Spring 1999 Final Exam


Cognitive Science 102/Psychology 129

Scientific Studies of Consciousness


Spring 1999


Final Examination





This examination is worth a total of 120 points. Throughout this examination, remember to defend your views by referring to the scientific literature. In any event, confine your response to the space provided.


Non-Cumulative Portion

Answer one (1) question from each pair within four (4) of the following five (5) categories, numbered 1-5. You are not expected to write extensive essays, but do write complete sentences. Do not exceed the space provided.


Category 1: Implicit Emotion and Motivation (15 points)

1. What is the evidence that emotional and/or motivational states (i.e., feelings and/or desires) might serve as expressions of implicit perception, learning, or memory?

2. What evidence or theoretical considerations support the idea that emotional and motivational states can be unconscious (implicit), just as cognitive states (such as percepts and memories) can be?

Category 2: Sleep and Dreams (15 Points)

1. Briefly characterize the following theories of dreaming: (1) Hobson & McCarley's "activation-synthesis" theory, and (2) Foulkes's cognitive theory of dreaming. Describe one point on which the two theories differ.

2. Briefly describe the physiological characteristics, and the associated mental characteristics, of the various stages of sleep (wakefulness, drowsiness, Stages 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4, and Stage REM). In which stage of sleep is sleep-learning most likely to occur?



Category 3: Anesthesia and Coma (15 points)

1. Distinguish between hallucinations, illusions, and delusions. Describe the theory of hallucinations proposed by Siegel and Jarvik (1975), as it applies to the effects of major psychedelic drugs, such as LSD.

2. Define general anesthesia, stupor, coma, and the persistent vegetative state. What is the evidence for information-processing during general anesthesia? What kind of evidence would bear on the question of whether information processing persists in coma or the persistent vegetative state?




Category 4: Hypnosis (15 points)

1. Define posthypnotic amnesia. How is it similar or different from other forms of amnesia you have studied? In what sense does posthypnotic amnesia represent an alteration in conscious awareness?

2. How does hypnotic analgesia differ from other sensory anesthesias, and from negative hallucinations? In what sense does hypnotic analgesia constitute an alteration in conscious awareness?





Category 5: Meditation and De-Automatization (15 points)

1. Relate Deikman's concept of de-automatization to the technical concept of automaticity in cognitive psychology. How does meditation attempt to accomplish de-automatization?

2. What is the evidence that people can enter meditative states by learning how to enhance levels of EEG alpha activity?





Cumulative Portion

Answer one (1) question from each pair within the following two categories, numbered 6-7. These should be more extensive, essay-like responses than you produced for categories numbered 1-5. Do not exceed the space provided.

Category 6: Consciousness in General (30 points)

Choose 1 of the Following Questions and write for 30 minutes:

1. Can cognitive psychology and cognitive science really get along perfectly well without taking any interest in consciousness at all?

2. Is it likely that nonhuman animals have conscious experiences? If not, why not? If so, do all animals have conscious experiences? Plants?


Category 6 continues (if required).

Category 7: Unconscious Processes (30 points)

Choose 1 of the Following Questions and write for another 30 minutes:

1. What is automatic processing? What do you make of the argument that most of the time we are on "automatic pilot", with consciousness an afterthought and free will an illusion?

2. What is the explicit-implicit distinction as applied to cognition, emotion, and motivation? Is the explicit-implicit distinction tantamount to the distinction between conscious and unconscious, or is something else required?


Category 7 continues (if required).