DD303 Consciousness

Ken Adams
Flashcards by Ken Adams, updated more than 1 year ago
Ken Adams
Created by Ken Adams over 6 years ago


DD303 Consciousness

Resource summary

Question Answer
Main points of Access consciousness? Part of Block's types of consciousness How we name something & remember it Making content available to other cognitive processes Block - Cognitive Psychology only explores this part of consciousness Chalmers - "easy" & "hard" problems Levine - "explanatory gap" ie cognitive explanation of phenomenology
Block's types of consciousness? Phenomenal (P-consciousness) - life's rich tapestry of internal & external experience Access (A-consciousness) - reportability & action driving Monitoring (M-consciousness) - being aware of being aware; "higher order thought" Self (S-consciousness) - an awareness of oneself independently of sensory input
Dualism? Descartes - mind & brain are separate Issue - How can mind & brain interaction be separate? Unless though has physical aspect
Monism? Materialists Eliminative Explanatory gap due to use of non-scientific terms eg desire, belief
Functionalists? Subset of Monism Mental states functional or causal states - defined by how they convert input into output Suggest conscious state is not just by-product of brain state BUT cause our behaviour
Implicit Memory - experiments & evidence? No sensation of remembering Eich - homophone word pairs (window - PANE; taxi - FARE); when Ps spell homophones bias to homophone primed in word pair Jacoby et al - "False Fame Effect" Ps exposed to non-famous names; divided attention condition = Ps judge non-famous names as famous; familiarity? No explicit recognition of names Squire & McKee - replicated results w/ amnesiacs. Implies potential to learn even if explicit memory damage 'Error-less Learning'
How is Implicit Memory like priming? Words - Meyer & Schvaneveldt: Decision time for words faster when related to prime; preserved in amnesiacs Behaviour - Bargh: 'elderly' words prime Ps to act 'older'
Implicit Learning - experiments and evidence? MARCEL - subliminal primes: 'doctor' id as real word faster w/ prime Criticism: what is subliminal? Issue with refresh rate of PC screens REBER - supraliminal primes: artificial grammar; sequence conforming to grammar learned quicker DEEPROSE et al - unconscious patients: word stem tasks; some implicit learning & memory
Implicit Learning - Criticisms? 1) No way to determine Ps actual awareness of stimuli 2) Re REBER - knowing how some grammar works improves guesses above chance? >SHANKS & St John - information criterion (ensure what we are looking for in the awareness test is what's influencing behaviour) sensitivity criterion (demonstrate DV is sensitive to all possible levels of relevant conscious knowledge) both req'd to demonstrate learning occurred - ie defend the idea that something is happening that is truly unconscious
Implicit Learning - Controlled vs Automatic processing: evidence & experiments? SCHNEIDER & SHIFFRIN Auto processes = LTM (activation of sequence of nodes in LTM via related permanent connections; difficult to stop) Controlled processes = STM (activation of novel sequence of nodes requiring attention; limited to 1 task @ once; have control) Target search tasks: consistent mapping = RTs faster varied mapping = RTs slower Question - Is consciousness what we use to control behaviour, or is it that we become conscious of our behaviour when we try to control it?
Implicit Learning & Memory - Neuropsychological perspective? Studies imply consciousness is modular ZEKI & FFYTCHE - patient GY (blindsight) fMRI w/ & w/o slow & fast moving stimuli Activity in motion cortex - more for faster stimuli (GY usually more aware of faster) Suggests specialised brain area rather than general 'consciousness centre'
What is Consciousness for? Behavioural control? ZAJONC - Affective priming: conscious processes help make rationale not emotional decisions BADDELEY et al - Rnd # generation task: Ps lapse into stereotypical responses if performed w/ concurrent tasks BADDELEY & WILSON - explicit memory used to help us learn from mistakes; w/o awareness - past mistakes prime future errors
What is Consciousness for? Crosstalk? Crosstalk between cognitive modules? Consciousness can break modularity? eg blindsight & glass of water Research doesn't explain why this behaviour associated with consciousness
What is Consciousness for? Altered states? Hypnosis - reduce tendency to check mental contents vs o/s world = less reality monitoring? Drugs (eg ketamine & LSD) - flood sensory system = break modularity? Leads to hallucinations & synaesthesia Alcohol - loss of inhibition suggests: consciousness may involve monitoring & control of behaviour?
Cognitive theories of Consciousness - BADDELEY? Working Memory theory/model conduit to consciousness combines info from modalities (eg perception & LTM enable imagination of novel solutions) WM = solution to 'binding problem': unified experience of many inputs Episodic Buffer store bound info interface WM, LTM & consciousness Evidence - WM = cognitive correlate of consciousness Criticism - Doesn't make explicit if info becomes conscious as it's in buffer or only if acted on by central executive Also implies "Homunculus" directing activity
Cognitive theories of Consciousness - DENNETT? Multiple drafts theory Stimulus just processed - not sent to "consciousness module" Parallel streams of processing - awareness only when particular area probed
Cognitive theories of Consciousness - BAARS? Consciousness necessary for WM Global Workspace collecting of processing products necessary for WM to function "like a theatre" see 1 actor in spotlight, but others present: WM = stage of consciousness; director chooses which actor (WM content) is on (becomes conscious) Evidence - DEHAENE et al: fMRI unconscious processing of stimuli activate is single areas, but conscious processing activates many areas BUT ZEKI & FFYTCHE - increased/localised activity in conscious perception contrary to DEHAENE
Emotions & Consciousness? >Feeling component of emotion inextricably linked to conscious awareness >But, cognitive psychologists concentrated less on feeling states than on exploration of cognitive processing associated w/ emotion >Explanations of consciousness don't explain necessity to feel emotions Further research re possible function of feelings associated w/ emotion
Regularly acknowledged facet of consciousness? Linked w/ emotions >It's necessary for performing new tasks or trying to override habits w/o relying on mechanics of conditioning >Learning new responses to an emotional situation >eg when soldiers advance into battle despite urge to flee >eg suppressing tendency to respond in anger at a socially inappropriate moment
Time, Hypnosis & Consciousness - Naish >Most hypnosis participants report duration less than the actual duration >Link to Gray ('95) consciousness theory - we maintain content of conscious awareness by registering repeated snapshots of our environment >Sense of time may be linked to rate which environment sampled >Hypnosis doesn't involve fast-changing stimuli - suggests less frequent snapshots = less aware of duration >Those who are more immersed in hypnosis make larger underestimates of duration (Naish '03)
Main points of Atkinson et al (extra paper)? >Proposes model for integrating research findings w/ variety of current theories >'vehicle' (representation-based) or 'process' theories >Considers use of behavioural markers (eg verbal report) in different tasks - implicit learning, subliminal perception etc >Outlines conceptual framework dimensions (representations vs processing) - plots models on it >Reviews neural correlates of consciousness research & how it can fit w/ ideas of synchrony & binding problem >Understanding req's interpretation of neural correlates in terms of representations & computational processes
Issues with participant reporting in consciousness experiments & some possible word arounds? >P has to say how aware they are >Report is a subjective measure >Workarounds: >Confidence ratings (eg Bernstein & Eriksen '65) - issues: different criteria re rating; bias in rating >Perceptual Awareness Scale (Ramsoy & Overgaard '04) - Ps describe quality of experience using self created scale; issues - rely on Ps accurately & happily disclosing info >Post-decision Wagering (Persaud et al '07) - Ps bet on whether their response correct, avoids personal experience; issues - limited by criteria P uses to wager? (Clifford et al '08)
Advantages of working with blindsight patients? >Experiments need some way to manipulate consciousness (eg aware vs unaware) while keeping everything else constant >Suggests need someone who's aware & unaware @ same time >Patients w/ blindsight = excellent candidates >Blindsight = P reports no awareness of vision in specific part of visual field but can perform tasks involving that area correctly at levels above chance
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