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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 required readings Module 18

Course Code
Richard Ennis

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Objective 18.1 discuss the history of psychology's study of consciousness and contrast conscious and
unconscious information processing
o Defined as out awareness of ourselves and our environment
o Occurs in the normal states of seeing, hearing, reasoning, and remembering
Psychology began as the study of consciousness, but under behaviourists, turned the study into an
observable behaviour
Conscious processing
o Serial and relatively slow
o Focused state of awareness enables us to perform voluntary acts, solve novel problems, and
communicate with others
Unconscious processing
o Perform familiar tasks automatically
o Sensory systems and neural pathways register stimuli rapidly and simultaneously on multiple
18.2 distinguish four types of biological rhythms and give an example of each
Internal biological clocks (circadian rhythm) create periodical physiological fluctuations
Cycles occur annually (as in seasonal variations in mood and appetite)
o Every 28 days (women's menstrual cycle)
o Every 24 hours (daily cycles of alertness)
o Every 90 minutes (human sleep stages)
Objective 18.3 describe the cycle of our circadian rhythm and identify some events that can disrupt
this biological clock
24 hour cycle regulates our daily schedule of sleeping and waking
o In response to light striking the retina, signalling the suprachiasmatic nucleus to trigger
alterations in the level of biochemical substances, including sleep inducing melatonin
Time changes, long flights, shifts in sleep schedules and exposure to bight light can reset this
biological clock
Objective 18.4 list the stages of the sleep cycle and explain how they differ
Stage 1 : sleep - often the sensation of falling or floating
Stage 2 : sleep - spend most of the time in this stage after 20 minutes of stage 1, usually shows a
spindle of activity/ a sudden burst of movement
Stage 3 + 4 : sleep - together lasting about 30 min with large slow delta waves
Stage 5: paradoxical sleep - after around an hour of sleep, REM begins. We are internally aroused
but outwardly paralyzed.
90 minute cycles repeats during a normal night's sleep
Periods of stage 4 and then stage 3 shorten while REM dreaming lengthens
Objective 18.5 Explain why sleep patterns and duration vary from person to person
Average amount of sleep a person gets per night is 9 hours
Sleep is affected by age ( newborns = 2X adults), individual sleep requirements, and cultural
Objective 18.6 discuss several risks associated with sleep deprivation
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