Thursday, October 30, 2014

Unit 5 - Perception

Hank explains the distinction between sensation and perception... Thanks Hank!



See how top-down processing affects perception... Can you count how many passes the white-shirted players make in this basketball video? (It's on YouTube, so it may not work in school. You can get to it at home on this link http://youtu.be/IGQmdoK_ZfY if the embedded video doesn't work)




Which way is this dancer spinning?



Clockwise or counter clockwise?
This site shows you how the illusion works http://ofb.net/~whuang/imgs/spin/




Which is the front and which is the back of the Necker Cube? It gets really interesting when you add a dog and a scuba diver... (click here)
http://dogfeathers.com/java/necker.html

Subliminal messages? How effective are they?
Democrats accused Republicans of putting a subliminal message into this Bush campaign commercial? Do you think it was intentional? Do you think it would have an effect? Click here if the embedded video isn't working http://youtu.be/2NPKxhfFQMs



These "TED Talks" can give us great insights into attention and color perception.

Cognitive Scientist Beau Lotto studies color perception in humans and bees.
Here is the link if the embedded video isn't working for you. http://www.ted.com/talks/beau_lotto_optical_illusions_show_how_we_see.html



Apollo Robbins is a skilled pick-pocket who shows us a thing or two about attention.
Link: http://www.ted.com/talks/apollo_robbins_the_art_of_misdirection.html 







Thursday, October 23, 2014

Unit 4 Sensation - How the Ear works (for the visual system scroll down to previous post.)


Nobel Prize Website - Games, animations, the story of how the cochlea was unraveled...

The organization that gives out the Nobel Prize has a great website about the ear and how it works.

If you're having trouble understanding the accessory structures and the cochlea this site is for you.














Animations and interactives that explain the ear.

The Sumanas inc. video goes into great detail about the inner ear.
http://www.sumanasinc.com/webcontent/animations/content/soundtransduction.html
Another video on YouTube is great 3D animation that takes you into the ear as if you are a sound wave... it demonstrates the movements in the middle and inner ear with classical music... fantastic piece. The link is at http://youtu.be/PeTriGTENoc - since it's YouTube it may not work at school... 


Hearing Test: You need over-the-ear headphones and a decent computer to use this (not medically accurate) hearing test, but it's interesting to check out even if you don't have the right set-up.   http://youtu.be/h5l4Rt4Ol7M  It is a YouTube video, so it may not work at school. 
Mr. Cantor who was born in 1964 can hear sounds below roughly 14,000 Hz. How about you? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Unit 4 - Sensation Animations about vision - the retina and visual pathways

Fantastic animations about the eye, visual processing in the retina and the pathways that visual information travels in the brain.

This beautiful and painted animation is a great overview. 



Pay close attention to the "center-surround" aspects of retinal processing in this Web Animation below. The narrator's voice is a bit boring, but it's a great video that explains the whole "center-surround" opponent process thing. 
http://www.sumanasinc.com/webcontent/animations/content/receptivefields.html
This animation shows how the photoreceptors, bipolar and ganglion cells of the retina are organized in "center-surround" arrangements that allow "bottom up" processing of visual information to begin in the retina. 



If a picture is worth a thousand words, an animation is worth way more. This animation really shows the visual pathway very well. Pay attention to how visual information is split in the Optic Chiasm and how it routs through the LGN of the thalamus as well as other areas specifically related to eye movement and the "biological clock" which controls circadian rhythms.

This excellent animation really explains how the visual information from the left and right visual fields makes its way to the right and left occipital lobes via the LGN of the thalamus. 

Check out this amazingly comprehensive video that covers the visual system in about 10 minutes. It's on YouTube, so it may be hard to watch at school. Link: http://youtu.be/AuLR0kzfwBU


What do you see in the circle?


This site sells glasses that are supposed to correct for some color blindness. I don't know how well they work, but they do have a really nice color blindness test. http://enchroma.com/test/instructions/ 

Do you have "SuperVision? Are you a tetrachromat - a person with 4 
types of cones rather than 3? This website has a test for you. 




The Zimbardo "Discovering Psychology" video on Sensation and Perception can be found at this link. 
http://www.learner.org/resources/series138.html?pop=yes&pid=1504

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Unit 3 - The Biological Basis of Behavior. Everything psychological is also biological.

Unit Quiz on Fri, October 17th
Notes check (10 pts): Due: Friday. Oct. 10th
Superhero assignment due on Tuesday. Oct. 14th
Coloring Packet (10 pts)  and Flash Cards (10 pts) Due: Wed. Oct. 15th

Objectives (think about these as you read):
1. Describe the general structure, organization and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
2. Describe the structure and function of neurons and other cells in the nervous system.
            3. How and why do neurons communicate with each other?
            4. What are “action potentials,” and how do they work?
5. Compare the somatic and autonomic parts of the peripheral nervous system.
6. Compare the important neurotransmitters.
7. Describe the endocrine system. What does it do?
8. Describe the various parts of the limbic system and what they do.
9. Describe the various parts of the cerebral cortex and what they do.
            10. Be able to explain how damage to a part of the brain may affect the organism.

Flash-Cards
1.     Key Term Flashcards: There are 63 Key Terms highlighted in the textbook. Do at least 45. Do 5 to 7 per day and you’ll be fine.
2.      Pictures/diagrams are important to this unit!

3.     Don’t freak out. I know it’s a lot of flashcards. It will be worth memorizing and understanding the key terms. You will need to review the flashcards before quizzes and exams in class and as you study for the AP exam.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


This site has some very easy to read descriptions of parts of the brain. Use it to help you understand what's between your ears if our book gets too confusing.  http://brainmadesimple.com/index.html



Our friend Hank discusses the chemistry of our brain...



Try this EdPuzzle link which asks you some questions as the video plays to check to see if you are understanding important points. It was developed by AP Psych teacher Mr. Mcentar. 

And Hank discusses the overall structure of the brain... from phrenology to Phineas to the old brain and the new brain.



Here is the EdPuzzle link for this video... try it out! Remember, quizzing yourself and connecting new information to old is the best way to learn new content.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Blog Assignment #3 - The Shoe/Hair/Height correlation project. Due Sunday 9/21/14 by 11:59pm


In a comment to this post, please discuss each of the graphs below. Be sure to address the questions under each graph. Please don't copy the questions or number your answers, rather, you should write a paragraph or two in complete sentences so your reader knows what you are talking about. Be sure to sign in as "anonymous" but put your first name and last initial in the post so I know to whom to give the credit. 
If you have any questions please e-mail me. Review the "how to e-mail a teacher" post on my blog before you send your e-mail.(click on the graphs to enlarge)

I strongly suggest you write the comment in Word or another program and then copy and paste it into the comment section below. This way, if the comment doesn't go through or is accidentally deleted you'll have a record of your work. Please also remember that I have to approve all comments, so it may take a while for it to show up on the blog. You don't need to resubmit it over and over. 

Click on graphs to enlarge. 

Hair Length v. Height - Correlation Coefficient = -0.47 



What can we see from the above scatter plot of hair length vs. height? Is there a correlation? How strong is it? If so, is it positive or negative; strong or weak? What information about the students in our class does this graph give you? Are there a few "outliers" or extreme data points that seem unusual? If you throw them out of the data set what does the correlation look like? What other information would be helpful to interpret the data?


Height v. Shoe Size - Correlation Coefficient = +0.73


Above is the data we collected about our shoe sizes vs our heights. Can you see a relationship? Is there a correlation? If so, is it positive or negative? How strong is it?  Does shoe size cause height to change? Does height cause shoe size to change? 

Hair v. Shoe Size - Correlation Coefficient = -0.39
Finally, the above graph shows the relationship between shoe size and hair length. Is there a correlation?  If so, is it positive or negative? How strong is it? What third variable which is not shown on the graphs might be causing the relationship between shoe size and hair length? Does correlation imply causation? Why or why not? 

And a video about ice cream and polio... 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Unit 2 Assignment

1. Chaapter 2 Reading assignment notes check (10 pts): Due Monday, Sept. 22
2. Flashcards (10 pts): Due Wednesday Sept 24
3. Concept Map Due Friday Sept. 26 (10 pts)
4. Unit 2 Quiz on Monday Sept. 29 (MC & FRQ)

And watch this video of our buddy Hank! 
           
Objectives (think about these as you read):
            1. What methods do psychologists use to learn about behavior and mental processes?
            2. How is “Critical Thinking” important for psychological research?
            3. What role do theories play in psychological research?
            4. Describe and compare the following research methods: Naturalistic Observation, Case Studies, Surveys, Correlational Studies, Experiments.
5. Explain the ethical issues in using human and animal subjects for psych research.
6. What statistics do psych researchers use?
7. What are the ethical guidelines psych researchers must follow?
8. Describe aspects of an experiment including Independent and Dependent Variables, Control and Experimental Groups, Informed Consent and how Placebos are used.

Bernstein Text Chapter 2 Pp. 27 - 57
Read and take Cornell notes based on your reading instructions. Don’t just copy the book… put in your own words to shorten and build understanding.
             
Bernstein Study Guide Chapter 2 (starts on P. 26)
1.     Make Key Term Flashcards:  At least 20 of the 35 key terms (pick what you need to study most)
2.     Additional Flashcards: Family Studies, Twin Studies, Adoption Studies, Five important ethical guidelines for psych research. 

Concept Map – Use images, words and graphics such as arrows and diagrams to demonstrate how some important concepts in the chapter are related to each other.
Use this rubric to help you understand what’s expected.
10 Points
8 Points
6 Points
4 Points
2 Points
Concept Map fully and clearly demonstrates understanding of RELATIONSHIPS between concepts from the unit. Uses text, images, arrows or other graphic tools to show the relationships.
Concept map is not clear about relationships between concepts. May be missing one important aspect of the concept, or does not use sufficient text, images, arrows, or graphic tools accurately.
Concept map is missing multiple aspects of the concept. And/or there is very little use of graphic tools to show relationships. 
Concept map shows some parts of the concept correctly, but also shows a misunderstanding of relationships between some concepts. E.g. arrows may be there, but to the wrong direction.
Concept map does not show any correct relationships between concepts or shows shows a misunderstanding of relationships between concepts.


Here is an example of a concept map a student did for another unit last year. She used index cards and "doors" you could open to see information under them. Pretty darn creative IMO. 



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

History of Psychology - Unit 01

This is the video we watched in class.

 You can also watch it directly on Youtube.

Use it to fill out your "Names to Know" and your "Approaches" charts.

If you're ready to have your big brain explode, our friend Hank Green does a great job of laying out the basics of the history of psych too... be ready for some rapid-fire knowledge with this one.



You can watch it directly on Youtube too.