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Psychology Unit Three

Psychology Burbs

RESEARCH METHODS
A research method is a way to conduct a study to collect accurate and reliable information about behaviour and mental processes.

EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH
Experiments are used to measure the relationship between two or more variables. o Variables are factors that can change in amount or type. Independent Variables (IV) are controlled by the researcher; Dependent Variables (DV) are used to measure the effect of the IV. Control conditions IV absent. Experimental conditions IV present. o Compare the two.

RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
A tentative and testable prediction of the relationship between two or more variables. o In experiments, it is an educated guess of how the IV alters the DV. Must have iPod o Independent variable; o Population; o Operationalised (how it will be practiced); o Dependent variable.

EXTRANEOUS VARIABLES
Variable other than the IV that can change the DV, disallowing a proper conclusion as researchers are unsure what affected the DV.

Confounding Variables
Variable other than the IV that has an unwanted effect on DV. o Different to extraneous variables as it: Has a measurable change in the IV; Is consistent with the hypothesis. o Both can cause isolation problems.

TYPES OF EXTRANEOUS AND CONFOUNDING VARIABLES


Individual participant differences differences in characteristics between participants. o Affects their responses. Demand characteristics cues by researcher (or are just present) that have the participant feel they should behave differently. o Biases; o Invalid; o Possibly also due to social desirability.

Psychology Burbs Placebo effect change in responses as participants feel they are receiving treatment. Experimenter effect change in participant behaviour because of the researchers expectations, biases, actions instead of the IV. o Experimenter expectancy; o Self-fulfilling prophesy. Order effects DV is affected by the order or sequence of tasks. o Performing one task affects the next. o Practice effects. o Carry-over effects are the influence on task has on the performance of subsequent tasks. Artificiality lack of realism and differences with real-life. o Produce demand characteristics; o Not a proper insight; o Cannot properly generalise. Use of non-standardised instructions/procedures not uniform for all. o Causes extraneous/confounding variables.

WAYS OF MINIMISING THESE VARIABLES


People used in research are participants. o Groups of participants should be similar in relevant characteristics.

Participant Selection and Allocation


Samples are a portion of a population to be studied. Convenience sampling is selecting readily available participants who are not necessarily representative of the population. o Biased and misleading. Random sampling ensures every member of the population has an equal chance of being a participant and the selection of one participant does not affect the selection/non-selection of another. Stratified sampling is dividing the population into different strata and selecting a sample that represents the stratum in the same proportions as the population. Stratified-random sampling is identifying the stratum and then randomly selecting participants in the correct proportions. Random allocation is where participants are as likely to be in one group as the other.

Counterbalancing
Systematically changing the order of treatments/tasks so as to counter order effects. o Between-participants counterbalancing involves changing the order which groups are exposed to the experimental conditions; o Within-participants counterbalancing has each participant exposed to the same combination of conditions.

Single/Double-blind procedures
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Psychology Burbs Single-blind means participant is unaware of the condition they are in. Double-blind means neither are the researcher. o Use third party to allocate.

Placebos
The experimental group may experience demand characteristics of pills (or other) so to negate this, you give the control group a placebo to balance it out.

Standardised instructions and procedures


Predetermined. Identical. Questions anticipated. Alternatively, automation to remove any bias.

TYPES OF EXPERIMENTAL AND RESEARCH DESIGNS


Repeated measures design each participant is involved in both conditions. o Consider order effects; Time period between repeats. o Eliminates confounding variable of participant differences; o Fewer people; o Does not control demand characteristics; o Can lead to participant attrition; o Counterbalancing may be used to remove order-effects. Matched-participants design select similar (Relevant characteristics) pairs and split into groups to allow for relatively equal groups. o Variables are constant amongst conditions; o Difficult and time consuming; o Pre-testing can lead to order-effects or demand characteristics; o Random allocation is usually sufficient. Independent-groups design allocates each participant randomly into one of two or more separate groups. o Random allocation used. o Simplest is experimental and control conditions.

TECHNIQUES OF QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE DATA COLLECTION


Qualitative is information about the characteristics of what is being studied. o Descriptions, words etc. Quantitative data is information about amounts of what is being studied. o Raw scores, means, p-values etc. All types of mental behaviour can be expressed quantitatively.

CASE STUDIES
Intensive, in-depth investigation of certain behaviours or events of interest in an individual, small or group situation. Often used where large numbers of participants are not available. o Advantages: 3

Psychology Burbs No manipulation of variables, thus not artificial; Can be used as a source for a hypothesis. Limitations: Time consuming; May not be representative; Susceptible to bias; Cannot be the sole test of a hypothesis.

OBSERVATIONAL STUDIES
Observation refers to any means by which a phenomenon is studied. Involves collection of data by carefully watching and recording behaviour as it occurs. o Naturalistic observation observe in natural setting without disrupting; o Participant observation the researcher participates; o Non-participant observation observes inconspicuously. o Advantages: Not artificial; Long term effects can be studied; Some behaviour is only field-observable; Does not require cooperation (unethical). o Limitations: Causes of behaviour not always clear. Susceptible to bias.

SELF-REPORTS
A participant's spoken or written responses to questions or instructions presented by a researcher. Questionnaire, interviews. o Advantages: Efficient for large numbers (Qnnrs); Anonymity; Consistency. o Limitations: Social desirability; Inflexible; Relies on willingness to answer.

ANALYSING AND INTERPRETING DATA


Descriptive statistics used for analysing, organising, summarising and describing the results. Inferential statistics used for interpreting and giving meaning to results. o Like descriptive they use mathematical procedures; o Unlike descriptive the involve judgements.

MEASURES OF CENTRAL -TENDENCY


Data is often summarised into understandable and usable forms. 4

Psychology Burbs Mean, mode, median. Used when scores are evenly distributed, Data can be shown in tables, graphs etc.

INFERENTIAL STATISTICS
Enable researchers to draw conclusions. o Whether generalisation can occur. Used for making judgements about what results mean. Statistical significance is used to indicate whether a difference in experimental and control condition is due to IV alone, o P-value is an estimate of probability of observed difference being due to change is significant.

CONCLUSIONS & GENERALISATIONS


Conclusion is a decision or judgement of what results mean. o Hypothesis is supported or rejected but never said to be true. Generalisation is extending findings of a sample to their applicability to the population studied.

RELIABILITY
Consistency, dependability and stability of results. Demonstrated when the overall pattern of results is consistent in repeats.

VALIDITY
The extent to which a research study has produced results that accurately measure the behaviour/event it claims to study. A measurement tool has construct validity if there is evidence it accurately measures that behaviour/event. Research may not be valid if data does not justify conclusion or there are EV/CVs. Internal validity is the soundness of the processes; external validity is how well it can be generalised. PRINCIPLES AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT IN PSYCHOLOGICAL

ETHICAL

RESEARCH Standards that guide individuals to identify good/desirable/acceptable conduct. Ensure wellbeing of participants and promote beneficial research. Must only be conducted by those who are competent and the researcher must act ethically.

PARTICIPANT S RIGHTS
Confidentiality o Right to privacy. Voluntary participation o Consent to be involved;

Psychology Burbs o No negative consequence to refuse participation. Withdrawal rights o At any time without explanation. Informed consent procedures o Nature/purpose explained where applicable. Debriefing o Clarify understanding of research o Ensure no negative effects o Clarify deception Use of deception o If necessary but cannot cause distress and must be followed by debriefing.

ROLES OF ETHICS COMMITTEES


Assess proposals for approval. Main roles: o Ensure research is ethically designed and conducted. o Ensure the researcher(s) are experienced and qualified. o Monitoring approved research, o Complaint management. o Ensuring accountability of researcher(s).

NHMRC PRINCIPLES
1. Integrity is a commitment by the researcher to search for knowledge in an honest and ethical way. 2. Respect for persons means that the researcher must be mindful of the welfare, rights, beliefs, perceptions and customs and culture of participants. 3. Beneficence describes the researchers responsibility to maximise potential benefits of the research and minimise harm or risk. 4. Justice is that any burden or benefit of research is uniform within the population and similar for any participant in the study.

USE OF ANIMALS IN RESEARCH


10% of research is conducted on non-human participants. Could be as: o Participants are unavailable/harm would occur; o Starting point to learn about human behaviour; o Animals have some practical advantages as they breed quicker and have shorter lifespans; o Better control; o No real participant variables. Issues include unethical and cannot really generalise. Must only be done if there is no other alternative If given surgery, animals need to be anaesthetised. 6

Psychology Burbs If they are to be put down, must be done quickly and painlessly.

REPORTING CONVENTIONS
Done to communicate results and allow for replication. Must have enough information for close analysis of specific aspects and follow reporting conventions. o Well establish widely recognised standards of how a report is written.

STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
DESCRIBING CONSCIOUSNESS
Consciousness is the awareness of objects and events in the external world, our own existence and mental experiences at any given moment. Attention enables us to be aware of some stimuli and ignore others. It is a psychological construct as it is a concept designed to describe a psychological process that is believed to occur, but cannot be measured.

RENE DESCARTES
Consciousness includes everything we are aware of. Thinking provides evidence of consciousness and knowledge of our own existence. o Cogito ergo sum I think therefore I am. Dualism: The mind and body are separate but interact through the pineal gland.

W ILLIAM JAMES
Consciousness includes everything we are aware of, including our own existence. It is like a stream; constantly flowing with images and sensations and thoughts. It is: o Personal: Your subjective understanding; o Selective: You can choose to ignore certain stimuli and attend to other; o Continuous: Always there, a stream of consciousness; o Changing: New information is always being processed. Has an evolutionary based role as it enhances our ability to adapt to the environment.

STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Level, degree or condition of awareness. Two categories: 7

Psychology Burbs o o Normal waking consciousness; Altered state of consciousness.

NORMAL WAKING CONSCIOUSNESS (NWC)


The state of consciousness associated with being awake and aware of external stimuli. Includes the upper half levels of consciousness. We continuously change between levels of awareness. Attention is the concentration of mental activity on specific stimuli whilst ignoring others. More attention is required in NWC than in ASC. o Selective attention is attending to certain stimuli by choice but ignoring others. o Divided attention is the ability to distribute attention amongst stimuli. Complex tasks require selective attention. Content can be limited through selective attention (more logical and organised). Controlled processes are where the process involves conscious, alert awareness where attention is focused on achieving a particular goal. o Controlled processes are often serial (one at a time). Automatic processes require little conscious effort and minimal attentions. o Often parallel, i.e. two or more at the same time.

ALTERED STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS


Any state of consciousness distinctly different from NWC in terms of awareness, experience and quality of sensations. Some are natural and some are induced. One of two effects on sense: o More receptive to external stimuli; o Dulls them so some sensations are not felt at all. In an ASC: o Perceptions may be distorted so we lose a sense of identity; o Cognitive functioning is impaired; o Thinking more illogical; o Time is often distorted; o Emotions either dulled or intensified; o Lose self-control.

Daydreaming
An ASC where we shift attention from external stimuli to internal thoughts. Naturally occurring and more likely to occur when stationary. Associated with few eye movements and high levels of alpha brainwaves. We have control over the content but it is less organised. 8

Psychology Burbs Proposed that they facilitate problem solving and act to reduce stress by letting us fantasise.

Meditative state
Use of a technique to alter NWC and induce an ASC of deep relaxation. Done by ignoring external stimuli so senses are less receptive. Attention is directed at only one stimulus perhaps breathing or a certain word. Increase of alpha and theta waves, reduction in heart rate and other physiological characteristics.

Alcohol-induced state
Change in NWC due to consumption of alcohol. Psychoactive drug it changes awareness/perception/moods. o Caffeine, nicotine. Alcohol lessens inhibitions by depressing neural activity for judgement and selfcontrol. May experience: o Shortened attention span; o Impaired perceptions; o Impaired thinking; o Slower reaction times; o Reduced self-awareness; o Impaired emotional awareness/control; o Impaired perception of time; o Less self-control.

METHODS USED TO STUDY LEVEL OF AWARENESS IN NWC


A psychological construct is a concept used to describe activity/patterns of activity that are believed to exist but cannot be directly measured.

Electroencephalograph (EEG)
A device that detects amplifies and records general patterns of electrical activity of the brain. Detects and amplifies brain waves. Frequency is the number of waves per second, amplitude is the magnitude of brainwaves.

Brain Waves
Beta Waves o High frequency, low amplitude. Awake, alert NWC or REM. Alpha Waves o Medium frequency, medium-low amplitude. Awake/relaxed state (hypnogogic) Theta Waves o Medium frequency, high-low amplitude. 9

Psychology Burbs NREM 1, 2 and first half of 3. Delta Waves o Low frequency, high amplitude. Low frequency, high amplitude. NREM 3 (2nd half) and 4.

Heart Rate, Body Temperature and Galvanic Skin Response (GSR)


Changes in heart rate & temperature can indicate levels of alertness. Body temp is less variable than heart rate. o ~1oC drop when asleep. GSR is a physiological response that indicates a change in the resistance of the skin to electrical content. Measures level of sweat and hence arousal.

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Psychology Burbs State Awareness NWC ASC Awareness of internal and Less aware of sensations and external environment. external environment. Perception and Cognitive Perception is clear and Distortions may occur, may processes individuals are aware of their also lose touch with reality. Daydreaming: Less aware of thoughts. sensations. Meditation: Dulled perception of sensations. Alcohol-induced State: Can be seriously dulled (vision, reaction, consequences of actions). Content Limitations Content can be limited Not as limited and less logical Daydreaming: Less bizarre through selective attention. thoughts. Selective attention makes you snap out of a daydream. Meditation: More limited. Focusing on one thing. Alcohol-induced State: Lowered and less restricted. Memory The brain actively stores Continuity is disrupted with information and retrieves gaps or blackouts. information from memory. Time Orientation Perceived as objectively Disturbed estimation may correct. appear faster or slower than in reality. Emotional Awareness Individuals are aware of their Daydreaming: Can elevate, feeling and show a normal flatten or depress mood. range of appropriate Meditation: Greater sense of emotions. control over emotions. Alcohol-induced State: Intensified as well as greater amounts of aggression, depression, false confidence. May misread others emotions. Levels of Awareness Can complete both Difficulty in self-control. Decreased, controlled and automatic Daydreaming: processes. especially for environment. Meditation: Decreased awareness.
Alcohol-induced State: Lowered internally and externally.

SLEEP
METHODS USED TO STUDY SLEEP
Can be described as a regularly occurring ASC that typically occurs spontaneously and is characterised by a loss of consciousness. 11

Psychology Burbs Polysomnography is an intensive study of a sleeping person, involving simultaneous monitoring and recording of various physiological responses. o Self-reports can also be helpful (sleep diaries). EEG can DARE activity brain during sleep. o Distinguish four stages of sleep. EOG measures eye movement by DARE activity of eye muscles. o REM and NREM. EMG DARE activity muscle. o Used like EEG, distinguish stages. Heart rate and core body temperature. o Both gradually drop as we fall deeper in sleep. Video monitoring and self-reports. AND

CHARACTERISTICS

PATTERNS OF SLEEP Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and Rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. Adults have generally have a cycle of NREM lasting 70-90 minutes with a period of REM after every NREM period. A sleep cycle is all 4 NREM then one REM, usually 4-5 per night. As we grow older we progressively spend less time in REM. o At birth it is ~50% but stabilises at about 20% for adults. Time spent sleeping decreases. o 17-18hrs for newborns; o 9-10hrs for 10 year olds; o 7-8hrs for adults. Adolescent sleep patterns also change. o Teenagers need more sleep due to body growth and increase in hormones etc. but often do not get this (being rebZ and school). o ~2 hours of a change in when they become sleepy.

NREM SLEEP

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Psychology Burbs

~80% of sleep is NREM, typically first half has more than the second. EEG shows the brain is less active in NREM than REM. When we first close our eyes we emit alpha waves (relaxation) Transition period of awake sleep is the hypnogogic state. o Slow rolling eye movements. Linked to physical restoration.

NREM 1

Alpha and theta waves. Occurs as we drift in and out of sleep. Decrease in heart rate, respiration, body temp., muscle tension. Hypnic jerks occur. o Muscle spasm.

NREM 2

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Psychology Burbs Mostly theta, some alpha. Light stage of sleep, still easily aroused. Physiological changes more than NREM 1. Sleep spindles (brief bursts of higher frequency brain activity) occur here periodically for ~1 second indicates true sleep. K-Complexes (high amp, low freq.).

NREM 3

Moderately deep sleep. Physiology drops again. Difficult to arouse, if so feels groggy. Delta waves make 20-50% of waves and some theta. o Beginning of slow wave sleep (SWS). When EEG show >50% are delta, it is now NREM 4.

NREM 4

Delta waves and some theta. Very deep sleep. 14

Psychology Burbs Completely relaxed barely move. Difficult to wake. First time is up to 20 minutes then progressively less.

REM SLEEP

A period of rapid eye movement sleep during which eyeballs move rapidly beneath eyelids. Low amplitude, high frequency beta-like waves, similar to alert wakefulness. Muscles are completely relaxed (Cat on slide). Vivid dreaming. Increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. Paradoxical sleep as the brain and internal body are active but skeletal muscles are completely inactive. o Internally active, externally calm. May be involved with consolidation of memory. Must make up for lost REM in REM rebound.

THE PURPOSE OF SLEEP


Two theories propose the purpose of sleep: o Sleep is restorative; o Sleep is for survival. Both can coexist.

RESTORATION
Restorative theories propose that sleep provides a time-out from activities that use up physical and mental resources. A period of physiological rest. o When ill we sleep for longer; o Growth hormones are released when asleep at a higher rate than during NWC. NREM and REM have different restorative effects. 15

Psychology Burbs NREM for restoring the body; REM for the brain as well as higher mental functions like learning and memory. Infants experience more REM, suggesting the mental restorative function of sleep. Proposed that REM allows for regular exercise to the neurons that form circuits, promoting maintenance. o Synapses can deteriorate if too inactive, hence more REM in infants. REM may also assist in consolidating/embedding newly learned information by strengthening neural connections that form when learning. o Think of newly learned information as wet cement. Not proven exactly what sleep specifically restores. o If it is only restoration then inactive people should sleep less than active people. o A lower temperature and metabolism are more linked to conservation than restoration. o o

SURVIVAL
Sleep evolved to enhance survival by making us inactive during periods of danger. o Does not explain loss of awareness in sleep. Based off the sleep patterns of animals. o Larger animals tend to sleep less than smaller animals as they are exposed. Humans are visual and require light, therefore cannot function at night.

SLEEP DEPRIVATION
Going without sleep.

PARTIAL SLEEP DEPRIVATION


Decline in ability to perform cognitive tasks. o Slower reaction times; o Think irrationally and illogically; o Difficulty with creative thinking. Occurs over a relatively short amount of time with minor physiological and psychological effects. Quickly recover by paying off debt. o Not all, just some. Still, dangerous effects for many such as drivers or doctors whilst deprived. Memory is distorted, but mainly short-term.

TOTAL SLEEP DEPRIVATION


Research relies on animals and convenience samples. No long lasting effects and pretty much all temporary ones are repaired through sleep. During deprivation one may experience hallucinations, delusions or paranoia. 16

Psychology Burbs Physical effects include sleepiness, lethargy, increased sensitivity to pain, slurred speech and of course, fatigue. o Impair immune system too (Rat deaths). After 3-4 days of wakefulness people experience microsleeps. o Very short period of drowsiness/sleeping whilst awake. Usually no recollection of microsleep. PNS

NS

CNS

Brain

Spinal Cord

Autonomic NS

Somatic NS

Sympathetic NS

Parasympathetic NS

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM


THE BRAIN
Weighs ~1.5kg. Billions of neurons o Trillions of connections between neurons. Master organ. Organised into many identifiable structures, but functions in an interrelated way.

CEREBRAL CORTEX
Involved in information-processing activities such as perception, language, problem solving, memory, learning etc. Is the folded outer layer of the brain. o 2-4mm thick. o Folded to increase its ability to fit in the skull. Three major categories: o Sensory cortex areas. 17

Psychology Burbs Receives and processes information from our senses. Motor cortex areas. Receives processes and sends information about voluntary movement. Association cortex areas. Integrates sensory, motor and other information for complex cognitive tasks such as perception and lateral thinking. It is believed that the size of an animals association cortex area increases the complexity of the animal increases.

CORPUS CALLOSUM
The two hemispheres of the brain do not operate independently. o Interact and function in a coordinated way. The corpus callosum is a band of nerve tissue connecting the left and right hemispheres. o Main communication pathway.

CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES
Hemispheres are almost identical brain structures separated by a deep groove. o Not fully separated. Contralaterally organised. o Left hemisphere receives sensory information from the right side of the body and controls voluntary movement on the right side. o Right hemisphere receives sensory information from the left side of the body and controls voluntary movement on the left side of the body. The left side is primarily involved in language. The right side is primarily involved in non-linguistic functions.

FOUR LOBES OF THE CEREBRAL CORTEX


Cortical lobes are areas of the brain associated with different functions and structures. Within the association cortex are association areas, each one integrating information from motor, sensory and other areas. Sensory areas of lobes receive and process information from sensory receptors, they are neurons specialised to detect/respond specific types of sensory information. o They convert raw information into impulses and transmit them to be processed. o Motor areas of lobes receive and process information about voluntary movement.

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Psychology Burbs

FRONTAL LOBE
Largest lobe, forward half of each hemisphere. Voluntary movement. Personality, emotions, planning, thinking, decision-making. The end-point for a lot of sensory information received and processed in other lobes. o Takes on an executive role.

Primary Motor Cortex


Responsible for controlling voluntary body movements, Contralaterally organised. The more complex/fine the movement of the body part, the more cortical area devoted. Organised so that the parts at the bottom of the body are controlled at the top of the PMC.

Brocas Area
Left frontal lobe, next to the parts of the PMC responsible for the movement of muscles controlling speech. Production of articulate, fluent speech. Understanding grammar.

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Psychology Burbs

PARIETAL LOBE
Upper back, behind the frontal love. Receives and processes sensory information. o Sends information to other areas of the brain. Has association areas that integrate information so we can perceive our position in space (PVC and PAC) and visual attention/spatial reasoning.

Primary Somatosensory Cortex


Receives and processes sensory information from the sensory receptors in the body, allowing us to perceive bodily sensations. Contralaterally organised. Areas at the bottom of the body are at the top of the PSC. Amount of cortical area devoted is proportional to the sensitivity of the body part. o Lips, tongue and fingers are very sensitive. Homunculus.

OCCIPITAL LOBE
Rear of each hemisphere. Mainly concerned with vision. Damage can cause blindness. Association areas interact to select, organise and integrate visual information and interpret it in a meaningful way.

Primary Visual Cortex


Base of each occipital love. Major destination of visual information from sensory receptors on retina. Left of each eye is the right visual field, and the right of each eye sees the left visual field. The right visual field is sent to the left PVC and vice versa.

TEMPORAL LOBE
Located in the lower central area of the brain. Primarily involved in auditory perception as well as memory. Different association areas involved with memory. o Linking emotions with memory. o Appropriate emotional responses to sensory information. o Object and facial recognition.

Primary Auditory Cortex


Receives and processes sounds from both ears. Verbal sounds are processed in the left PAC and non-verbal sounds in the right PAC. Different amplitude and frequencies are processes in specialled areas.

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Psychology Burbs

Wernickes Area
Left temporal lobe. Comprehension and interpretation of the sounds of speech. Finding appropriate words to express what we say. Words are not understood till processed here.

HEMISPHERIC SPECIALISATION
The theory that one hemisphere exerts greater control over certain functions. o Both actually work together in a coordinated way. Right Hemisphere Controls voluntary movement on the left side. Receives sensory information from the left side. Non-verbal tasks. Spatial and visual thinking. Creativity.

Left Hemisphere Controls voluntary movement on the right side. Receives sensory information from the right side. Verbal tasks. Analytical tasks. Logical reasoning.

THE RETICULAR ACTIVATING SYSTEM


A network of neurons that extends in many directions from the reticular formation to different parts of the brain and the spinal cord. The RAS regulates levels of attention, sleep and consciousness. o Plays a role in how alert or drowsy you are, as well as your reaction times. The spinal cord is a continuation of the brain stem. o Running through the centre of the brain stem and through the midbrain to forebrain. The ascending traits extend to the cerebral cortex. The descending traits extend to the spinal cord. When our RAS is less active we go to sleep. o Damage can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle/result in a coma. Regulates selective attention. o Neurons send impulses to keep the cerebral cortex active, bombarding in specific areas to arouse specific cortical areas.

THALAMUS
Middle of the brain, right on top of the brain stem. A brain structure that filters information from the senses and directs it to the cerebral cortex. o No control of smell. Sensory info must pass through the thalamus before it reaches the cortex. Important role in influencing wakefulness and level of attention. Injury can cause loss of any sense except smell. Major relay centre to the cerebral cortex and damage or abnormalities can lead to misinterpreting vital sensory info.

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Psychology Burbs The two major functions are to enable an organism to pay attention to sensory stimuli then send to the relevant part of the cerebral cortex.

SPINAL CORD
Column of nerve fibres that extends from the base of the brain to the lower back. Receives sensory information from the PNS and sends to the brain. Receives information from the brain and relays it to muscles glands and organs for control of them.

SPECIFIC DAMAGE
Damage to areas can lead to a loss of them functioning. Aphasia refers to a language disorder apparent in speech, writing or reading, produced by an injury to the brain area specialised in that function. o Not due to a loss of sense or lack of intelligence.

Brocas Aphasia
Non-fluent aphasia. Characterised by a difficulty speaking despite understanding speech. Speak short deliberate sentences with pauses. Complicated syntax can confuse aphasics. Damage to the Brocas area. Self-aware

Wernickes Aphasia
Fluent aphasia. Considerable difficulty comprehending speech and speaking in am meaningful way. o Speech is fluent but nonsensical. o Word salad. Little or no conscious awareness. Damage to Wernickes area.

Spatial Neglect
An attentional disorder where individuals fail to notice anything on the right or left side of the world/body. o The other side does not exist. Mostly the left side due to damage in the right parietal lobe. Mostly visual but possibly other senses or a combination. Can impair recall of images from memory but not memory impairment. Severity can range. Failure or attention. 22

Psychology Burbs

SPLIT-BRAIN STUDIES
In epilepsy the electrical activity spreads through the brain. A split-brain surgery involves surgically removing the corpus callosum. Cat experiment (Sperry&Myers) o Taught with an eye blocked and timed how long it took to relearn. Sperry&Gazaniga o Test the ability of split-brain patients against those without the disconnection. o Visual information is flashed on a screen. o If visual information from the right hemisphere cannot cross to the left hemisphere (language) then they cannot say what they saw. o Right side could control the left hand to find what was seen. Gives evidence of specialised functions of hemispheres. You can still function as a) The two hemispheres can compensate for the loss b) Some nerve fibres are still intact.

PERCEPTUAL ANOMALIES
Perception is the meaningful interpretation of sensory information and stimuli. A perceptual anomaly refers to when perception is irregular, it can occur with all senses.

MOTION-AFTER EFFECT
Perceptual illusion of movement on a stationary stimulus following exposure to motion. Waterfall effect. Opposite direction. Possible cause is that specific neurons are fatigued by constant movement whilst those neurons not sensitive are still active. o Neural adaption. Exact cause is unknown.

CHANGE BLINDNESS
Difficulty observers have in noticing large changes to visual scenes. 23

Psychology Burbs o Both when expected and unexpected. o Disruption in the continuity of the scene. Thalamus plays a role focused attention to detect change. Different from inattential blindness, which is failing to notice something in full sight. Aware of a change but not sure what changed. Attentional capacity for ST visual memory is very limited

SYNAESTHESIA
Perceptual experience where the stimulation of one sense produces an addition response in another sense, adding but not detracting from the original. Involuntary and hard to suppress. One-way. ~1 in 2000 is the accepted figure. Stroop effect task can help to show. Possible causes are that: o Synesthetes are unusually sensitive to external stimuli o Ay be due to a breakdown in sensory and perceptual processes o Excess neural connection

PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

NS CNS
Brain Spinal Cord PNS

Autonomic NS

Somatic NS

Sympathetic NS

Parasympathetic NS

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Psychology Burbs Connects the CNS to the rest of the body. The peripheral nervous system is divided into two parts.

SOMATIC NERVOUS SYSTEM


Controls the skeletal muscles allowing voluntary movement. Efferent and afferent neurons. S.A.M.E Damage to the Somatic NS can result in paraplegia.

AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM


Internal organs and muscles. Involuntary and reflexive. Controls bodily functions. Independent rom the brain, but the brain can control some responses.

SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM


Activates internal muscles, organs and glands to prepare the body for vigorous activity or to deal with a stressful/threatening situation. o A survival mechanism that provides us with an immediate response to any kind of emergency. o Fight or flight response. Generally increases the activity of visceral muscles, organs and glands.

PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM


Counteracts the Sympathetic NS, bringing the body back to normal. Maintains homeostasis. Generally decreases the activity of visceral muscles, organs and glands.

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Psychology Burbs

MEMORY
Without memory, learning would not be possible. Memory is defined as the storage and retrieval of information acquired through learning. Three fundamental processes: 1. Encoding the process of converting information into a usable form so it can be stored in memory. 2. Storage is the retention of information over time. Memories are stored representations of information.

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Psychology Burbs 3. Retrieval is the process of locating and recovering stored information o that we are made aware of it.

ATKINSON-SHIFRINS MULTI-STORE MODEL


Describes memory consisting of three distinguishable components : o The sensory register; o The short-term store; o The long-term store. Each component represents a place where information is held and processed, each component is separate. Information flows from the sensory register to the short-term store and then the long-term store. o Can also go from the sensory register directly to the long-term store or from the long-term store to the short-term store. The sensory register is where new information from the external environment enters. The short-term store is a temporary working memory area, where information for everyday functions is manipulated. o Limited capacity, about 7 items for about 30seconds. o Rehearsal of information from the short-term store allows it to be further encoded and transferred to the long-term store. If information is not rehearsed then it decays. The long-term store is ~permanent holding space for information. The A-S model focuses on human memory in terms of structural features and control processes. o Structural features are permanent, fixed features of memory that do not vary situationally. Includes the stores, their function, their capacity and duration they hold info. o Control processes are selected and used by the individual, and therefore vary. Attention, rehearsal, retrieval. A-S model does not consider/include: o Information does not actually flow between stores. o There are considered to be separate registers for each sense. o The short-term store is now considered to be much more complex than a temporary holding space. o The long-term store has many different subsections.

SENSORY MEMORY
The entry-point where new sensory information is briefly held. Can store vast amounts of sensory memory. Stores impressions long enough for each impression to slightly overlap. o Hence the world appears continuous. o Also long enough to be sent to STM for processing.

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Psychology Burbs We ignore most of the information that enters sensory memory but if we attend to it is transferred to STM. Decays rapidly. May act as a filter.

ICONIC MEMORY
Used to describe visual sensory memory. Retained just long enough to be recognised and processed. Has a potentially unlimited storage capacity. Usually retains just the last visual image. Can hold information for 0.2-0.4s

ECHOIC MEMORY
Used to describe auditory sensory memory. Sounds linger like an echo. Holds information for about 3-4s. o Important for understanding speech. o Retains the last few sounds.

SHORT-TERM MEMORY (STM)


A memory system with a limited storage capacity in which memory is stored for a relatively short time unless renewed. Lasts longer than sensory memory. Information is an encoding of the sensory information. Can hold info for about 20s, but it starts to decay after ~12s. Has a capacity of about pieces of information. o When full new information pushes out old info. o Space filled by thinking or retrieving info from LTM. Lost primarily through decay or displacement.

WORKING MEMORY
Used to emphasise the active part of memory where information is worked on. Sensory information is processed here and LTM info is manipulated her. Temporary storage facility/mental workspace for info used by current cognitive activity. Only remains here as it is processed/manipulated/examined.

CHUNKING INFORMATION
Combining smaller bits of information into larger single units. Increases the capacity of information in STM. o 4, 5, 6 become 456.

REHEARSAL
Process of consciously manipulating information to keep it in STM or transfer it to LTM.

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Psychology Burbs Maintenance rehearsal is repeating the information so it can be retained. o Can be helpful for keeping in STM but not necessarily for LTM retention. Elaborative rehearsal is linking new information in a meaningful way with other information to aid in storage and retrieval. o Self-reference effect.

CRAIK AND LOCKARTS LEVELS OF PROCESSING FRAMEWORK


Proposes that level of depth in which we process information determines how well it is stored in LTM. o Memories are best encoded, organised and stored to LTM by meaning. Retained longer if processed at a deeper level. Better when processed semantically. Limitations that it: o Has a narrow view of memory o Is very vague o Difficult to quantify and measure depth.

BADELLEY AND HITCHS MODEL OF WORKING MEMORY


Describes the function and structure of working memory in three components: o Phonological Loop verbal working memory, is where verbal information is temporarily held. Holding onto numbers when counting. ~2 seconds without rehearsal. Word-length effect: shorter words are better remembered. o Visuo-Spatial sketchpad visual working memory, temporarily holds a limited amount of visual and spatial information. Location of objects. o Central Executive controls attention, integrates information from the above two and LTM and coordinates the flow between working memory and LTM. Manipulation of info. Planning, goal-setting, feelings etc. One activity at a time. Baddeley later added the episodic buffer which is a subsystem of working memory that enables different components to interact with LTM. o Hold about 4 units of info.

LONG-TERM MEMORY (LTM)

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Psychology Burbs

LTM Procedural Memory Episodic Memory Declarative Memory

Semantic Memory

Long-term memory (LTM) is the relatively permanent memory system that holds vast amounts of information for long periods of time. Different from STM in that it is inactive whilst STM is active. WE retrieve information using retrieval cues. o Only the specific information relevant to the cue is retrieved. o If information is not stored properly it is difficult to find. Whilst STM focuses on the physical experience, LTM focuses on the semantic experience. Thought that what goes into LTM stays there, and forgetting is due to being unable to retrieve it.

PROCEDURAL MEMORY
Memory of actions and skills that have been learned previously, involving knowing how to do something. Information can be retrieved though performance rather than conscious recall or recognition. Often difficult to put into words.

DECLARATIVE MEMORY
The memory of specific facts or events that can be bought into conscious awareness and explicitly stated. Episodic memory is the declarative memory of specific events/experiences. Semantic memory is the memory of information we have about the world. o Facts.

ORGANISATION OF INFORMATION IN LTM


SEMANTIC NETWORK THEORY
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Psychology Burbs Proposes that information in LTM is organised systematically in overlapping networks of interrelated concepts. Activation of one node causes other related nodes to be activated. Information is not doubled up. Spreading activation is that activating one node makes the activation of another node more likely to be activated.

SERIAL POSITION EFFECT


Free recall is better for items at the beginning and end of a list than in the middle. The Primacy effect (remembering those at the start of a list) is due to them being rehearsed more and transferred to LTM. The recency effect (those at the end) is due to those items stored in STM. The items in the middle were said too early for STM and too late for LTM.

ROLE OF THE NEURON KANDEL


Eric Richard Kandel researched the Aplysia. o They only have ~20 000 neurons whilst humans have billions. o Kandel would stimulate the Aplysias siphon. It would retract gills as a reflex action. o The mollusc learnt that there was no need to retract the gills through habituation. By activating the reflex over and over the synapses between neurons were strengthened. Decided that the nervous system of organisms learn in a similar manner. Memory is formed through biochemical and physiological changes in neurons.

ROLE OF THE HIPPOCAMPUS AND TEMPORAL LOBE


The hippocampus is a structure in the temporal love associated with encoding information and transferring it from STM to LTM. 31

Psychology Burbs o One in each hemisphere, sea-horse like. The medial temporal lobe is the inner surface area in the middle of the temporal love which includes the hippocampus, the amyglada and other tissue. Patient H.M had his medial temporal love removed, lead to him gaining anterograde amnesia. o STM working memory was fine though. H.M proves that the hippocampus and medial love are involved in storing but not holding LTM. o Also proves that LTM is not the same as STM. Hippocampus acts as a memory formation area.

CONSOLIDATION THEORY
Proposes that structural, physical changes occur to brain neurons when learning. New info must be consolidated to be part of LTM. o Disruptions can mean info is not fully consolidated to LTM and therefore lost. A gradual process with a ~30minute window where you can be disrupted. Like wet-cement. Hippocampus and medial lobe are part of the consolidation phase. Reconsolidation is also considered possible. o When retrieving info from LTM, you must reconsolidate it as it goes back to LTM.

MEMORY DECLINE OVER THE LIFESPAN


Whilst not inevitable, it is generally accepted that there is a naturally occurring decline in some aspects of memory. More likely to be affect working memory and explicit declarative memory.

EFFECT ON STM
Simple tasks generally not effected. More complicated tasks may be impacted. Beyond 60yrs there is a decline in activation of STM areas of the frontal lobe.

EFFECT ON LTM
Some types of LTM are more likely to be affected than others, such as episodic. Little decline in recall of procedural memory. Older people do not encode in as much detail as younger people do. Speed of retrieval of semantic memory can decline.

EXPLANATIONS
Lack of motivation. Loss of confidence in memory. Poor retrieval methods used. A slowing of the CNS as you age, lowering efficiency and effectiveness. Reduction in size of the frontal lobe as you age. 32

Psychology Burbs

AMNESIA RESULTING FROM BRAIN TRAUMA OR DEGENERATIVE DISEASES


Brain trauma is an umbrella term regarding any brain damage that interferes with the normal functioning of the brain. Neurodegenerative diseases are characterised by a progressive decline in the functioning, structure or activity of brain tissue. o Typically age related.

AMNESIA
Amnesia refers to a loss of memory. o Period of time forgotten generally shrinks over time. Time just before the damage usually always forgotten. Retrograde amnesia is a loss of memory of events before the person sustained damage. o Recovery may be initially rapid then slowed. Anterograde amnesia is an inability to form memories after the damage is sustained. Korsakoffs syndrome is a neurodegenerative disease where severe memory damage is related to damage to parts of the brain related to memory. o Vitamin B deficiency. o Alcoholics commonly get it due to a poor diet.

DEMENTIA
Refers to a large group of neurodegenerative diseases causing a decline in mental functioning. Final stages of dementia can have people shutting themselves out of the outside world. Alzheimers disease is caused by a widespread degeneration of brain neurons. o Resulting in a loss of memory and cognitive/personality changes. th 4 largest cause of death in Australia. o Loss of knowledge, awareness of events, words and names, directions or skills. o Change in personality. o High levels of amyloid in the brain. Hippocampus is most affected.

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Psychology Burbs

FORGETTING
Forgetting is the inability to retrieve information that was previously stored. The info is unavailable to you at the time you are trying to remember it. If you did not forget your mind would be cluttered.

THE FORGETTING CURVE


Not all the information we are exposed to will necessarily be retained. The forgetting curve shows the pattern of forgetting that occurs over time. Forgetting is rapid at first, but eventually slows down to where it is barely noticeable. More meaningful the material the less likely it is forgotten. Influenced by how well we initially coded the information.

MEASURES OF RETENTION
The amount of information retrieved from memory partially depends on the type of retrieval question asked.

RECALL
What is the item? Being able to reproduce information with the fewest possible cues to retrieve information. Free recall is when participants are required to remember whatever they can in no order. o Serial recall is in a specific order. Cued recall is when specific cues are given to aid recall. The more specific the cue, the more likely you are to locate the information.

RECOGNITION
Is this the item? Involves identifying the correct information among other alternatives. Able to retrieve more this way than in recall. o More sensitive. Multiple choice.

RELEARNING
AKA the method of savings is the process or learning information again that had been previously stored in LTM. The most sensitive retrieval method. The method of savings is a formula to measure how much information was retained from previous learnings.

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Psychology Burbs The sensitivity of a measure of retention regears to its ability to assess the amount of information that has been stored in memory.

THEORIES OF FORGETTING
RETRIEVAL FAILURE THEORY
Sometimes forget because we fail to use the right cues to retrieve information stored in memory. Information is temporarily unavailable due to an inappropriate cue.

Tip-of-the-tongue Phenomenon
A state where you are aware of knowledge on something, and are confident you will remember it, but are unable to retrieve it at that time. Involves a partial retrieval process. Shows the retrieval is not all or nothing. Indicates that info in LTM is organised in logical ways.

INTERFERENCE THEORY
Proposes that forgetting in LTM occurs because other memories interfere with the retrieval of what we are trying to recall, particularly if they are similar. Retroactive interference is when new information interferes with the ability to remember old information. Proactive interference is when previously learned information interferes with the ability to remember new information. The information must be similar to interfere.

MOTIVATED FORGETTING
Describes forgetting as arising from a motive to not remember an experience as it is upsetting or disturbing. Repression is unconsciously blocking the memory as a defence mechanism. o Not lost, just not easily accessible in NWC. Suppression is being motivated to forget an experience with a conscious effort to not remember it. People that dont want to think about something and actively try not to, they are less likely to remember it.

DECAY THEORY
When something new is learned, a chemical memory trace is formed. Therefore forgetting occurs when this trace fades through disuse. One of the earliest theories. Appears that the passage of time, along with other factors, can contribute to forgetting in sensory and STM; however it does not seem to be a common cause for forgetting in LTM. If the theory was true then retrieval cues would have no impact. 35

Psychology Burbs

MANIPULATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF MEMORY


Much of what we recall is not necessarily what actually happened. People may manipulate, subconsciously though, their memory.

MANIPULATION OF MEMORY
We tend to only remember a few key details of an experience, and during recall we reconstruct it drawing from personal values and expectations. o To make the memory plausible. A leading question is one that is phrased in such a way that is suggests the desired answer. A presupposition is that in order for the question to make sense, a certain aspect of it must be true. Loftus investigated the influence of question wording on memory. Participants memories were distorted by presuppositions and leading questions. In another experiment Loftus suggested source confusion, which is when the true source of a memory is wrongly attributed to another source or forgotten. Concluded that any model of memory sold include the process of reconstruction during recall.

IMPROVEMENT OF MEMORY
CONTEXT AND STATE-DEPENDENT CUES
An effective way to enhance retrieval from LTM is to recreate the conditions under which it was originally learned. The more closely the retrieval cues match the original learning conditions, the more likely the information will be recalled. Context-dependent cues are environmental cues in the situation where a memory as formed which act as retrieval cues. State-dependent cues are associated with the individuals physiological/psychological state which acts as retrieval cues. More likely to remember information if retrieved in the same state. Mood also is a state-dependent retrieval cue. o Type of mood can change how we remember events though.

MNEMONIC DEVICES
Any technique for enhancing or improving memory. Make use of information already in LTM and make it more elaborate. o More information is stored, not less. o Tend to organise the new information as a cohesive whole so retrieving one part of the info allows us to retrieve3 the rest. 36

Psychology Burbs An acronym is a pronounceable word formed from the first letters of a sequence of words (DODDSE). A rhyme is a phrase or string of words with an emphasis on certain key words. Acrostics are when you make verbal association for items to be remembered by making a phrase from the first letters. (Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit). Peg-word methods consist of memorising a rhyme or jingle that has mental markers to hand items to be remembered. Narrative chaining is linking unrelated items into a meaningful sentence. Method of loci is using a well-learned sequence of locations to act as a series of retrieval cues for the information to be recalled. o Good for list items. o Going through your house, each landmark is an item to be remembered. o Elaborates information by linking it with familiar memory cues.

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