Friday, December 22, 2017

Unit 8 Chapter 8 Cognition and Language

Unit 8: Chapter 8    Cognition and Language         
Assigned 12/20/17

Reading assignments:
Bernstein Text Chapter 8 Pp. 275-319
Notes Check Mon, Jan 8                 
Flash Cards Due Mon. Jan 8 
Concept Map Due Tues, Jan 16      
Unit Quiz: Wed. Jan 17

Read and take Cornell Notes: Make connections! Put in your own words! Write examples, mnemonics.

Key concepts:
Cognition: Evoked Brain Potentials, Formal and Natural Concepts, Prototypes, Schemas, Scritps, Mental Models, Cognitive Maps, Rules of Logic, Propositions, Syllogisms, Formal and Informal Reasoning, Algorithms, Heuristics including Anchoring,  Representativeness, and Availability, Mental Set, Functional Fixedness, Confirmation Bias and other biases.

Language: Grammar, Phonemes, Morphemes, Syntax, Semantics, Surface and Deep Structure of Language, Babbling, Telegraphic Speech

Stimulus Response Compatibility - We can measure Reaction Time (RT) to measure the amount or complexity of thinking. Use this online test to measure the Simon Effect. 

Don't be fooled by the title of this clip! Sherlock Holmes says he is an expert at deductive reasoning, but really he's using INDUCTIVE reasoning. He uses the small details he observes to draw larger conclusions - you can think of inductive reasoning as bottom up. Deductive reasoning, on the other hand, is top down. Syllogisms are examples of DEDUCTIVE reasoning... you have one or more general premises and come to a logical conclusion from them. For example: Premise 1: Most murders are men. Premise 2: There has been a murder. Conclusion: It's likely the murder is a man. Holmes is INDUCTIVE! 

Our friend Hank on cognition

and... Hank on language

and... Steve Pinker on how kids learn language

More depth on theories of cognition and language from Kahn Academy

The benefits of bilingualism 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Unit 07 Chapter 06 LEARNING... yup, learning about learning

Notes due: Thurs Dec. 14
Concept Map Fri. Dec. 15
Flash Cards due: Mon. Dec. 18
Unit Test: Tues. Dec. 19  

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. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Unit 6 Chapter 5 Perception... making sense of sensation

Reading Notes Due: Mon. Nov. 27
Concept Map Due on Wed. Nov. 29
MEANINGFUL Flashcards on Key Terms from book and class Due: Fri. Dec. 1
Quiz Monday Dec. 4

See assignment sheet for Key Ideas! 

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.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

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 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:  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? 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Unit 5, Chapter 4 - Part 1 of the Sensation unit. - VISION

Unit 5: Sensation Bernstein Text, Chapter 4 Pp. 104-149
Unit Quiz on Thurs. Nov 9
 Coloring Packet (10 pts) Due: Fri. Nov. 3 (but start reading and notes right away…)
Notes check (10 pts): Due: Mon. Nov. 6 (~5-8 pages per day)
 FlashCards Check (10 pts) Due: Wed. Nov. 8 (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.

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.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Unit 4, Chapter 3 - Biological Basis of Behavior and Mental Processes

Everything psychological is biological...

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

Unit Quiz on Mon, Oct 23  Wed. Oct. 25
Coloring Packet (10 pts)  on Mon. Oct. 16 Tues. Oct. 17
Notes check (10 pts): Due: Thurs. Oct. 19 Fri. Oct. 20
Flash Cards (10 pts) Due: Fri . Oct 20 Mon. Oct. 23
Superhero assignment due Fri. Oct. 20 Mon. Oct. 23

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.

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.)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Unit 3, Chapter 2 - Hair Length, Shoe Size, Height Correlation Blog Post Assignment. Due Wednesday 10/4 by midnight.

Here is the data folks submitted to the Google Form in class today. 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 Friday. THEN... read below to learn how to complete this assignment on in a comment on this blog post. I wonder why some folks are missing from the data... 

NOTE: There are two people who listed their height as 63 and 64 cm. Since nobody in our class is around two feet tall, I assume those are errors. Before I graphed the data I added a "1" to each so they became 163 and 164 cm. 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. 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. Heigh
Correlation Coefficient -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 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 0.61

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? 

Graph 3 
Shoe Size vs. Hair Length 

Shoe Size vs. Hair Length
Correlation Coefficient -0.82

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? 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? 

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.