Cognitive Psychology


Discuss experience dependent plasticity and face recognition as they relate to:

a)    Evolution

The brain is one of the most important organs in the animal body. It is able to change and adapt to the environment. The ability of the brain to was an important focus of Charles Darwin theory of evolution. According to the theory, animals that had characteristics that enabled them to survive were able to pass them on to other generation until these characteristics become an integrated part of the particular animal species. The brain is thus able to specialize for various functions and also adapt to its environment through a mechanism; experience dependent plasticity.

b)    The Greeble experiment

The experience dependent plasticity has been demonstrated using greebles. Greebles refers to beings developing foundationally by computer generation. This experiment found a brain area containing neurons that help in face recognitions. Isabel Gauthier constituted a finding that a four day exposure makes people develop too much resemblance with the computer even at later stages.

c)    The kitten with the vertical bars experiment

This experiment was performed on a cortex of an adult cat. The experiment illustrated the fact that the cat possessed many neurons that easily respond to directional orientation. In the process, the kittens were exposed to an environment composed only of vertical bars. It was then discovered that the neurons best responded to the verticals.


Discuss unconscious inference and how it is evident in processing environmental stimuli. Provide examples.

Unconscious inference refers to perception occurring when a person is unconsciously in absence of prior knowledge. Hermann studied the eye and came to conclusion that it was visually poor and vision was also a result of making conclusions from unprocessed and incomplete data from the environment based on previous experiences. In nature, animal behavior is characterized to be Involuntary and unconscious.


Explain how Gestalt Law of Perceptual Organization relates to perception. What does Gestalt mean? Explain 3 of the laws.

The theory argued that while simple perceptions could be seen to making organized perception, thus our nervous system perceive organization of sensory stimuli over individual sensory element. This process is also applied in enhancing perception.

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Diagram and explain Treisman’s Attenuation Model. Define each component and its function.

Below represent the complete diagram for Trainman’s attenuation model. Its advantage is that selection is done at an early stage and it can process several inputs at a time. Selection is based on physical properties.

a) Inputs: attended messages and unattained messages (information is made in parallel and selection is made later on)

b) Sensory store (stores nerves used in sensing)

c) Attenuating filter (It follows physical properties)

Attenuated message

d)      Hierarchy of analyzers (Responsible for Syllables, semantics, words)

e)      Working memory (is the operational memory when one is thinking or interprets a vision)


Features of integration theory

Integration theory was coined by Anne Treismann by the year1980. She suggested that stimulus perception initiates an early registry and automatically becomes parallel to identified objects separately and at the later in stage.

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Pre-attentive stage is the first stage of integration theory. In this stage, occurrence of perception is effortlessly, automatically and unconsciously. The object will be analyzed for different details and each aspect of it is processed in different parts of the brain.

The second stage is defined as the attention stage whereby a number of object features get assembled together in order to perceive the whole object. Attention is needed in putting together and internalizing all the characters of the object. In scenario of familiarity with the object, it becomes easier to identify it as association to prior knowledge is done. 



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