

 

Review of Rogerian Theory

Phenomenology

A movement in philosophy and psychology that emphasizes that what is most important in not an object or event in itself, but how it is perceived and interpreted by a person.

Phenomenal Field

The sum total of the experiences that a person is capable of perceiving, and to which they are capable of responding (i.e. the person’s “effective environment”)

Actualizing Tendency

The force within the individual for growth and development that is innate within all people to maintain and enhance themselves and to grow as a person

Anxiety

A distinctly unpleasant feeling state, vague uneasiness or tension, as a result of a discrepancy between one’s cognitive self and experience.

Awareness

Consciousness; that portion of one’s experience which he/she is aware of and is capable of expressing verbally (to self and others).

Organism

The totality of the individual, thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

Self

The cognitive self is totality of a persons self awareness, self

 

 

Written by Joseph Eulo

May 28, 2008 at 8:40 am

Posted in PSY101 Handouts

The Range & Content of Human Memory

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Chapter 5: p183

Focus Questions

How do psychologist and personality define memory?

Memory is both the set of “storehouses” for information we learn and the process by which we learn it.

What are the stages in the information-processing view of memory?

Memory may last from a fraction of a second to a lifetime. The range is divided into three stages:

  1. Sensory memory: is made up of the lingering traces of information sent to the brain by the senses. Depending on the sense, the information will be forgotten within a fraction of a second to several seconds unless it is transferred to short-term memory.
  2. Short-term (working) memory: can hold about seven unrelated items of information, which will be forgotten within about 15 to 30 seconds unless additional processing occurs.
  • Information processing in short term memory includes several steps:
    • Scanning
      • Scanning the information in sensory memory and selecting some of it as worthy of attention,
    • Encoding:
      • Encoding can be acoustic, visual, or semantic.
    • Rehearsal:
      • Through rehearsal, information can be kept in short-term memory as long as desired, although the amount of information that can be kept there is quite small.
    • Further encoding that allows the information to be copied to long term memory
  1. Long-term memory: is the more or less permanent set of storehouses of information.
  • Long term memory can be divide into two types of memory:
    • Procedural memory: Memory for how to do things.
    • Declarative memory: Memory for knowledge that can be put into words.
  1. Semantic memory: Memory for knowledge that is independent of the context in which the knowledge was acquired.
  2. Episodic memory: Memory that includes the context in which the knowledge was required.

Retrieval is the process of extracting information from long term memory

How do the stages of memory interact?

Sights, sounds, and other sensory information in the environment register briefly in sensory memory. Some information in promptly lost. Information that is attended to is transffered to short-term or working memory. Again some is lost, but some is rehearsed and “kept in mind” long enough to be copied to long-term memory—a more-or-less permanent set of storehouses from which information can later be retrieved.

 

The Range & Content of Human Memory: Definitions

Sensory memory

The memory that briefly holds sensory information for transfer to short-term memory.

Short-term (working) Memory

The conscious memory system that holds information only for about 15 to 30 seconds unless it is rehearsed or otherwise processed.

Encoding 

The process by which information is entered into memory in either acoustic, visual, or semantic form.

Rehearsal

A process in which information is deliberately repeated so that it can be retained temporarily or copied to long term memory.

Long-term memory

The memory system in which information is stored more or less permanently.

Procedural memory

Memory for how to do things.

Declarative memory

Memory for knowledge that can be put into words.

Semantic memory

Memory for knowledge that is independent of the context in which the knowledge was acquired.

Episodic memory 

Memory that includes the context in which the knowledge was required. 

Retrieval 

The process of extracting knowledge from long-term memory.

 

 

Chapter 5: Why We Forget: p188

Focus Questions

How do psychologists assess remembering and forgetting?

Because recall is more difficult than recognition, recall is a more thorough measure of memory. Relearning is the most sensitive measure of memory.

Ebbinghaus established the basic curve of forgetting in the 19th century.

What is a memory “trace”?

Exactly what happens inside the nervous system when we store information in long-term memory is not known. A traditional way of viewing memory is in terms of memory traces, which sometimes persists and sometimes disappear.

Consolidation refers to how memory traces are established in long-term memory.

What factors are involved in forgetting?

Theories of forgetting include decay of memory traces, simple failure of retrieval, proactive and retroactive interference, and motivational forgetting.

Generally memories are more easily retrieved in the physical setting in which they were learned.

 

Why we forget: Definitions

Recall

Retrieval of detail given minimal cues, as in essay exams.

Recognition

Retrieval of limited amounts of information given extensive cues, as in some multiple choice exams

Relearning or Savings 

A measure of memory obtained by having a participant relearn something that she or he learned previously and assessing how long it takes to learn the material the second time.

Memory trace 

The basic unit of memory according to those who emphasize the changes in the nervous system brought about by learning

Decay

The fading of a memory trace with the passage of time.

Consolidation

The process of establishing memory traces in long-term memory.

Context-dependent memory

Memory that is facilitated by similarity if conditions during storage and retrieval.

Proactive interference

Interference that occurs when old information causes a person to forget new information.

Retroactive interference

Interference that occurs when new information causes a person to forget old information.

Motivated forgetting

Deliberate forgetting; in psychodynamic theory, repression.

Chapter 5: Factors in
Encoding and Storage: p195

Focus Questions

How can short-term memory be enhanced?

Chunking increases the amount of information that can be retained in short-term memory, because short-term memory can hold about seven items whether large or small.

Why is long term memory often inaccurate?

The manner in which we encode information and copy it to long-term memory determines how well we can remember and retrieve it.

Sometimes we encode and can retrieve virtually an exact copy of the information stored in long-term memory. More often, memory is constructive and not particularly accurate

How do emotional states affect memory?

When extreme emotionality is associated with an event, a flashbulb memory may result. Flashbulb memory tends to become less accurate with the passage of time.

Depressed people often have memory problems, but less extreme variations in mood can help with memory because of the phenomenon of mood-dependent memory.

 

Factors in Encoding and Storage: Definitions

Chunking

Combining information into units in order to increase the amount that can be held in short-term memory.

Flashbulb memory

A highly detailed memory of an emotionally charged event or experience.

Mood-dependent memory

The phenomenon that remembering is easier when a person is in the same mood he or she was in during learning.

Chapter 5: Linkages in
Learning & Memory: p199

Focus Questions

How do meaning and organization enhance long-term memory?

How well we remember information generally depends on how well we learned it the first place.

According to William James, “The more other facts a fact is associated with in the mind the better possession of it our memory retains.”

Why is learning rules superior to learning by rote?

Finding meaning and organization and using rules are more effective ways of learning than learning by rote.

How does Overlearning affect memory?

Overlearning tends to increase how long a memory will last.

 

Linkages in Learning & Memory: Definitions

Rule learning

Learning by trying to understand the principles of logic underlying information.

Rote Learning

Learning through memorization, by mentally repeating information over and over.

Overlearning

Increasing the amount of time a memory will last by engaging in extra learning.

 

Chapter 5: Learning How to Learn and Remember: p203

Focus Questions

What do psychologists mean by “learning to learn”?

The term learning set refers to a strategy for learning.

How do categorization and clustering enhance long-term memory?

Categorization and clustering increase the efficiency of encoding and retrieval.

We are particularly adept at clustering material that involves cause-and-effect relationships.

What are mnemonic devices and how do they work?

Making up stories improves memory for unrelated items, as do mnemonic devices based on imagery and humor.

 

Learning How to Learn and Remember: Definitions

Learning set

A learned strategy for approaching a learning task.

Categorization

Learning by arranging related items of information in a hierarchy.

Clustering

Learning by organizing related items of information into meaningful groups

Imagery

A mental picture of an event.

Mnemonic device

A technique for encoding unrelated items of information so as to make them easier to remember, typically through adding imagery and humor.

Written by Joseph Eulo

May 28, 2008 at 8:37 am