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Cognitive Psychology Essay Example

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Cognitive Psychology

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Cognitive Psychology. Each experiment made use of independent variables which were manipulated in order to arrive at a reasonable result. 15 controls were made use of based on the age and education of the patient group. The variables used in the study were a task based on probabilistic classification learning and a questionnaire which was multiple choice. In the first task, the individuals gradually came to understand which of the two outcomes would occur on a particular trial based on the cues that were given, because every cue was directly related to the outcome, either independently or probabilistically. Both the outcomes were repeated equally often. In the second task, the patient’s declarative memory was assessed through eight multiple- choice questions in relation to the cues that were flashed on a computer screen.

The training episode included four alternatives, chance equaling 25% correct.The results supported the author’s hypothesis because according to them, the probabilistic structure of the task tended to defeat the normal tendency of such patients to memorize particular solutions and therefore an individual can learn things without being aware of the actual acquisition of information. According to the authors, this task is like a gradually acquired learning habit. After 50 training trials, the amnesic individuals had learned the controls and classification tasks. Initially, both the groups achieved a 50% correct score by guessing but gradually between the 41 and 50 trials, they reached a score of 70%. However, impaired learning was quite evident in 10 PD patients who had severe symptoms and were not successful in learning the task. In contrast, the results of the task assessing the declarative memory of these patients were strikingly different. In this task, the PD patients including the patients that suffered severe symptoms were capable of performing normally in the classification task. On the other hand, the amnesic patients performed poorly compared to the other groups in the classification task.The authors concluded that the results of the study demonstrated that a double dissociation related to memory function and brain structures damaged in amnesia differed to the damage of brain structures and memory function in people with Parkinson’s disease. They also concluded that Probabilistic classification learning depended considerably on the neostriatum and not on the medial lobe or diencephalon. Cognitive Psychology.

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Reference

Barbara J. Knowlton, Jennifer A. Mangles, Larry R. Squire (1996) A Neostriatal Habit Learning System in Humans. Published by American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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