PSYC 1200 Lecture 4a
Chapter 5: Influences on Conscious Experience Sleeping & Dreaming
Consciousness Awareness of oneself and the environment.
Non-Conscious Bodily activities that rarely depend on consciousness and are not accessible to consciousness (e.g. blood pressure regulation,
Pre-conscious Processes and/or knowledge that occur/exist outside of consciousness until one directs attention to it (e.g. preconscious memories,
Processes automatic skills).
The Unconscious Whatever mental process occurs outside of conscious awareness.
Such processes comprise the majority of processing that occurs in the human mind.
Chapter 5: Biological Functioning Changes over Time
Biological Rhythms Consistent patterns of change in biological processes.
Conscious experience is a product of biological processes in the nervous system.
Causes changes in conscious experience by affecting changes in nervous system functioning.
Exogenous A source of change in biological functioning caused by external events, such as time, temperature, daylight.
Endogenous A source of change in biological functioning caused by mechanisms inside the body that occur regardless of external time cues.
Circadian Rhythms An endogenous influence on biological rhythms that determines energy levels, body temperature, and hormone levels throughout
each 24-hour period (e.g. sleep-wake cycle; even without external cues, people follow a 24-hour sleep/wake cycle.).
Suprachiastic Nucleus A part of the mid brain that takes in information about the brightness outside and alters brain and body energy levels in response.
(SCN) of the Brain activity is sharpened/reduced through SCN influence on neurotransmitter levels and hormones, such as melatonin (more
Hypothalamus melatonin = less energized brain).
Reticular activating system signals suprachiastic nucleus in the mid brain to fire signals to wake up other parts of the brain
Internal An external influence on circadian rhythms that occurs when your normal routine changes and your circadian rhythms are thrown
Desychronization out of phase with one another (e.g. jet lag, night shift, moving to a new climate).
The nervous system and other body systems can take time to normalize after changes in external cues.
Individual Differences Many personal factors influence changes in mental alertness across the 24-hour cycle, such as stress, illness, fatigue, excitement,
in Circadian Rhythms drugs, and meal times (e.g. as people age, time of peak alertness tends to shift from afternoon to early morning).
Infradian Rhythms An endogenous influence on biological rhythms that occur on a month or season long cycle (e.g. hibernation, menstrual cycle).
Seasonal Affective Some people report depressed mood during winter months, possibly because less sunlight light means more melatonin.
Disorder (SAD) Evidence suggests that phototherapy (shining bright lights into people’s eyes) decreases melatonin levels in SAD patients.
Ultraradian Rhythms An endogenous influence on biological rhythms that occurs on a 1.5 hour cycle.
Chapter 5: Sleeping
Functions of Sleep General body maintenance: allows the body to accomplish functions, such as waste removal, cell repair, replenishment of
important chemicals and fluids, reinforcement of immune defense system.
Consolidation of learning and memory: strengthens the learning that takes place during waking hours by maintaining the health of
neurons, neurotransmitter and hormone levels (e.g. formation of neural connections).
Consequences of Impairment of immune systems as well as thinking and learning; results in death
Sleep Deprivation Fatigue:
Causes more traffic fatalities than drinking.
Causes a large percentage of workplace accidents.
Associated with lower grades in university.
Insomnia Problems in sleeping due to chronic pain, stress and anxiety, and psychological problems.
Difficulty falling asleep → panic, negative thoughts → increased arousal → poor sleep → fatigue, depression → increased anxiety
about sleep → difficulty falling asleep etc.
If you start taking sleeping pills regularly, you begin to develop tolerance to their effectiveness, causing you to increases doses and
dependence on the drug.
Sleep Apnea Frequently interrupted breathing while asleep.
Narcolepsy Uncontrolled sleepiness during daylight hours.
Aserinsky & Kleitman Studied how rapid eye movements (REM) occurring while people sleep is associated with specific patterns of brain activity that can
(1995); Dement (1992) be measured with an electroencephalograph (EEG).
Sleep Cycle Sleeping is considered an ultraradian biological rhythm that consists of:
A period of rapid-eye movement sleep (REM), which lasts a few minutes to an hour long and alternates with a period of non-rapid
eye movement (NREM), which lasts the remainder of the cycle.
Stage 1: associated with sma