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Lecture 10


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PSYC 1001
Robin Langerak

Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B CONSCIOUSNESS READING: CHAPTERS 3, 4, 5 PARTA– CONSCIOUSNESSAND SLEEP BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF BEHAVIOUR • Chapter 5 contains seven main sections 
 • 1. Consciousness • 5. Hypnosis • 2. Biological Rhythms • 6. Meditation • 3. Sleeping • 7. Drugs 
 • 4. Dreaming • General Learning Outcomes • Define Consciousness and its absence • Describe the sleep-wake cycle and architecture of sleep • Understand different perspectives on purpose of dreaming • Recognize altered states of consciousness BEFORE WE BEGIN • Light fromAbove Heuristic – which are convex? • Now turn your head (or page) upside-down LAST TIME • We discussed the myriad ways that your brain interprets all kinds of sensory inputs from the environment • You are rarely consciously aware of this process, so we can call sensation & perception unconscious processes, or automatic Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B CONSCIOUSNESS • Consciousness can be described many ways, but boils down to your awareness of your experience – sound familiar? • Flashback to Chapter 1... FLASHBACK SLIDE • He [Wundt] focused on consciousness: the awareness of immediate experience, a theme psychology continued to examine in its early decades. • Although he used many methods, he famously began a history of using introspection to examine his own thoughts. • William James – Father ofAmerican Psych. (1890) • Aprofessor of physiology and philosophy, he was a functionalist, believing consciousness should be examined in terms of its purpose and resulting effects on behaviour – used stream of consciousness • Functionalists started to think about the advantage of consciousness and started to look at the evolution of behaviour, why? 
 CONSCIOUSNESS • Our awareness of our own experience, or our thoughts, is anything but linear • We use the term stream of consciousness to describe the various thoughts we have and the way they flow along different paths • Today the study of consciousness is interdisciplinary, but psychologists often focus on awareness and attention, or lack there of Unconscious processes are not the same as Freud’s unconscious: • • they are not a representation of deep feelings but rather, are the processing our brain does without us • Recall from Chapter 8 that much of our problem solving and decision making rely on conscious thought, but not all... 
 FLASHBACK SLIDE Survival relies on “fast and frugal” heuristics, we don’t have the time or cognitive resources to go • through a complex decision making process Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B CONSCIOUSNESS • Unconscious processing is also not the same as a mere lapse of conscious awareness • Lapses in awareness come in many forms • Inattention: not attending something • SelectiveAttention: attending only part of something • Inattention Blindness: missing something unattended • Change Blindness: missing unattended changes • Mind Wandering: daydreaming INATTENTION BLINDNESS • CONSCIOUSNESS • Crash Course Lesson on Consciousness • MIND WANDERING • Mind Wandering is defined as tasked-unrelated thoughts in your textbook – but the term defines itself • Studies of Mind Wandering (e.g. Smallwood & Schooler, 2006) reveal some alarming facts • Participants were asked to read a novel for 45 mins and report whenever they felt they were “zoning out” • They were also probed every 2-4 mins to see what they were currently thinking about • Nothing at all (18%) • School-related topics (27%) • Fantasies (19%) • Myself (11%) • Participants self-reported that their mind had wandered about 5 times per 45-min session • About 13% of the probes caught mind wandering that participants weren’t aware of • When given a comprehension quiz about their reading material the results were correlated with their mind wandering • Relationship between reading comprehension and self-caught mind wandering r= .07 (none) 
 Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B • Relationship between reading comprehension and probe-caught mind wandering r= -.55 (negative) • The more times the probe caught mind wandering – i.e. unaware their mind had wandered - the worse the reader’s comprehension was! 
 CONSCIOUSNESS • There is a great deal of cognitive control involved in maintaining conscious awareness – we mind wander without even realizing it • Your ability to maintain awareness results from a combination of factors including • PRACTICE! • Physiological state • Time of day • Are you feeling alert right now? BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS • Biological Rhythms: any predictable cycle of physiological changes (Hobson, 1989) – E.g. an animals builds and sheds its fur coat with the seasons. • Circadian Rhythm refers to the set of physiological cycles your body experience in a 24-hour period. Circadian rhythms define our sleep-wake cycle which is controlled by external and internal factors • • External: sunlight • Internal: hormones • Psychologists study circadian rhythms by conducting bunker studies where participants temporarily live in a “bunker” without sunlight or other time cues (e.g. Aschoff & Wever, 1976) • These studies have revealed details about our circadian rhythms because they can examine what happens to our rhythms when we are detached from our standard clock-based daily lives • It turns out that humans have a ~25-hour circadian rhythm that requires entrainment from the sun’s visual rising and setting cues. • It also appears that shifts in body temperature are not associated with shifts in activity level (Kleitman, ~1938) Participants and researchers lived underground for a month • • Half participants remained on 24 hour schedule (7 nights per week) • Other half were put on a 28 hour schedule (6 nights per week) • Even though their sleep-wake cycle adjusted to the new 6 night week, researchers still recorded 7 drops in body temperature! 
 Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B APPLICATION MOMENT • Psychosocial Dwarfism: children who do not get enough sleep do not grow to their intended height • Why might this be? BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS • It’s a bad idea to mess with our circadian rhythms as it can compromise the integrity of our sleep • As we will see, partial or full deprivation of sleep can be awful for us • Emotional regulation is poor (we get super cranky) • Cognitive and physical impairments are comparable to intoxication 
 SLEEP • What even is sleep? • Sleep is a reversible behavioral state of perceptual disengagement from and unresponsiveness to the environment (Carskadon & Dement, 2011, p. 16) • Physiologically, sleep has a characteristic set of electrical activity in the brain discovered by Hans Berger in 1928 (see a few slides up) • Why do we sleep? Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B • Researchers have yet to uncover the primary function of sleep. Secondary functions include • Rest & Repair • Conserve energy • Avoid nighttime predation • Consolidate new information • Because it’s awesome. • How do we measure sleep? • Stages of sleep and other states of consciousness each have signature brainwaves that can be detected on EEG SLEEPARCHITECTURE • Afew minutes of relaxed brain activity as we transition into sleep Easily interrupted by sounds and other stimuli • • Physiologically • Theta waves, 3.5 – 7 Hz • Slow eye movements • Officially asleep, harder to wake up • About half of night in Stage 2 • Physiologically Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B • Background theta waves + sleep spindles 12-60 Hz • K-complex produced when sounds “heard” • No eye movements • Deep sleep, quite difficult to interrupt about 4% of night – often called slow wave sleep (SWS) • Physiologically • Delta waves 2.5 Hz • No eye movements, low muscle tone • EEG shows awake-like brain activity – Often called Paradoxical Sleep Most dreaming occurs in REM sleep • Physiologically • • Theta + beta waves 13-30 Hz • Rapid Eye Movements (REM) • Nearly no muscle tone, almost paralyzed • More SWS in first half of night, more REM in second half Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B SLEEP IN THE BRAIN • The brain is anything but inactive during sleep • Sleep-wakefulness is regulated by the Ascending ReticularActivating System (ARAS) • Suprachiasmic Nucleus in Hypothalamus regulates circadian rhythm 
 REM SLEEP • REM sleep was discovered by Aserinsky, Kleitman’s grad student, when he was tasked with watching babies sleep 1953 • REM sleep is important for strengthening synaptic pathways • Memory consolidation and learning • Infants get lots of REM in their sleep • Link between amount of REM at birth and species maturity • Altricial mammals who are born with less developed brains – e.g. humans – get lots of REM at birth • Percocial mammals who are born with fully developed brain – e.g. horses – get comparatively little REM Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B • Animals who get lots of REM sleep usually slumber in protected environments and are often predators – humans, cats, moles, rats • Those who get less REM usually sleep in exposed environments and are prey - goats, sheep, rabbits 
 NOT SLEEPING • How much sleep do I need? • 7-8 hours for adults. Period. • What happens if I don’t sleep at all? • Among other things, sleep deprivation causes • cognitive impairments in speed and accuracy • Loss of motor coordination • Poor decision making • When studying sleep of medical staff Irwin et al. (1999) found that on-call medical staff sleep about 3 hours. • These sleep restricted – not deprived – participants reported the following • 49% fell asleep at the wheel • 90% of incidents occurred right after being on-call • Compared to faculty member control participants, on-call medical staff saw 67% more traffic tickets and traffic accidents • Beware driving near hospitals at 6am shift change! Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B • As little as 16 hours of continuous wakefulness can lead to impairments on cognitive tasks, comparable to someone with blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 • At 17 hours, comparable to BAC of 0. (Williamson & Feyer, 2000) • Participants with sleepApnea (can interrupt quality sleep) perform worse than people with BAC of 0.57! (Powell et al., 1999) 
 ▯ • What happens when we interrupt our sleep? • Researchers have conducted selective sleep deprivation studies where they wake participants at certain sleep phases • When deprived of just REM or just SWS the brain shows a rebound effect for the missing sleep stage (Bonnet, 2005) • The brain is very sensitive to getting what it needs in the right ratios. Lecture 11 & 12 Psychology PSYC 1001-B SLEEP DISORDERS • Sleep disorders are broken into categories • Insomnias – inability to sleep • Hypersomnias – excessive ability to sleep, e.g. Narcolepsy • Sleep-related breathing disorders – apneas, heavy snoring • Circadian Rhythm Sleep-wake disorders – disorganize
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