Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cognitive Abilities, Intelligence and Testing

Hank on Intelligence

The controversy...

Brains and bias...

With many caveats... here is a sample IQ test. Remember, this is not a valid test. It is only to give you an idea of the types of questions which appear on some IQ tests.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Unit 9 Ch. 9 Consciousness

(scroll down the the previous post for the Limerick Contest Info)
Meditation - an altered state of consciousness?
How can meditation help you live a fuller and more balanced life? Andy Puddicombe discusses how it helps him live in the "present moment"... and he juggles a little too.

Starting to meditate? 
Here are links to a couple of online meditation timers. They can help you concentrate on your meditation because you don't have to worry about how much time has passed.  

There are many interesting and useful meditation timer apps too. 

Prosopagnosia: What if you could see normally but could not recognize faces... even your own? 
Writer Oliver Sacks of "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" fame has this condition and discusses his latest book about prosopagnosia in this interview from a public radio program called "To the Best of Our Knowledge." You can hear the interview and read the transcript at the following link: 

Videos on Consciousness

Discovering Psychology program 13 "The Mind Awake and Asleep" is at http://www.learner.org/discoveringpsychology/13/e13expand.html 

Discovering Psychology program 14 "The Mind Hidden and Divided" is at 

Article: The Meaning of Dreams by Jonathan Winson
Read it HERE - Are dreams symbolic, just random or are they a crucial step in processing memories? 


What is hypnosis? A state of heightened suggestibility with real effects in the brain.  

Here is a blog post about what hypnosis ISN'T ... 8 Popular Myths About Hypnosis 

Mouse Party?

What would you see inside the brains of mice who were taking drugs? This interactive website gives you a glimpse inside the brains and synapses of mice on drugs including alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, meth, ecstasy, and LSD.

Identify how each drug affects the brain. What neurotransmitter(s) does it affect? Is it inhibitory or excitatory? Does it block re-uptake or work some other way? Which parts of the brain are most affected?

You can explore other effects of drugs of abuse here

Dream Journal  - You should be making entries into your dream journal every day. If you don't remember a dream from the night, you should write about what emotions or thoughts you had upon awakening. If you don't have anything to enter for a day, you should write about a dream you had some time in the past - even the distant past. 

The point of the dream journal assignment is to get you to pay attention to your dreams and to start to think about various theories of dream interpretation to see if you think they apply.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Neuroscience for Kids Poetry Contest Entry Extra Credit Assignment

The website "Neuroscience for Kids" is having a poetry contest, and all high school entries must be in the form of a limerick. Per the instructions: A limerick has 5 lines; lines one, two and five rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables; lines three and four rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables.

Here's a limerick

My AP psych class is so very awesome
Sometimes, though, my students play possum
Do your best on this poem
You'll be like the emperor in Rome
Use your brains, and your smarts and you'll boss em

OK, it's not a great limerick and it's not about neuroscience, really... but you get the idea.

Here's another one that is about neuroscience, but might not qualify...

There once was a psych class from North-Grand
Knew right motor cortex moves left hand
They could read MRIs
Recite parts of their eyes
But their anterograde amnesia made them forget the beginning of this poem

You can read lots of examples of truly clever limericks at http://www.thehypertexts.com/The%20Best%20Limericks%20of%20All%20Time.htm

The full entry rules are at https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/contest16.html 

The entries must be mailed by January 22 (this is a hard-copy, snail-mail contest.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Unit 7, Ch 6 Learning

Pavlov won the Nobel Prize for his work... This website has simulations and lots of great info on him. 

Classical Conditioning on the show, "The Office" 

What is the UCS, the UCR, the NS, the CS and the CR? 

Classical Conditioning of of emotions by John Watson ... the birth of Behaviorism...poor Little Albert

Operant Conditioning: 

Operant Conditioning - B.F. Skinner the ultimate Behaviorist

Observational Learning:

Observational Learning / Social Learning - Can you learn just by watching? Alfred Bandura

Children See - Children Do... PSA about Observational Learning

Insight Learning: 

Insight Learning... a sudden inspiration - no trial and error, no reinforcement.

And... our friend Hank explains with two great videos. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Unit 06 Ch.05 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)

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

The incredible Color Constancy Illusion... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvgOOKBvyQU

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 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Unit 5 Ch. 4 (Part 2) The auditory system

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.
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?