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What is the fundmental assumption of the sapir-whorf hypothesis?
That language shapes thought
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What is the strongest form of the sapir-whorf hypothesis?
That language alters perception
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What evidence is there that language really can alter perception?
Winawer et al (2007) found categorical perception for colour boundary in blues is determined by language
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What evidence is there that only the right visual field is affected by language?
Between boundary colour perception depending on language only has an advantage when colours are presented in the right visual field.
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What are the 3 Rs?
Reduction, Replacement, Refinement
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How many types of chemoreceptors are they and what are they?
5: sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umani
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What does the gustatory cortex store?
Map of taste receptors
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What is the chemical in Bitrex?
Dentonium benzoate
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What's cool about chillis?
They activate the same brain areas as real heat
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Why are smells great for identification?
You can't fake a smell
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What do turbinates do?
Fan the air around so each nostril gets slightly different smells at different times. Amount of swelling determines what is smelt. The fan cycle lasts 3 hours
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Where does smell enter the olfactory cleft?
The olfactory epithelium, where odorants stick to the olfactory cilia which form part of the olfactory sensory neurons.
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How many olfactory sensory neurons are there and how many receptors do they have?
5 million, Each neuron has just one receptor.
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Each type of smell stimulates many neurons. How many neurons are there for each type of smell?
There is a different neuron for each type of smell.
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What leads to a better sense of smell?
Having more varying OSNs because these can detect a wider variety of smell types
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In what way is smell different to vision?
Vision only has 3 types of receptor. Smell has 5 million receptors.
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In what way is smell different to hearing?
Sounds are separated early on in processing whereas different types of smells are mixed up in the olfactory epithelium. This connects in a highly specific way to the olfactory bulb (glomeruli).
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What did Linda Buck find?
Each glomurulus receives input from OSN expressing same surface receptor. We have many more smell receptors than we need.
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What are the problems with the lock and key smell mechanism?
Not all molecules with the same shape smell the same. Changing the shape of the molecule won't always change the smell. You can't predict a smell from it's shape.
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What is the basis of the vibration theory of smell?
Molecules with the same chemical structure but different bond energies smell differently so bond energies account for smell types.
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What is the swipe-card model of smell?
Only the smells with the right chemical shape will fit the receptor site. The bond energies then determine the final activation level.
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After the olfactory bulb, where does smell processing go next?
The olfactory bulb projects to the thalamus and hippocampus.
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How can we explain why we are poor at describing smells?
Processing happens in deep brain structures. These are not accessible by conscious processing so smells are detached from language.
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How many odor receptors are there compared to number of smell percepts?
Hundreds of receptors but thousands of percepts.
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Where does population coding happen to give rise to thousands of smell percepts?
In the entorhinal and piriform cortex.
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Where do receptors detecting pheremones typically reside?
In the vememonasal organ (VNO)
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What suggests humans don't detect pheremones?
Lots of pseudogenes for the function of the VNO and it's structure is degenerate.
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What does HLA stand for and what is the corresponding complex in animals?
Human Leukpcyte Antigen gene complex. Animal equivalent is the Major Histocompatibility complex.
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What did Wedekind et al (1995) find out about the HLA?
Females prefer males with HLAs that are different to their own (unless they were on the pill). So just like animals, the HLA affects mate preference.
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What has been found about pre-exposure to androstadienone?
This is a metabolite of testosterone that is found in sweat. This increases speed dating ratings.
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What brain areas are associated with these sorts of pheremones?
Deep brain structures not available to consciousness. Sobel et al found activation of the thalamus.
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Tears contain chemosignals. What did Getstein et al find out about sad tears unconsciously presented to men?
Men reported lower levels of arousal and there was reduced activity in areas that would usually respond to ****. Additionally testosterone decreased.
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What did Yang et al's study find out about the McClintock effect?
This was a hige study taking into account robust statistical analysis of the effect of menstrual cycles synching just by chance. When coincidence was fully accounted for, there was no such effect.
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What does gain control do?
B matching the sensitivity of each neuron to it's local environment it allows neurons to control their sensitivity.
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Give an example of a canonical computation?
Canonical means universal. Cajal found the whole cortex is arranged in systematic layers with collumns and hpercollumns which suggests there are similar computations going on throughout the brain.
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Why is vision used to try and understand how the brain works?
It is well organised and large so easy to record. Stimuli are cheap and easy. It can be accessed consciously.
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What was the computer model of the brain called and what is it based on?
Blue brain. A rat's cortex.
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The output the retina gives out is thought of as the currency of the early visual system. What does the retina do?
It turns luminance signals into contrast signals which are expressed as a percentage.
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Is the data in the LGN from each eye combined or separate?
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Can the LGN encode spatial information?
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What can be found out about visual stimuli by looking at output from the LGN?
Colour, which type of layer was stimulated (parvo or magno), which eye (contra or ipsi).
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What is masking used for?
It modifies contrast so can test what happens to the neuron's response as contrast is changed.
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What is a typical gain control response and where does gain control happen?
The mask dampens the response so though the pattern of activity remains the same, it is shifted slightly. This happens in the retina, LGN and throughout the cortex. It happens in humans, cats, mice, flies...
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Usually when a contrast increases, what happens to the neural firing rate?
Firing rate increases.
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What is Heeger's gain control model?
Output = input x (target/mask). Neural inputs are driven by the sum of the local average response.
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What are the 3 cortical gain control signatures?
complex features, tuning and long range.
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What is the general gist of adding a pattern mask?
The system becomes less sensitive.
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Why is V1 slightly different to other areas of cortex in terms of gain control?
Gain control here is less localised because receptive fields are large so normalisation happens over wider regions.
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What is a transducer function?
Converting inputs into outputs.
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What method did Nachmias and Sansbury use in their psychophysics experiment?
They adjusted the contrast of stimuli and asked if the contrast could be seen with thousands of trials until they found the threshold level of contrast as a function of baseline.
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Whose law does the contrast ease plot relate to?
Weber's law.
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What does the dipper function show?
The point where discrimination is better than detection.
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What does the steepest part of the response curve show?
The most contrast sensitive part of the system which is tuned to tiny changes in contrast.
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What happens to the contrast sensitivity curve when a mask is added?
The whole curve shifts to become less sensitive.
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How can gain control be used with regards to schizophrenia?
Those with schizophrenia are not fooled by contrast matching tasks which shows they have faulty gain control. This means testing gain control could be used as a way of diagnosing schizophrenia.
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What is the name of non-photosensitive epilepsy?
Idiopathic generalised epilepsy
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How does gain control relate to photosensitive epilepsy?
This is caused b abnormal genes causing changes in gain control which results in seizures when faced with some frequencies of flicker.
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As a moving disc increases, is it usually harder or easier to detect the direction it is moving in?
Usually gets harder.
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What happend to long-range gain control as you age?
It improves so it's easier for an older person to tell which direction a large disc is moving in.
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What features of parkinsons are depicted by TRAP?
Tremor, Rigin, Akinesia, Postural instability.
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What is the most common form of parkinsons and what is it caused by?
G2O11S, caused by a mutation in LRR
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Where is G2O11S frequently found?
North Africa
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What did alex and others do to see if gain control in people with G2O11S was abnormal?
They took the LRRK2 gene out of a human cell and inserted it into a fruit fly. They found the fly had inhibited motor problems (showing parkinson's type symptoms were made) and was more sensitve than normal visually (links to gain control)
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What happened when Alex went to Tunis?
They used an EEG cap and measured visual responses to stimuli to detect abnormal gain control responses. The hope is that this can be used as a way of detecting those at risk of developing parkinson's so they can diagnose cases earlier.
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What happened in the Italian rat study that was so controversial?
One eye was sealed shut. The rat aged and single unit recording from the optic nerve was measured. Then the eye was opened and the other eye was shut. The rat was given a daily dose of prozac. The optic nerve along with sight was restored! Dead rat.
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What do the findings of the rat study suggest?
That by taking SSRIs, people with ambyopias can restore their sight.
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What does ESP mean?
Extrasensory perception.
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What did Henry Sidwick do?
He founded the society for psychical research in 1882
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J.R. Rhine was the nice guy who used zener cards but was a bit silly and too trusting. What did he found?
The parapsychology lab at Duke (1930) and the Rhine Research Centre when he retired.
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What project was initiated during the cold war?
The MOD set uo the stargate project to see if telepathy could exist. They did Maimonides Dream Experiments and a study using the Grateful Dead
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What kind of error were the Maimonides dream experiments prone to?
Type 1 error.
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What happened in the PEAR experiments?
PEAR stands for Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research. These used a random number generator and it was found that people were able to shift the numbers using their mind.
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The results of the PEAR experiments had hugely significant P values but tiny effect sizes, why?
Because there was a huge N so it was highly susceptible to experimenter irregularity. Even though the effects are significant, they may not be showing a real effect.
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What happened in Bem's experiment?
People were faster to correctly click on the curtain with an image behind when it showed an ****** rather than neutral picture. This gives evidence of precognition.
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Why should Bem's experiment be taken seriously?
Random number algorithms were used, 1 sided t-test used, strong prior hypothesis, highly significant p value.
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What problems are there with Bem's experiment that pose a threat to all of psychology?
uneven sample size, data peeking, post-hoc reporting of design, multiple hypothesise, file drawer.
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What is the texas sharpshooter falacy?
This is where there is post-hoc reporting of the experimental design, so success is determined after the experiment takes place.
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How can you overcome file drawer phenomena in terms of doing one study?
Have really strict exclusion criteria to make leaving out any data highly objective.
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What percentage of cancer studies were found to be replicable?
Just 11-25%
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At it's highers, how many psychology studies would be truly replicable?
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Give 3 psychologists who've committed fraud?
Diederick Stapel, Elke Geraerts and Marc Hauser.
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What is the strongest form of the sapir-whorf hypothesis?


That language alters perception

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What evidence is there that language really can alter perception?


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What evidence is there that only the right visual field is affected by language?


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What are the 3 Rs?


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