Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Unit 5 Ch 4 - Part 2. Hearing and the Auditory System!

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.
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 Tests: 
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.  Keep your volume at a moderate level, and if you stop hearing the tone DO NOT increase the volume to try to hear it. 

This website has lots of different tone generators including this hearing test

This one:  http://youtu.be/h5l4Rt4Ol7M  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? -- 
YouTube actually compresses  audio, so this may not be accurate. Try the link above for more accuracy. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Unit 5 Ch. 4 - PART 1 of Sensation: Vision!

Unit 5: Sensation Bernstein Text, Chapter 4 Pp. 104-149

Unit Quiz on Thurs. Nov 8
Coloring Packet (10 pts) Due: Thurs. Nov. 1 (but start reading and notes right away…)
Notes check (10 pts): Due: Mon. Nov. 5 (~5-8 pages per day)
FlashCards Check (10 pts) Due: Wed. Nov. 7 (Work on these as you read…)

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

This beautiful hand painted animation is a great overview.   https://youtu.be/EskTnxBoPoI

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. 
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. 

Ever wonder what those little blobs floating around your visual field are? They'r caused by shadows of little chunks of debris floating around in the vitreous fluid inside your eye-ball.  This video explains it all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6e_m9iq-4Q

And Hank's Crash Course Psychology is always good... 

The Zimbardo "Discovering Psychology" video on Sensation and Perception can be found at this link. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Unit 4 Chapter 3 - Biological Basis of Psychology

Unit Quiz on Mon, Oct 22
Coloring Packet (10 pts) on Tues. Oct. 9
Notes check (10 pts): Due: Wed. Oct. 17
Flash Cards (10 pts) Due: Fri . Oct 19
Superhero assignment due Mon. Oct. 22

Everything psychological is biological...

In other words, "Mind is what brain does..."

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.

1.     Key Term FlashcardsThere 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.

More specifics about neurons and the nervous system... Thanks HANK! 

And... Hank on the Action Potential... You need to know the basics of how action potentials work. This video goes into a bit more detail than you'll need for the AP exam, but it's super solid. 

And the Synapse... where lots of the action happens! Focus on the chemical synapses... the electrical synapses are more specialized and more abundant in embryonic development than in our fully developed nervous system (and the chemical synapse will show up on the AP exam.)

A Neurotransmitter Infographic...
Neurotransmitter Infographic
Click to enlarge.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Unit 3 Chapter 2 - Research Methods - Hair Length, Shoe Size, Height Blog Post

Here is the data folks submitted to the Google Form in class on Friday. I sorted according to each variable so you can easily figure out mean, median and mode etc. Use this data to complete the handout you received in class on Tuesday. THEN... read below to learn how to complete this assignment on in a comment on this blog post.
NOTE: There are several "outliers" or unusual data points in our data set. According to this, one person has a foot that's only 9 cm long. Another person is only 54 cm tall. How can that be? There are no such people in our class. In psych or any type of research, our conclusions are only as good as the data we use to form them. How we deal with errors in data collection is an important issue. 

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. Feel free to e-mail it to me if you are afraid it didn't post. 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. 

Graph 1  Height v. Hair Length
Height vs. Hair Length
Correlation Coefficient = 0.166 

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 outliers out of the data set what does the correlation look like? What other information would be helpful to interpret the data? 

Graph 2
Height vs. Shoe Size 
Height Vs. Shoe Size
Correlation Coefficient = 0.526

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? Why are some values so common while others are rare? Nobody in our class is only 50 cm tall. How do you think those low outlying data points happened? 

Graph 3 
Hair Length vs Shoe Size

Hair Length vs. Shoe Size
Correlation Coefficient = 0.016

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? Are the points clustered in an interesting way?  Does correlation imply causation? Why or why not? Three people have shoe sizes that are less than 10 cm. How did that data happen? What would the data look like without those outliers? 

And a video about ice cream and polio... 

Hank on Research Methods

And... more about the Standard Deviation

While you don't need to calculate the Standard Deviation on the AP exam, this video explains how to do it. You may find it helpful to go through the math to help you understand the concept better.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Unit 2, Chapter 1 - History of Psychology

Psychology started as people began to scientifically observe and experiment to try to understand human behavior and mental processes. Prior to psychology, philosophers used their imagination and logic to attempt to explain things like thought, emotion and behavior. This chapter is about how psychology began, and the different "schools of thought" that have made up the field from the past to the present. 

Bernstein Chapter 1  Pg. 1-26
Reading assignment notes check (10 pts): Due Tues 9/18  (How many pages per day?)
Flashcard check (10 pts): Due Wed 9/19
History of Psych Quiz on Thurs 9/20

Objectives (think about these as you read and review– KNOW THE ANSWERS!!
            1. What is psychology?
            2. What are the major subfields of psychology and how are they different?
            3. How is psychology related to other fields like philosophy and biology?
            4. What is empiricism and what is empirical research?
5. Describe the history of psychology by comparing psychophysics, structuralism, Gestalt psychology, psychoanalysis, functionalism, behaviorism and humanism.
6. Compare and contrast the basic assumptions of six major approaches to understanding psychological phenomena: Biological, Evolutionary, Psychodynamic, Behavioral, Cognitive, Humanistic.
7. What is the “eclectic” approach to psychology?
8. How does culture influence behavior and mental processes?
9. What is “diversity” in psychology – how might bias affect the field of psychology?

Bernstein Text Chapter 1 Pp. 1 – 26 –
Read and take Cornell notes based on your reading instructions. Write down how long it takes you to complete the reading and notes so you can know what to expect in terms of studying for future chapters.
Flashcards  - 

1.     Key Term Flashcards: Make Flashcards of the Key Terms that are bolded in the text in addition to cards for the following terms:  Gusav Fechner, Wilhelm Wundt, Edward Titchner, Structuralism, Gestalt, Freud, Psychoanalysis, William James, Functionalism, Mary Whiton Calkins, John B. Watson, Behaviorism, Humanism, Social Psychology

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.

And while this video about the history of psych is not a snappy as Hank's, it covers more people and movements in the history of this most interesting field.

Some really helpful timelines of the history of psychology:




And... a sample from a comic called Action Philosophers


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Unit 1 Ch. 7 Memory!!

Unit 1 Chapter 7 Memory
Key ideas from Memory Unit:
Encoding, episodic vs. semantic and procedural memory, explicit vs. implicit memory, maintenance and rehearsal strategies to improve memory, various models of how memory works such as PDP and Info Processing, understand the difference between sensory, short term, and long term memory, compare recency and primacy effects, understand what affects memory retrieval, understand the limits of eye-witness testimony, Herman Ebbinghauss , compare retroactive and proactive interference,  compare retrograde and anterograde amnesia,
*****Use mnemonics and distributed practice to learn all this stuff and know why you are remembering and forgetting.

Good overview of basic memory concepts.

A whole site dedicated to human memory... very helpful. It has this very complete concept map.
Crash Course Psychology with our friend Hank!
How we make memories...  https://youtu.be/bSycdIx-C48 

Remembering and Forgetting 
Some fun memory games you can do online

Elizabeth Loftus's Ted Talk - The Fiction of Memory... the rape conviction of an innocent man... 

NOVA: How Memory Works

Article - What Science Says about Ferguson: Hacked memory.  We may all be working from different sets of "facts" about the same event.

This is not specifically about memory, but about implicit associations we make about people.
https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/ You can take some of the Implicit Association Tests to see what some of your implicit associations about people and groups are. I’m putting it with this unit as an example of implicit vs. explicit thought processes.

Story from National Public Radio (NPR) about H.M., the man who had the bilateral removal of his hippocampus (What is the plural of hippocampus?) and ended up with the nearly complete inability to form new memories. Find out why he had his hippocampus removed and learn about this amazing case study of anterograde amnesia. 

And an article from Psychology Today about H.M.

This video clip was made based on 2000 slices that were made of H.M.'s brain after he died in 2008. 

The movie Memento was the first feature film by star director Christopher Nolan who went on to direct The Dark Night and Inception. It is a fictional film about a character who, like H.M.,  loses the ability to create any new memories, but still tries to solve a horrible crime.

It is rated R due to some very violent content and adult language. If that sort of film is acceptable to you and your parents, you can stream it on Netflix or rent it. It's definitely not appropriate for younger siblings. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Summer Assignment Part 2 - Blog Comment Due Aug 24

If you still need to complete Part 1, scroll down to see that blog post. 

After you have read Phineas Gage and worked on the Phineas Gage Reading Guide Questions you should post your review of the book in the COMMENTS to THIS blog post.  Please read all the instructions below before writing your Book Review.  (use the "comment" link below this post)  

Your comment should be a review of the book. A book review is a critical assessment of the book in which you share your opinions (claims) about the book and back up those opinions with examples from the book (evidence). Be sure to describe the story AND the style of the book. 

Some questions you might want to think about as you write: What did you think of the book? What did you find most interesting? What are some new or surprising things you learned from the book? Why do you think Phineas was "lucky" or "unlucky?" Are there other texts (books, movies, etc.) that relate to the story of Phineas? Why or why would you not recommend it to a friend? 

As with the last blog assignment, I will not show the comments until the deadline so everyone has a chance to work on the assignment without being too influenced by other peoples' work. Do not re-send your post multiple times. Please don't e-mail me to see if I got your comment, if the blog says it was received...that is your confirmation. If you aren't sure, take a screenshot of your comment so you have proof you sent it.
Please note: As always you can e-mail me with questions. If you're having trouble with the blog, just e-mail me your comment or your screenshot so I have evidence you completed it before the deadline. 

Here are a couple of links about writing a good book review:
Here is a review of the book, The Hunger Games you can use as an example of a book review. Of course it's about a fictional novel, not a non-fiction book like Phineas Gage. 

And just for fun....