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BU PSYC 358 - The brain basis of Cognition

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PSYC 358 1st Edition Lecture 4 Outline of Last Lecture I. Doing research in Sciencea. Scientific analysisOutline of Current Lecture II. The Brain basis of CognitionIII. What promotes good learningIV. The nervous systema. Neural functionCurrent LectureDay 4: The brain basis of cognitionQuestion of the Day(What are some good ideas to promote learning?)How does the brain process information?What promotes good learning?-Basic needs satisfied-Vygotsky said learning happens best in the zone of proximal development. So there are things that you learn when you are developmentally ready. If you try to learn outof sync, the learning wont be as efficient-Correct level of developmental readiness-Intrinsic/extrinsic motivation- Things outside of yourself that make you more or less likely to do something. An extrinsic motivation could be getting an allowance or thinking that getting a degree to succeed down the line. Intrinsic motivation could be curiosity or for thelove of learning. Extrinsic motivation can be shallow and not as fulfilling as intrinsic motivation-Active Learning-Doing something instead of passively receiving information. Linking the learning to being able to do something.-Situated, goal-based, just-in-time learning-We learn the best when we see the link between learning and something we are trying to do. If we are learning math, we should put them in a situation where they need those skills to accomplish. Just in time learning is when we deliver learning to someone who at that moment is inspired to learn.-Discovery-based learning-Instead of giving someone knowledge, we lead them toward it.-Linkage to organized knowledge structures-Must link new knowledge to things the person already knows. If it isn’t linked, it seems like a fragment.-Teaching others and social interdependenceThese notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not as a substitute.-When you try to teach someone else, you can understand something better. You can try to set up learning situations where you’re responsible for one part and other people are responsible for other parts and this creates a community of learning thathelps you overcome individual shortcomings.-Advance organizers-Tell the learner what you are going to teach them before you do so. Basically prepares them for what is about to be taught. This creates expectations and can ease the process of the info coming in.-Knowing what you know-We often make judgments on what we know ourselves. Like on a test, we might think “oh I know that”. We are often bad at this. We often think we know more or less than we actually do. Testing oneself can thwart this-Fluency and confidence vs. knowledge-We very easily drift to overconfidence-Practice/repetition-We need to put our time and work at learning. We need to review the content repeatedly-The value of making mistakes-Mistakes tell you where you need to work harder. Mistakes also mean that we are challenging ourselves. If we are perfect, we aren’t challenging ourselvesSome less established ideas about learning to consider-Connecting the pieces-We are good at encoding information and memorization. But the challenge and real value of learning is connecting the content.-Flipping the Classroom-Watching Lectures on the computer and doing practice problems in the classroom.-Avoiding Defensiveness-Some things that get in the way of learning is defensiveness. Various ways that a person says “don’t tell me I’m wrong, don’t tell me what to do.” It’s basically their ego.Basic Principle of nervous systemFrom environment -> to the nervous systemTransduction-Environmental energy -> electrical energy interface between physical and mental worldsFrom the Nervous system -> to the environment-Neurons fire to control muscles that produce action-But what does it mean for a neuron to fire…?Basic principle of neural function-Presynaptic Neuron (Sends action potential)-All-or none signal-Like a red light. It doesn’t come on a little bit. It is on or not on. Firing more frequently makes a stronger or more urgent signal.-Degree of activity is spike rate, not size of response-Propagation of signal without loss of strength-Between Neurons (Synaptic transmission)-Chemical process triggered by action potential-Release of neurotransmitters from synaptic vesicles degrees of excitation (+) or inhibition (-)-Information integration-Spatial and temporal summation at dendritic tree-They are critical to how neural information processing works. Summation means the receiving center of a neuron. Some are sending lots of strong signal whyile someare sending weak signals. All that info needs to be summed to see whether the threshold of excitatory info is reached and that activates the action potential-Signal gated by threshold (back to all or none)-How does neural firing relate to the world?-Receptors represent specific hypotheses about the world feature detectors-They are detectors of certain types of truths, or aspects or features. Firing of a neuron can represent a truth about the world. Seeing grandma and the recognition that comes from that, does not come from a single neuron. It comes from many.-What about entire stimuli or collections of stimuli-Distributed vs. local representationHow does experience affect neural information processing?One example is: Hebbian learning-Think about synaptic connection by sending an excitatory or inhibitory signal from one neuron to another-When neurons fire together, the fact that they are both firing is meaningful-Synapse weight the message between neurons-Weighted signal means you can have a + or – value depending on if its excitatory or inhibitory and that value can be at different ranges that can reflect the nature of summation of firing rate of what’s going on at the synaptic gap.-Neurons that fire together, wire together-Keep track over time over which neurons are firing together. Because when 3 neurons are both firing it means both of their hypotheses they stand for are thought to be true at that moment if both of those hypothesis are true at that moment, you say hypothesis A seems to be predictive of hypothesis B. -Key idea: the knowledge is in the


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