• Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

Card Range To Study



Play button


Play button




Click to flip

Use LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to navigate between flashcards;

Use UP and DOWN arrow keys to flip the card;

H to show hint;

A reads text to speech;

72 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
• Moving around, people confront a flood of information that the nervous system cannot treat equally

• The brain must target or “spotlight” specific material to process & tune out the irrelevant information

• Attention allows orienting to, selecting & maintaining focus on information to make it available for cortical processing
Attention can refer to...
1) general level of alertness or vigilance
2) general state of arousal
3) orientation v. habituation to stimuli;
4) ability to target processing within a specific sensory area or a measure of capacity
Neuropsychological theories of attention processing usually consider
1) Reticular Activating System in Cortical Arousal

2)frontal lobes in directing attentional resources.

4) posterior parietal lobe system in focusing conscious attention

5)subcortical and limbic system structures’ (particularly cingulated gyrus) in regulation of information to right hemisphere as attentional processor
What have theorists not yet worked out?
one-to-one correspondence between levels of attention behavior, & brain structures or networks
What typically happens to attnetion in brain disfunction?
efficiency of the brain to process information diminishes.
How do researchers observe & categorize arousal?
through frequency measured by EEG
What are the different type of arousal waves?
1) alpha
2) beta
3) delta
4) theta
Subcortical Structures Influencing Attention
• Generally, sensory input “changes” the RAS

• RAS may send a preparatory signal to the cortex to alert it to receive stimuli & then put it in a heightened state of readiness to receive information

• Lesions to RAS can result in lowered alertness or coma
Cerebral Cortex & Attention
1) Focused Attention
2) Divided Attention
3) Sustained Attention
Focused Attention
1) the ability respond & pick out important elements or figure of attention form the "ground or background of external & internal stimulation"

2) implies measure of concentration or effortful processing

3) I.E. receptionists who must switch back & forth between answering the phone & talking to customers

4) Must employ alternating attention, while mentally, holding a place to return to other activity
divided attention
requires partialing attention resources at the same time rather than switching back and forth.
sustained attention
o Ability to maintain effortful response over time

o People who work as air traffic controllers or on assembly-line jobs must have excellent abilities for sustaining attention

o The role of the frontal cortex in attention relates to aspects of attention planning & shifting of attention set (alternating & dividing attention) & sustaining attention v. becoming distracted
What area of the brain is related to patients who complain of being upset or easily distracted ?
frontal lobe
Which hemisphere has a special role in attentional processing?
Where is vigilance believed to be found in the brain?
lower left hemisphere
What neurotransmitter is is one of the most important in maintaining alertness & attention?
• Fatigue
(inability to sustain attention to on activity, frequently appears across a number of more generalized neuropsychological disorders)
Attention processes can easily be compromised by...
1) neurologic disorders
2) metabolic disorders
3) psychological disorders
Executive Functioning
• Definition: applied in describing that aspect of cortical functioning that has to do with managing, structuring, & directing behavior

• At the top of hierarchy, perhaps the most high-level function of all is the ability to self-monitor & self-regulate behavior; in other cords, to notice one’s own behavior & modify it as the circumstances dictate
Parts of the brain involved in executive functioning
• Prefrontal lobes are unique in organization & function among all other areas of the cortex

• Brain is symphony frontal lobe acts as a conductor: Deals with planning, flexible problem solving & at the highest levels, the self-monitoring & self-assessment of behavior
• difficult to measure & observe because of its highly private nature

• Most people agree that consciousness implies awareness

• What distinguishes the conscious mind from the subconscious mind?

• definition: refers to a certain level of mental alertness and attention
Split-brain patients
typically report unified conscious experience

• Individuals with an intact corpus callosum, the right hemisphere is accessible to the left hemisphere through verbalizations

• “our conscious mind may be only aware of a percentage of what our brains do & are capable of “
mind and brain
• brains control & monitor the entire nervous system of our bodies & respond to physiological mechanisms in the body, like those of the endocrine system, to maintain state of brain-body homeostasis

• many are automatic, reflexive, unconscious

• boundaries between concepts of conscious & unconscious are blurring
Emotional Processing
• Science views emotions as necessary for higher evolutionary adaptation

• Humans live in social context in which self-understanding & social skills are some of the most crucial factors in determining societal success

• Witness surging interest in “emotional intelligence” which stresses understanding mood & emotional in self & others. Understand self & one’s own character & act effectively on this knowledge
Joseph LeDoux definition of emotion
subjective state of awareness & suggest that only b/c people have a cortex they label emotion & think about it rather than just react like other animals might.
physical Responses to fear
o Subcortical limbic
o Cortical response
Brain Organization of Emotion
• No one discrete emotional system is in the brain
LeDoux's discovery
concluded that the cortex isn’t necessary for fear conditioning, but the amygdala is

projections from the thalamus to amygdala provide “short-cut” allowing amygdala to process information directly, bypassing the cortical loop which allows for immediate automatic, preconscious & conscious emotional response
What emotions appear to be culturally universal?
1) Fear
2) disgust
3) surprise
4) anger
5) joy
primary emotions
Automatic, preorganized, arise from sensory experience & are processes through the limbic system before or parallel to the conscious recognition
Research regarding primary emotions
1) fear is the most researched

2) lesioning the amygdala in certain places interfered with fear conditioning

3) If the central nucleus of the amygdala is destroyed, animals no longer showed autonomic response when presented with tone (previously associated with shock)

• Expected increase in heart rate, respiration & vasodilation didn’t occur
Secondary Emotions
• Require higher cortical processing & according to Damasio are primarily orchestrated by prefrontal cortical networks

• People acquire secondary emotions, through learning & experience
Social Emotions
• Social emotions like embarrassment, pride, shame, & anxiety are highly dependent on learning & interact with one’s cognitive perception of the social environment as it pertains to itself

• Don’t necessarily imply separate “feeling” in the body
Emotions & the limbic system
• Feeling of emotional experience remains linked in the limbic system

• The difference is that secondary emotions are first generated through higher cortical processing & arrive at limbic system over different route from that taken by primary emotions which are generated through sensory experience

• Once in the limbic system, brain processes emotions in similar manner.
What controls the spontaneous smile?
1) basal ganglia
2) limbic system
3) subcortical structures
What type of disorder ususally occurs w/ emotional dysfunction?
Neurological disorder usually as a result of brain dysfunction
What gland did Descartes believe was the center for consciousness?
pineal gland
Have researchers located consciousness in the brain?
but researchers have found no single location for consciousness

• Because brain science hasn’t yet clearly defined operations & boundaries of consciousness

• Different areas of the brain may play roles in specific aspects of conscious perception & alertness
Perceptual awareness is built up through...
modality-specific sensory systems

1) vision
2) audition
3) proprioception
4) olfaction
5) taste
What is brain science providing interesting clues for?
how the brain “binds” separate fragments of into different cortical & subcortical regions into a subjective sense of coherent units

• Researchers are intrigued by the way the brain creates a unitary experience of consciousness at one moment in time. They call this the binding problem.
What structure are responsible for arousal?
RAS in the midbrain
Which structure does NOT have a role in consciousness?
The more sophisticated the cortex...
the greater the ability for subjective experience & self-awareness
What structures play a role in consciousness?
1) Neo-cortex
2) Thalamus
Neo-cortex in consciousness
evaluates external/internal experience
Thalamus in consciousness
plays crucial role in orchestrating higher cortical symphony

• Sensory relay station may be most crucial in synchronizing cortical processes

• Nearly all sensory & motor systems route through the thalamus

• In constant two-way communication with cortex through feedback system of millions of thalamocortical loops
The Hard Question
Hard question is how a subjective experience arises from brain & its synchronized oscillations

Not how consciousness processes bind together

Western empirical, materialistic tradition of science takes the stance if something can’t be observed & measured it doesn’t exist

There is a possibility that the range of reality extends beyond ordinary sensory-perceptual experience
Where has been characterized as the seat of consciousness.
the left hemisphere (where consciousness originates) is more specialized for spoken words
Memory Systems
Memory forms the basis of experience & perceptions of self

It is dynamic and malleable

It allows people to travel back in time

Memory pervades most aspects of human experience

It’s the necessary foundation of social communication

Memory is parceled into subsystems based on ideas of storage & processing
what disorders affect memory?
1) dementias
2) Alzheimer’s, toxic conditions
3) loss of oxygen
4) head injury
• Anterograde Amnesia
o loss of the ability to encode & learn new information after a defined event ( such as a head injury, lesion, or disease onset)
• Retrograde amnesia
o Loss of old memories from before an event or illness
3 main divisions of memory
1) sensory memory
2) short-term memory
3) long-term memory
sensory memory
• Fleeting, lasting only milliseconds.
• but its capacity is essentially limitless in what is taken in
short-term memory
• Limited capacity.
• 7 + 2 bits of information
• Degrades quickly over a matter of seconds information isn’t held via a means like rehearsal, or transferred to long-term memory.
long-term memory
• Theoretically unlimited & relatively permanent
• Except for models that suggest loss of information through forgetting is possible.
• Neuropsychologists are concerned with long-term memory & its disorders because these are problems most evidenced by patients.
• “Where is memory stored in the brain?”
• People may lose pieces of remote memory, but their brains are not erased.

• There’s no one memory storage center in the brain

• Neuropsychologists think memories are stored in an area where it’s first processed

• This implies, for example, for auditory association areas & for other functional systems
specific ability to register information
organize in a meaningful way
recall when needed
(referring to memory for information & facts that have no specific time tag reference)
(referring to individual episodes, usually autobiographical)
declarative memory
function is to process information in a way to tag or consolidate for storage in the brain
What 3 major constellations of brain structures in declarative memory?
o Centers around medial temporal lobe
o Around diencephalon
o Basal forebrain
Information funnels into hippocampus via what?
the cortex
Nondeclarative memory
• “habit”, “procedural”, “implicit”
• Implicit implies influence by prior experiences without conscious awareness

• Procedural learning concerns learning of procedures, rules, skills manifested through performance rather than verbalization, although conscious awareness may aid procedural learning.

• One area of nondeclarative memory concerns perceptual motor adaptation & skill acquisition
Short-term memory
• Limited capacity & short time frame of short-term memory doesn’t accommodate more than a few thoughts, ideas, or bits of information at a time.

• As new bits arrive, they may take the place of others or simply degrade

• Short-term memory uses phonological coding, relying on an acoustic code where as long-term memory heavily uses semantic coding or associative meaning values of information to be remembered.
3 conceptual components of working memory
1) Central Executive
2) Visual Spatial Sketchpad
3) Articulatory Phonological Loop
Working memory
• Notion of short-term memory as component of long-term memory has gradually given way to ideas that now refer to working memory

Some of the most convincing evidence that short-term memory & long-term memory are anatomically separate.

• Working memory directs temporary storage of reading to math or problem solving.
1) Central Executive
• Attention controlling system
• Supervises & coordinates
• Proposed deficit in Alzheimer’s
2) Visual Spatial Sketchpad
• Manipulates visual/spatial images
3) Articulatory Phonological Loop
• Stores speech-based information & is important in acquisition of vocabulary