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Ch. 8: Categories and concepts. Concept and Knowledge. Topic: How do we store and manipulate a concept in the brain?. Concepts, beliefs and behavior. Concept/belief and action. Mother Teresa Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma bomber) Ted Kaczynski (the unabomber) Osama bin Laden Mahatma Gandhi

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concept and knowledge
Concept and Knowledge
  • Topic:
    • How do we store and manipulate a concept in the brain?
concept belief and action
Concept/belief and action
  • Mother Teresa
  • Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma bomber)
  • Ted Kaczynski (the unabomber)
  • Osama bin Laden
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Nelson Mandela
  • George Washington
  • 74 men and women died in Waco, TX
  • Bill Clinton
psychiatric disorders
Psychiatric disorders
  • Anxiety disorder
    • Is created by an lingering belief on something threatening happens
  • Maniac depression
    • Disbelief on one’s ability, fate, etc.
slide6

Political language:

  • Compassionate conservative
      • support the rich but also, supposedly, generous to the poor.
  • Limousine liberal
      • extremely rich but appreciate liberal ideas.
  • War president
      • A president who deals with war.
  • Death tax
      • Inheritance tax
  • Pro-life
      • a political position against abortion
  • Pro-choice
      • a political position that supports abortion
  • Insurance premium
      • Insurance fee
  • Tax cuts
      • cutting taxes of one group and raising taxes for others
stereotype
Stereotype
  • Ethnic conflicts
concept and memory
Concept and memory?
  • Are they two different things?
what is the structure of concept
What is the structure of “concept”?

This is the today’s topic.

demonstration
Demonstration:
  • Tell me what you see as accurately as possible.
why do you say hammer
Why do you say “hammer”?
  • Why not “hand tool”?
  • Or why not the $15 hammer I bought in Wal Mart last Wednesday?
  • Why not “animal”?
  • Or why not “vegetable”?
what is concept
What is “concept”?
  • I don’t know
    • But maybe concept we have is related to the way we categorize things
concept categories
Concept --> categories
  • In order to study “concept”, I’ll talk about “categories” .
there are trillions of categories
There are trillions of categories.
  • Animals, dogs, cats, birds, mammals, furniture, desks, chairs, tables, books, magazines…..
  • Trees, grass, weed, stones, rocks, sand, mountains, rivers,…..
  • Games, sports, hobbies, …
  • school, banks, shops, restaurants, supermarkets,
slide17
Nazi!! Fascists!! Terrorists, racists, sexists, pacifists, philanthropists, sophists, aristocrats, workers, bankers, lawyers, accountants, teachers, students, disciples, masters, gurus, beggars, bigots,
  • Party animals, beasts!!, dogs!!,
  • CEO, CFO, CIO, UFO, evp, vip,
  • IC (Indian Chief)
ad hoc categories
Ad hoc categories
  • People I adore, People I admire, People I hang around, People I need, People I avoid.
  • Things I love, Things I enjoy, Places I love, Food I hate, music I like, movies I enjoy
  • countries I want to visit, restaurants I avoid
when we say dog what s going on in our mind
When we say “dog,” what’s going on in our mind?
  • What is the mental representation of “categories”?
  • How do we distinguish in our mind
    • a dog from a cat?
    • a circle from a triangle?
  • What’s going on?
    • What is the structure?
    • What is the neural connections?
concepts
Concepts
  • What determines “dog” vs. “cat” or “table” vs. “vegetable”, “game” vs. “sport”,…..
classical view
Classical view
  • Necessary & sufficient rule
    • we store definitions.
  • Circle --> an area circumscribed by an equidistant curve.
  • Triangles --> an area circumscribed by three straight lines having three angles………..

A circle of friends, Dupon circle, Columbus Circle, Circle line

Bermuda triangles, triangle defense (Chicago Bulls)

slide26
Brother, sister, mother, father, uncle,
  • Some concepts may be organized with specific rules.
  • But how about other categories?
    • Game?
      • Basketball, softball, horse race, chess, a wheel of fortune, survivor, roulette, love affair, computer game, Super Mario?
    • furniture
      • desk, table, rug? Bed? Computer? TV?
concepts and categories
Concepts and categories
  • Pink is basically red.
  • 99 is almost 100.
  • Orange is sort of yellow.
  • Austin is like Rome.
  • San Antonio is very much like Mexico.
  • Pita can be bread.
concepts and categories ii
Concepts and categories II
  • Red is basically pink.
  • 100 is almost 99.
  • Yellow is almost orange.
  • Rome is like Austin.
  • Mexico is very much like San Antonio.
  • Bread can be pita.
which game is the best example of game
Which game is the best example of “game”?
  • Baseball
  • Chess
  • Basketball
  • Politics
  • Football
  • Golf
  • One-night love affair
  • Snowboarding
  • Checker
  • Ping-Pong
  • Slot machine
  • Poker
  • Mahjong
  • Horse racing
  • NASCAR racing
fruit vs vegetable
Fruit vs. Vegetable

Onion

Carrot

Pepper

Potato

Jalapeno

Cucumber

Bitter Melon

Spinach

Garlic

Ginger

Broccoli

Plantain

Lettuce

Cabbage

Pumpkin

Banana

Apple

Melon

Grapes

Lemon

Avocado

Orange

Grape fruit

Kiwi

Papaya

Mango

Lime

Tomato

example
Example:
  • Fruits  banana
    • Sweet, can eat without cooking, lots of vitamin, from tropical countries, soft, ripe quickly, easy to eat, kids love it, tasty, can bring it for hiking
  • Vegetables  carrot
    • Not sweet, not tasty, require some cooking, lots of vitamin, from anywhere, hard, stay long, kids don’t like it, hard
probabilistic view
Probabilistic view
  • The boundaries of categories are fuzzy (probabilistically determined).
  • Some members are more probable than others.
  • But we are pretty sure about what “dog” means.
  • How do we mentally represent categorical knowledge?
organization of categories
Organization of categories
  • Members of categories are organized in relation to some focal members. (prototype)
  • Focal members play the role of a “reference point.”
  • The boundaries of categories may be fuzzy, but people know pretty well which items are “good/bad” members of a category.
    • Penguin vs. robin, chair vs. rug,
measuring goodness of category members
Measuring “goodness” of category members
  • Rosch et al. (1975)
  • Experiments:
  • Subjects were given a list containing the names of category members.
  • Subjects rated (using a 1-10 scale) the goodness of membership.
    • E.g., given “pistol”, subjects rated how good a pistol is as a member of the category “weapons.”
slide38
Furniture (chair, lamp, rug, dresser, desk, stove, table, stool, television, fan, bed, television, counter)
  • Fruit (apple, grapefruit, watermelon, banana, cherries, boysenberry, pear, strawberries, lemon, orange, pineapple, nut)
  • Vehicle (car, airplane, sled, bus, bicycle, wheelchair, truck, boat, tractor, ambulance, trolley, wagon).
  • Weapon (pistol, arrow, slingshot, sword, tomahawk, whip, knife, cannon, fist, rifle, club, bow)
  • Vegetable (peas, celery, mushrooms, corn, turnips, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, green onions, green beans, artichoke, pumpkin)….
  • Other categories, bird, sport, toy, clothing.
results
Results:
    • Correlations: 0.95 or up (=1 is perfect correlation)
    • People agree very much which items are good/bad examples of a particular category.
    • Categories have “good” examples and “bad” examples.
    • The boundaries of categories are graded, and may be arranged probabilistically with “goodness” of membership.
  • What determine “goodness”? Or what makes a particular item a good example of a category?
typicality and feature distribution
Typicality and feature distribution
  • What makes an item a typical member of a category.
  • How do we perceive a particular item a typical member of a given category?
family resemblance rosch mervis 1975
Family resemblance Rosch & Mervis (1975)
  • Distribution of attributes (features)
    • The most typical item in a category has the most features in common with other members of a category,
    • and the fewest features in common with the member of contrasting categories.
  • These items are ideal examples and may be referred to as “prototype.”
slide44

+

=

slide46

1

4

6

9

12

15

19

20

  • Morphed images of two different human faces

( Angelina Jolie – Brad Pitt by Na Yung Yu)

vertical structure of categories
Vertical structure of categories
  • Why “dog” rather than “animal”?
  • Categories have a vertical structure.
  • Not all levels of categories are created equal.
    • One intermediate level of categories, which is called, basic level categories, plays a crucial role in our perceptual and cognitive operations
rosch et al 1978
Rosch et al. (1978)
  • Basic (intermediate) level categories
    • Most efficient in identification
    • Evokes specific visual representations
    • People use this level exclusively for naming
    • Kids tend to learn these names earlier than other levels of categories
exp 1
Exp. 1
  • Speed of classification
  • Shown a category name (animal -upper level, dog-intermediate level, or German shepherd low level) followed by a picture.
  • Subjects responded whether the category name matched with the picture (pressing a either yes or no key)
slide54

Bear

Animal

Polar bear

results55
Results :

Basic level items are the easiest to classify

basic level categories and representation
Basic level categories and representation
  • Basic level categories evoke specific visual representations.
    • Given “furniture”, what kind of representation do you have in your mind?
    • How about “desk”?
  • Basic level category names evokes a specific pictorial representation
rosh et al 1978
Rosh et al. (1978)
  • Object matching task and priming
  • Object matching task
    • Two pictures were shown on a screen briefly side by side.
    • Subjects’ task was to indicate whether or not the two pictures depicted identical objects
2 conditions
2 conditions
  • Primed trials
    • 2 seconds before the presentation of picture pairs, the category name of one of the pair was presented.
  • Non primed trials
    • No names were given prior to the trials.
  • Dependent measure
    • Accuracy and response time
procedure primed condition
Procedure (primed condition)

Animal / cat / Persian cat

Depending on trials, upper (animal), basic (intermediate), or low level (Persian cat) category names appeared.

Yes/no

slide61
15 subjects  primed with upper level names (animal)
  • 15 subjects  primed with basic level names (dog)
  • 15 subjects  low level names (German shepherd)
  • All the subjects were also given non-primed trials.
results70

RT for “Same”

Priming conditions

Superordinate

(animal)

Basic level name (cat)

Subordinate (kitten)

Primed

620

554

568

Unprimed

592

601

612

Difference

-18

47

44

Results:
interpretation
Interpretation
  • Given the name of a basic level category, people form a specific pictorial representation.
categories concept
Categories/Concept
  • Categories have a structure.
    • Horizontal structure
      • Distinction between dogs vs. Cats.
      • Prototype, family resemblance
        • The most typical item in a category has the most features in common with other members of a category,
        • and the fewest features in common with the member of contrasting categories.
    • Vertical structure
      • (Animal, mammal, dog, German Shepherd)
      • The mid-level categories that we used for naming are called “basic level” categories.
      • Basic level categories have cognitive and perceptual significance.