Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cognition and Language

Our friend Hank on cognition

and... Hank on language

and... Steve Pinker on how kids learn language

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Unit 7, Ch 6 Learning

Notes due: Fri Dec. 16
Flash Cards due: Mon. Dec. 19
Concept Map Tues. Dec. 20
Unit Test: WED. Dec. 21 (Two days before Winter Break)

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. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Unit 6 Chapter 6 Perception... making sense of sensation

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 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

Which is the front and which is the back of the Necker Cube?

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

Light constancy... our expectations and experience shape what we think we see.

A mashup of optical illusions... see how many you can relate to concepts we're learning about 

Cognitive Scientist Beau Lotto studies color perception in humans and bees.
Here is the link if the embedded video isn't working for you.

Apollo Robbins is a skilled pick-pocket who shows us a thing or two about attention.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Unit 5 Ch. 4 (part 1) The Visual System

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.

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:

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. 

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:

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

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

Unit 5 Ch 4 - Part 2. Hearing and 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 - 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.  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? 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Unit 04 Ch.03 The Biological Basis of Behavior and Mental Processes... Mind Is What Brain Does

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.

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.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hair Length, Shoe Size, Height Correlation Blog Post Assignment. Due Tuesday 10/18 by midnight.

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. 

Graph 1  Hair vs. Height
Hair Length vs. Height
Correlation Coefficient r =  -0.57

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? 

Graph 2
Height vs. Shoe Size 
Height Vs. Shoe Size
Correlation Coefficient r = 0.72

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? What about the person who is over 160 cm tall, but has the smallest feet in class? They're the about same height as two of the people with the largest feet in class. 

Graph 3 
Shoe Size vs. Hair Length 

Shoe Size vs. Hair Length
Correlation Coefficient r = -0.42

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? The points are clustered in an interesting way (one cluster below 20cm hair length and one cluster above 48 cm hair length.) What third variable which is not shown on any of the graphs might be causing the relationship between shoe size and hair length?  Does correlation imply causation? Why or why not? How about that high value for Shoe Size? 

And a video about ice cream and polio...