Cognition - Lecture 8 (Human Cognition pt.3)

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  • Lecture 8 - Human Cognition
    • Route contribution to normal reading
      • Depends on how familiar the word is:
        • High frequency words don't produce much of a homophone effect, low frequency do
      • If repeated experience has established a strong O-S mapping, spelling activates meaning quickly enough for semantic decision before indirect activation of meaning via pronounciation
    • Measuring brain activation:
      • Blood flow / oxygenation measures: PET, fMRI
      • Electrophysiological (EEG) recordings, especially event-related potentials (ERPs) from scalp electrodes, and magneto-encephalography (MEG) surface voltage and magnetic fields generated by electrical activity of neurons
      • Both allow us to "look inside the head" and measure activity of parts of the brain
    • TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)
      • Used to disrupt function, very briefly, in region of cortex
      • Brief electrical pulse of coil induces brief (1ms) but strong magnetic flux, which causes disruptive electrical activity in underlying axons
    • From print to meaning: 2 possible pathways
      • TEXT
        • Orthography(spelling pattern)
          • Semantics (meaning)
            • Phonology (pronunciation)
          • Phonology (pronunciation)
      • Some brain damaged patients can understand (some) written words but cannot access their sound pattern
    • Dyslexia
      • Surface dyslexia: OK reading of regular words and nonwords, impaired reading of exception words, tendency to regularise (e.g. broad= “brode”)  
      • Phonological dyslexia:  OK reading of higher frequency words, both regular and exception words, impaired reading of nonwords and unfamiliar words.
      • Deep dyslexia: Impaired access to pronunciation for all words + semantic approximations (e.g. tulip-daffodil)

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