The interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language).
The principle that information is often simultaneously processed on sperate conscious and unconscious tracks.
The focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus.
Failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere.
Failing to notice changes in the environment.
Rapid eyes movement sleep, a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur. Also known as paradoxical sleep, because the muscles are relaxed (except for minor twitches) but other body systems are active.
The relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state.
Periodic, natural, reversible loss of consciousness - as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, general anesthesia, or hibernation.
False sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus.
The large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep.
Recurring problems in falling or staying asleep.
A sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inopportune times.
A sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated momentary awakenings.
A sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, night terrors occur during stage 4 sleep, within two or three hours of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered.
A sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person's mind. Dreams are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities, and incongruities, and for the dreamer's delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it.
According to Freud, the remembered story line of a dream (as distinct from its latent, or hidden, content).
According to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (as distinct from its manifest content).
The tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation (created by repeated awakenings during REM sleep).
A social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors will spontaneously occur.
A suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized; used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors.
A split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others.
A chemical substance that alters perceptions and moods.
The diminishing effect with regular use of the same dose of a drug, requiring the user to take larger and larger doses before experiencing the drug's effect.
The discomfort and stress that follow discontinuing the use of an addictive drug.
A physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued.
A psychological need to use a drug, such as to relieve negative emotions.
Compulsive drug craving and use, despite adverse consequences.
Drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions.
Drugs that depress the activity of the central nervous system, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgement.
Opium and its derivatives, such as morphine and heroin; they depress neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety.
Drugs (such as caffeine, nicotine, and the more powerful amphetamines, cocaine, and Ecstasy_ that excite neural activity and speed up body functions.
Drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes; over time, appears to reduce baseline dopamine levels.
A synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen. Produces euphoria and social intimacy, but with short-term health risks and longer-term harm to serotonin-producing neurons and to mood and cognition.
Psychedelic ("mind-manifesting") drugs, such as LSD, that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input.
A powerful hallucinogenic drug; also known as acid
The major active ingredient in marijuana; triggers a variety of effect, including mild hallucinations.
The fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo.
The developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month.
The developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth.
Agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm.
Fetal Alcohol Syndroms (FAS)
Physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. In severe case, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions.
Decreasing responsiveness with repated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner.
All the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communication.
A concept or framework that organizes and interprets information.
Interpreting our new experience in terms of our existing schemas.
Adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information.
In Piaget's theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age)during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities.
The awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived.
In Piaget's Theory, the sage (from 2 to about 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic.
The principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects.
In Piaget's theory, the preoperational child's difficulty taking another's point of view.
Theory of mind
People's ideas about their own and others' mental states - about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict.
Concrete Operational Stage
In Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events.
Formal Operational Stage
In Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts.
The fear of strangers that infant commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age.
An emotional tie with another person;shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation.
An optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development.
The process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life.
According to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers.
Our understanding and evaluation of who we are.
The transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence.
The period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproducing.
Primary Sex Characteristics
The body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that make sexual reproduction possible.
Secondary Sex Characteristics
Non-reproductive sexual characteristics, such as female breasts and hips, male voice quality, and body hair.
The first menstrual period.
Our sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles.
The "we" aspect of our self-concept; the part of our answer to "Who am I?" that comes from our group memberships.
In Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood.
For some people in modern cultures, a period from the late teens to early twenties, bridging the gap between adolescent dependence and full independence and responsible adulthood.
The time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her ability to reproduce declines.
A study in which people of different ages are compared with one another.
Research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a longer period of time.
Our accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age.
Our ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood.
The culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement.
Learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and its consequence (as in operant conditioning).
A type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events.
A relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior due to experience.
The view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2).
Unconditioned Response (UR)
In classical, conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US), such as salivation when food is in the mouth.
Unconditioned Stimulus (US)
In classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally - naturally and automatically - triggers a response.
Conditioned Response (CR)
In classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS).
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
In classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response.
In classical conditioning, the initial stage, when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus begins triggering the conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response.
A procedure in which the conditioned stimulus in one conditioning experience is paired with a new neutral stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus. For example, an animal that has learned that a tone predicts food might then learn that a light predicts the tone and begin responding to the light alone.
The diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus (US) does not follow a conditioned stimulus (CS); occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer reinforced.
The reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response.
The tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit simliar responses.
In classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus.
Behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus.
A type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.
Behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences.
Law of Effect
Thorndike's principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and that behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely.
In operant conditioning research, a chamber (also known as a Skinner box) containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer; attached devices record the animal's rate of bar pressing or key pecking.
An operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guid behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior.
In operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows.
Increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. A positive reinforcer is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response.
Increasing behavior by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock. A negative reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response.
As innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need.
A stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer.
Reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs.
Partial (Intermittent) Reinforcement
Reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement.
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses.
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed.
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals.
An event that decreases the behavior that it follows.
A mental representation of the layout of one's environment. For example, after exploring a maze, rats acts as if they have learned a cognitive map of it.
Learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it.
A desire to perform a behavior effectively for its own sake.
A desire to perform a behavior to receive promise rewards or avoid threatened punishment.
Learning by observing others.
The process of observing and imitating a specific behavior.
Mirror and Neurons
Frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain's mirroring of another's action may enable imitation and empathy.
Positive, constructive, helpful behavior. The opposite of antisocial behavior.