Chapter 18 Flashcards & Key Terms

anosognosia
Denial of illness.
arousal
The global, nonselective level of alertness of an individual.
attention
Also called selective attention. A state or condition of selective awareness or perceptual receptivity, by which specific stimuli are selected for enhanced processing.
attentional blink
The reduced ability of subjects to detect a target stimulus if it follows another target stimulus by about 200–450 ms.
attentional bottleneck
A filter that results from the limits intrinsic to our attentional processes, with the result that only the most important stimuli are selected for special processing.
attentional spotlight
The shifting of our limited selective attention around the environment to highlight stimuli for enhanced processing.
binding problem
The question of how the brain understands which individual attributes blend together into a single object, when these different features are processed by different regions in the brain.
bottom-up process
A process in which lower-order mechanisms, like sensory inputs, trigger further processing by higher-order systems. There may be no conscious awareness until late in the process. Exogenous attention is one example.
change blindness
A failure to notice changes in comparisons of two alternating static visual scenes.
cocktail party effect
The selective enhancement of attention in order to filter out distracters, such as while listening to one person talking in the midst of a noisy party.
cognitively impenetrable
Referring to data-processing operations of the central nervous system that are unconscious.
conjunction search
A search for an item that is based on two or more features (e.g., size and color) that together distinguish the target from distracters that may share some of the same attributes.
covert attention
Attention in which the focus can be directed independently of sensory orientation (e.g., you’re attending to one sensory stimulus while looking at another).
dichotic presentation
The simultaneous delivery of different stimuli to both the right and the left ears at the same time.
divided attention task
A task in which the subject is asked to simultaneously focus attention on two or more stimuli.
early-selection model
A model of attention postulating that the attentional bottleneck imposed by the nervous system can exert control early in the processing pathway, filtering out stimuli before even preliminary perceptual analysis has occurred.
easy problem of consciousness
The problem of how to read current conscious experiences directly from people’s brains as they’re happening.
electroencephalogram (EEG)
A measurement of gross electrical activity of the brain recorded from large electrodes placed on the scalp.
endogenous attention
Also called voluntary attention. The voluntary direction of attention toward specific aspects of the environment, in accordance with our interests and goals.
event-related potential (ERP)
Also called evoked potential. Averaged EEG recordings measuring brain responses to repeated presentations of a stimulus. Components of the ERP tend to be reliable because the background noise of the cortex has been averaged out.
executive function
A neural and cognitive system that helps develop plans of action and organizes the activities of other high-level processing systems.
exogenous attention
Also called reflexive attention. The involuntary reorienting of attention toward a specific stimulus source, cued by an unexpected object or event.
extinction
Short for extinction of simultaneous double stimulation, an inability to recognize the double nature of stimuli presented simultaneously to both sides of the body. People experiencing extinction report the stimulus from only one side.
feature integration theory
The idea that conjunction searches involve sequential shifts of attention that help coordinate multiple cognitive feature maps—overlapping representations of the search array based on individual stimulus attributes.
feature search
A search for an item in which the target pops out right away, because it possesses a unique attribute, no matter how many distracters are present.
frontal eye field (FEF)
An area in the frontal lobe of the brain containing neurons important for establishing gaze in accordance with cognitive goals (top-down processes) rather than with any characteristics of stimuli (bottom-up processes).
hard problem of consciousness
The problem of how to read people’s subjective experience of consciousness and determine the qualia that accompany perception.
hemispatial neglect
A syndrome in which the patient fails to pay any attention to objects presented to one side of the body and may even deny connection with that side.
inattentional blindness
The failure to perceive nonattended stimuli that seem so obvious as to be impossible to miss.
inhibition of return
The phenomenon, observed in peripheral spatial cuing tasks and occurring when the interval between cue and target stimulus is 200 ms or more, in which detection of stimuli at the former location of the cue is increasingly impaired.
intraparietal sulcus (IPS)
A region in the human parietal lobe, homologous to the monkey lateral intraparietal area, that is especially involved in voluntary, top-down control of attention.
lateral intraparietal area (LIP)
A region in the monkey parietal lobe, homologous to the human intraparietal sulcus, that is especially involved in voluntary, top-down control of attention.
late-selection model
A model of attention postulating that the attentional bottleneck imposed by the nervous system exerts control late in the processing pathway, filtering out stimuli only after substantial analysis has occurred.
N1 effect
A negative deflection of the event-related potential, occurring about 100 ms after stimulus presentation, that is enhanced for selectively attended input compared to ignored input.
neuroeconomics
The study of brain mechanisms at work during economic decision making.
oculomotor apraxia
A severe difficulty in voluntarily steering visual gaze toward specific targets.
optic ataxia
A spatial disorientation in which the patient is unable to accurately reach for objects using visual guidance.
overt attention
Attention in which the focus coincides with sensory orientation (e.g., you’re attending to the same thing you’re looking at).
P1 effect
A positive deflection of the event-related potential, occurring 70–100 ms after stimulus presentation, that is enhanced for selectively attended visual input compared to ignored input.
P3 effect
Also called auditory P300. A positive deflection of the event-related potential, occurring about 300 ms after stimulus presentation, that is associated with higher-order auditory stimulus processing and late attentional selection.
P20–50 effect
A positive deflection of the event-related potential, occurring about 20–50 ms after stimulus presentation, that is enhanced for selectively attended input compared to ignored input.
perceptual load
The immediate processing challenge presented by a stimulus.
peripheral spatial cuing task
A task that tests exogenous attention, using latency to detect a visual stimulus, preceded by a simple task-irrelevant sensory stimulus in the location where the stimulus will appear.
perseverate
To continue to show a behavior repeatedly.
prefrontal cortex
The anteriormost region of the frontal lobe.
progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)
A rare, degenerative disease of the brain that begins with marked, persistent visual symptoms and leads to more widespread intellectual deterioration.
pulvinar
In humans, the posterior portion of the thalamus, heavily involved in visual processing and direction of attention.
quale
A purely subjective experience of perception.
shadowing
A task in which the subject is asked to focus attention on one ear or the other while stimuli are being presented separately to both ears, and to repeat aloud the material presented to the attended ear.
simultagnosia
A profound restriction of attention, often limited to a single item or feature.
spatial resolution
The ability to observe the detailed structure of the brain.
stimulus cuing
A technique for testing reaction time to sensory stimuli in which a cue to the location in which the stimulus will be presented is provided before the stimulus itself.
superior colliculus
A gray matter structure of the dorsal midbrain that receives visual information and is involved in direction of visual gaze and visual attention to intended stimuli.
sustained attention task
A task in which a single stimulus source or location must be held in the attentional spotlight for a protracted period.
symbolic cuing task
A task that tests endogenous attention by presenting a visual stimulus and asking subjects to respond as soon as the stimulus appears on a screen. Each trial is preceded by a meaningful symbol used as a cue to hint at where the stimulus will appear.
tauopathy
Any disease that is associated with abnormal accumulations of the protein Tau, forming neurofibrillary tangles that impair the normal function of neurons.
temporal resolution
The ability to track changes in the brain that occur very quickly.
temporoparietal junction (TPJ)
The point in the brain where the temporal and parietal lobes meet; plays a role in shifting attention to a new location after target onset.
top-down process
A process in which higher-order cognitive processes control lower-order systems, often reflecting conscious control. Endogenous attention is one example.
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