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V. Thought and Behavior: Do we control our own minds? Brain, Mind, and Belief: The Quest for Truth... the brain creates a picture -- a simulation that.

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Presentation on theme: "V. Thought and Behavior: Do we control our own minds? Brain, Mind, and Belief: The Quest for Truth... the brain creates a picture -- a simulation that."— Presentation transcript:

1 V. Thought and Behavior: Do we control our own minds? Brain, Mind, and Belief: The Quest for Truth... the brain creates a picture -- a simulation that we mistake for reality. George Johnson

2 Today’s Agenda  Traveling the brain's pathways  Thinking with categories  Unconscious influences on behavior 2

3 Operations in neurocognitive networks  Activation moves along lines and through nodes  (along the pathways of the brain) Integration Broadcasting  Connection strengths are variable A connection becomes stronger with repeated successful use A stronger connection can carry greater activation 3 REVIEW

4 Some nodes of the cortical net for fork V C Each node in this diagram represents a cortical column M T 4 C — conceptual M — motor T — tactile V — visual REVIEW

5 Some nodes of the cortical net for fork V MC T P PA PP 5

6 Some nodes of the cortical net for fork V MC T P PA PP 6

7 A word network with two subnets partly shown V PR PA M C PP T Visual features C – Cardinal concept node M – Memories PA – Primary auditory PP – Phonological production PR – Phonological recognition T – Tactile V – Visual 7

8 Ignition of a word network from visual input V PR PA M C Art T 8

9 V PR PA M C Art T Ignition of a word network from visual input 9

10 V PR PA M C Art T 10

11 Ignition of a word network from visual input V PR PA M C Art T 11

12 Ignition of a word network from visual input V PR PA M C Art T 12

13 Ignition of a word network from visual input V PR PA M C Art T 13

14 Ignition of a word network from visual input V PR PA M C Art T 14

15 Ignition of a word network from visual input V PR PA M C Art T 15

16 Ignition of a word network from visual input V PR PA M C Art T 16

17 Ignition of a word network from visual input V PR PA M C Art T 17

18 Ignition of a word network from visual input V PR PA M C Art T 18

19 Ignition of a word network from visual input V PR PA M C Art T 19

20 Ignition of a word network from visual input V PR PA M C Art T 20

21 Speaking as a response to ignition of a net V PR PA M C Art T 21

22 Speaking as a response to ignition of a net V PR PA M C Art T 22

23 Speaking as a response to ignition of a net V PR PA M C Art T From here (via subcortical structures) to the muscles that control the organs of speech articulation 23

24 An MEG study from Max Planck Institute Levelt, Praamstra, Meyer, Helenius & Salmelin, J.Cog.Neuroscience

25 Thinking: Traveling the pathways of the brain  Starting a trip through the brain’s pathways Often induced by sensory input  Hearing the telephone ring  Seeing your cat scratching a favorite chair Often initiated internally  Using information already present in the mind 25

26 Internally induced mental processing  Operates with previously acquired information  Deduction, induction, reasoning, figuring things out, connecting the dots, …  Examples: thinking about.. The story that Santa comes down the chimney The story of Noah’s ark and the great flood 26

27 Today’s Agenda  Traveling the brain's pathways  Thinking with categories  Unconscious influences on behavior 27

28 Categories and reality Categories are in the mind, not in the real world In the world, everything  is unique  lacks clear boundaries  changes from day to day (even moment to moment) Whorf: “kaleidoscopic flux”

29 Types of Conceptual Categories  Discrete – clear boundaries Even integers Towns in MA  Radial – membership comes in degrees Birds Vehicles  Family resemblance Games Furniture  Ill-defined, vague Thought Mind

30 Properties of radial categories 1. No small set of defining features Example: CUP What’s the difference between a cup and glass? 2. Fuzzy boundaries Example: VEHICLE  Car, truck, bus  Airplane?  Boat?  Toy car, model airplane?  Raft?  Roller skate?  Snowboard? 3. Prototypicality Prototypical vehicles: CAR, TRUCK, BUS Peripheral vehicles: AIRPLANE, TOY CAR, RAFT, ROLLER SKATE, etc

31 How do radial categories work?  We can understand how they work by understanding how they are represented in the cortex  Different connections have different strengths (weights)  More important properties have stronger connections  For CUP, Important properties:  Short (as compared with a glass)  Ceramic  Having a handle These properties are not necessary But cups with these properties are more prototypical

32 The properties of a category have different weights T CUP MADE OF GLASS CERAMIC SHORT HAS HANDLE The properties are represented by nodes, which are connected to lower-level nodes The cardinal node The threshold More important properties have greater weights, represented by greater thicknesses of lines

33 Activation of a category node  The node will be activated by any of many different combinations of properties  The key word is enough – it takes enough activation from enough properties to satisfy the threshold  The node will be activated to different degrees by different combinations of properties When strongly activated, it transmits stronger activation to its downstream nodes.

34 Radial categories and inference T CUP MADE OF GLASS CERAMIC SHORT HANDLE These connections are bidirectional Separate fibers for the two directions; shown as one line in the notation

35 An important finding from neuroanatomy  Cortico-cortical connections are generally reciprocal If there is a connection from A to B there is also a connection from B to A  Consequence: Bidirectional processing A B

36 Bidirectional processing and inference T CUP SHORT HANDLE Thought process: 1. The cardinal concept node is activated by a subset of its property nodes 2. Feed-backward processing activates other property nodes Consequence: We “apprehend” properties that are not actually perceived

37 Category Structure and Inference T Category Properties A B F E Consequence: If A and B, then E and F C D

38 Examples  Dark clouds, thunder It’s going to rain  Ceramic, cup-shaped, handle Probably holds coffee (without breaking)  ATM Probably has money  Afro-American trying to break into house Must be a burglar

39 Categories and cognitive malfunction  Underdifferentiation Assuming that members of a category are alike  Illusory properties Assuming that a category has one defining feature Assuming that members of a category share some properties that are lacking in those outside the category  Illusory category boundaries Or: failure to recognize ‘fuzziness’

40 Categories and cognitive malfunction  Underdifferentiation Assuming that members of a category are alike  Illusory properties Assuming that a category has one defining feature Assuming that members of a category share some properties that are lacking in those outside the category  Illusory category boundaries Or: failure to recognize ‘fuzziness’

41 Category errors with consequences Example: Dietary fats  Original report: JAMA, 8 Feb 2006  Big news: Front page of NY Times. Etc.  “Landmark Study” 48,835 women Eight years $415 million  Study finds that reducing fat intake does not confer health benefits  Co-author: JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital MSNBC: “…respected nutrition authority” 41

42 Category errors with consequences Example: Dietary Fats MSNBC: 8 Feb 2006: Study: Low-fat diet fails to decrease cancer, heart risks in older women “Eating less fat late in life failed to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease among older women, disappointing news for those who expected greater benefits from a healthy diet.” … “The eight-year study showed no difference in the rate of breast cancer, colon cancer, and heart disease among those who ate low-fat diets and those who didn’t.” … “The study, appearing in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, is part of … a landmark government project involving tens of thousands of … U.S. women.” 42

43 Exercise: What is wrong with this study? And with the press report on this study?  Answer: They didn’t consider the differences between different kinds of fat  A category error All members of the category treated as alike 43

44 There are different kinds of FAT From the web site of the FDA PolyunsaturatedCanola oilGood MonousaturatedOlive oilVery good SaturatedButter A little is OK TransfatMargarine Really bad Type of Fat Example Good/Bad 44

45 Categories and cognitive malfunction  Underdifferentiation Assuming that members of a category are alike  Illusory properties Assuming that a category has one defining feature Assuming that members of a category share some properties that are lacking in those outside the category  Illusory category boundaries Or: failure to recognize ‘fuzziness’

46 Illusory properties Assuming that a category has one defining feature Example: MAN  What is it that distinguishes humans from other animals?  Proposal: “tool-making animal”  (Caution: TOOL is a category) Assuming that members of a category share some properties that are lacking in those outside the category  White supremacy

47 Categories and cognitive malfunction  Underdifferentiation Assuming that members of a category are alike  Illusory properties Assuming that a category has one defining feature Assuming that members of a category share some properties that are lacking in those outside the category  Illusory category boundaries Or: failure to recognize ‘fuzziness’ Example: BEARD

48 Today’s Agenda  Traveling the brain's pathways  Thinking with categories  Unconscious influences on behavior 48

49 Unconscious influence of language on behavior: Experiments with “scrambled sentence test”  Experiments by John Bargh and colleagues Bargh, Chen, and Burrows, 1996  Scrambled sentence test “The purpose of the study is to investigate language proficiency” Task: Write down a grammatically correct sentence using only four of the five words given 49

50 Sample “ scrambled sentence ” data  him was worried she always  shoes give replace old the  sky the seamless gray is  should now withdraw forgetful we  us bingo sing play let  sunlight makes temperature wrinkle raisins  from are Florida oranges temperature  be will sweat lonely they 50

51 Two sets of scrambled sentence data  Experimental group worried, old, gray, forgetful, bingo, wrinkle, selfishly, careful, sentimental, wise, stubborn, courteous, withdraw, retired, rigid, traditional, bitter, obedient, conservative, knits, dependent, ancient, helpless, gullible, cautious, alone  Control group Neutral words 51 “Elderly priming condition”

52 Trigger words in the “ scrambled sentence ” data  him was worried she always  shoes give replace old the  sky the seamless gray is  should now withdraw forgetful we  us bingo sing play let  sunlight makes temperature wrinkle raisins  from are Florida oranges temperature  he will sweat lonely they 52

53 Trigger words in the “ scrambled sentence ” data  him was worried she always  shoes give replace old the  sky the seamless gray is  should now withdraw forgetful we  us bingo sing play let  sunlight makes temperature wrinkle raisins  from are Florida oranges temperature  he will sweat lonely they 53

54 After the subject finished..  Experimenter partially debriefed subject “… how people use words in various flexible ways”  Experimenter tells subject that elevator is down the hall  Subject leaves, walks down the hall: 32 feet  Confederate uses stopwatch to measure time taken to walk the 32 feet  Then experimenter gives complete debriefing 54

55 Results 55 (9.75 meters is about 32 feet)

56 Second experiment (for replication), with first 56

57 Another experiment (Bargh, Chen & Burrows, 1996)  Scrambled sentence test – 30 items E.g., “he it finds instantly”  34 subjects (NYU psych students)  Three versions of test given to 3 subgroups 1 Words associated with concept RUDE 1 aggressively, bold, rude, bother, disturb, intrude, annoyingly, interrupt, audaciously, brazen, impolitely, … 2 Words associated with concept POLITE 1 respect, honor, considerate, appreciate, patiently, cordially, yield, polite, cautiously, courteous … 3 Neutral words 1 exercising, flawlessly, occasionally, rapidly, practiced… 57

58 Experimental procedure  Neither the experimenter nor the confederate knew which priming condition was being used with each subject  After finishing, subject was to go to see the experimenter in another room down the hall  Confederate posed as a subject who was having trouble understanding directions, kept asking questions of the experimenter  Test measure: How long did the subject wait before interrupting the experimenter? 58

59 Experimental procedure (cont ’ d)  Ten minute limit  Debriefing, including question: subject was asked how the scrambled sentence test might have influenced them during the rest of the procedure None of the subjects showed any suspicion of influence of the scrambled sentence test  Further debriefing: subjects were asked whether experimenter had been polite Scale from –3 to +3 59

60 Results: Mean time before interrupting  RUDE priming condition 326 sec  Neutral condition 519 sec  POLITE priming condition 558 sec N.B.: almost 10 minutes But 21 of the 34 did not interrupt at all during the ten-minute time period! 60

61 Percentage of subjects who interrupted 61

62 Unconscious influences of language on behavior  The experiments show a clear influence of language on behavior  The influence is unconscious  How does it work? 62

63 Explanation in terms of brain structure  Bidirectional connections A hypothesis verified by neuroanatomy  Consequence: reverberating activation  The activation levels increase with repeated activation 63 A B

64 Consequences of repeated activation  Links become stronger A lasting effect A primary factor in the learning process  Nodes become more highly activated Short-term effect When more highly activated, sends out stronger activation 64

65 Priming and reverberating activation worried old gray forgetful bingo wrinkle careful wise retired traditional helplesscautious alone Florida SLOW 65 This word was NOT in the data presented

66 Unconscious influence of language on behavior: Mars  In 1997 the first Mars Rover landed on Mars Propelled on a U.S. Pathfinder rocket  Results Sales of Mars Rover toys increased dramatically  No surprise Sales of Mars candy bars increased dramatically  (named for company founder Franklin Mars) 66

67 Functional layout of the gray matter  Primary areas: Visual (occipital) Auditory (temporal) Somatosensory (parietal) Motor (frontal)  Secondary areas  Association areas  Executive area, in prefrontal lobe 67

68 Primary motor and somatosensory areas Central Sulcus Sylvian fissure Primary Motor Area Primary Somato- sensory Area 68

69 Divisions of Primary Motor and Somatic Areas Primary Somato- sensory Area Primary Motor Area Primary Auditory Area Primary Visual Area Mouth Hand Fingers Arm Trunk Leg

70 Higher level motor areas Primary Somato- sensory Area Actions performed by hand Primary Auditory Area Primary Visual Area Mouth Hand Fingers Arm Trunk Leg Actions per- Formed by leg Actions performed by mouth

71 Primary Somato- sensory Area Primary Motor Area Primary Auditory Area Primary Visual Area 71 Conceptual structure: in higher-level cortical areas Verbal concepts Nominal Concepts

72 Verbal concepts (the meanings of verbs)  They get reinforced, hence strengthened, by repeated activation And activation spreads automatically among related concepts, because they are interconnected  If they were not interconnected, they wouldn’t be related 72

73 Observations from Bargh 2009  Related cognitive neuroscience research has shown an automatic connection between behavioral concept representations and their corresponding motor representations  Merely hearing action verbs pronounced out loud activates the same brain region (Brodman 45) as does witnessing a meaningful action (Jeannerod, 1999) Both activate implicit motor representations needed to carry out that type of behavior (Perani et al., 1999) Motor programs thus appear to be part of the very meaning of action-related verbs (Grèzes & Decety, 2001; Pulvermuller, 2005) 73

74 Concepts associated with rudeness DISTURB BRAZEN BOTHER BOLD RUDE INTRUDE IMPOLITELYINTERRUPT AGGRESSIVELY AUDACIOUSLYANNOYINGLY As these concepts are all activity-related, they are all presumably located in the frontal/prefrontal lobes. In the experiment they were triggered by visual linguistic input. 74

75 Percentage of subjects who interrupted 75

76 Another experiment (Harris, Pierce, & Bargh, 2013): Anti-smoking PSAs and smoking behavior  56 smokers watched a short television segment that included a commercial break that showed a public service announcement  Randomly placed in one of three groups acc. to type of PSA Group 1: a Philip Morris “Quit-Assist” PSA Group 2: a Legacy “Truth” anti-smoking PSA Group 3: a control PSA (not about smoking at all)  Subjects were given a brief break after TV viewing They were left alone during this break They had the option of going outside for a smoke 76

77 Anti-smoking PSAs and smoking behavior: Results  Subjects were given a brief break after TV viewing They were left alone during this break They had the option of going outside for a smoke  Group 1: a Philip Morris “Quit-Assist” PSA 42% smoked during the break  Group 2: a Legacy “Truth” anst-smoking PSA 33% smoked during the break  Group 3: a control PSA (not about smoking at all) 11% smoked during the break 77

78 Results 78 Percentage of participants who smoked following exposure to public service announcement

79 T h a t ‘ s i t f o r t o d a y ! 79


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