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Class 6. Consciousness.docx

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University of Ottawa
Brenda Baird

Consciousness Consciousness as a Social Phenomenon Communication - Is consciousness verbal communication? - Reflection of mental processes (verbal awareness) - Symbolic expressions of mental processes (nonverbal awareness) – coma patient squeezing your hand to let the person know they can hear them, babies facial expressions showing they are consciously aware, dogs tail wagging Cognitive Dissociation Attention - Limited Capacity System - Controlled and Automatic Processing o Things you have to focus on and pay attention to – note taking, reading, dialing a new phone number with someone talking to you, eventually it all becomes second nature – playing an instrument, don’t even aware of your finger movements Selective Attention: Dichotic Listening (Cherry, 1953) Shadowing - Each headphone channeling a different message to each ear. You have to repeat only the message from your right ear – ignoring the other. You can change the speaker, language or gender of the speaker from the other ear and they would be aware of a change, but unaware of what that change was. Selective Attention: Dichotic Listening Selective Attention - The cocktail phenomenon - We can follow a particular conversation even when other conversations are going on around us o In a group or around a table and able to hear your conversation, or follow the other conversations around you Inattentional Blindness - Inattentional blindness refers to the inability to see an object or a person in our midst. Simons & Chabris (1999) showed that half of the observers failed to see the gorilla-suited assistant in a ball passing game. Change Blindness - Change blindness is a form of inattentional blindness in which two-thirds of individuals giving directions failed to notice a change in the individual asking for directions. Semantic Priming Influence Without Awareness Tachistiscopic Presentation - Despite not being aware of the words that they “saw”, those exposed to positive words were happier and those exposed to negative words were sadder. This indicates that moods can be influenced without awareness Selective Attention “Tip of the Iceberg” - Sensory inhibition? - No, info does filter through - Where does the “lost” info go? o 2 forms of memory - Explicit and Implicit Memory (tap 2 levels of “awareness”) o Lost information – implicit (fast flash of an image you don’t see visually, but it is in your implicit memory). Motor function, difficult to put into words, you have to DO it (opening your lock, don’t know the combo but you know the hand motion) o Explicit is verbal memory, things you can say and talk about verbally that you remember – test, where you go to school, what you did last night “Split Memory” A Dissociation of Memory Processes - Explicit (declarative) memory - Implicit (nondeclarative) memory - HD vs. ADS - Subcortical vs. cortical memory structures - Verbal vs. nonverbal Consciousness and the Brain - Visual Agnosia - The Split-Brain Syndrome (corpus callosum) - Hypnosis Visual Agnosia ALTERED STATES - SLEEP & DREAMS - HYPNOSIS Circadian Cycles: The Biological Clock - Circadian cycles are those that last “about a day” - Circadian rhythms are governed by an area of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) - Controls body temperature, metabolism, blood pressure, hormone levels, and hunger - Jet lag is the result of desynchronization of the circadian rhythm Biological Rhythms and Sleep - Circadian Rhythms occur on a 24-hour cycle and include sleep and wakefulness. Termed our “biological clock,” it can be altered by artificial light. - Light triggers the suprachiasmatic nucleus to decrease (morning) melatonin from the pineal gland and increase (evening) it at nightfall. (SCN) Sleep Stages - Measuring sleep: About every 90 minutes, we pass through a cycle of five distinct sleep stages. Sleep and Dreams: Measuring Sleep - Electrodes measure o Eye movements - EMG measures o Muscle tension - EEG measures o Brain waves - A camera may also record body movements. Brain Waves There are 4 stages of sleep (5 if you include REM) Beta is not a sleep stage Beta – wide-awake Alpha – occurs between alertness and stage 1 of sleep, transitioning into sleep, lucid dreaming, meditative trance, hypnosis, still conscious not asleep but not fully aware, feeling of falling, jerking limbs Theta – falling asleep (1-2) Delta – slow wave sleep, unresponsive, deep deep sleep, able to move (sleepwalk), night terrors (3-4) REM – dreaming state, in this state you are paralyzed, you cant sleepwalk in this cycle, nightmares REM Sleep - “Rapid Eye Movement” - REM called paradoxical sleep o Brain waves similar to waking state, but person is deeply asleep and unable to move o Most dreaming takes place during REM o Neurological repair begins in this stage The Rhythms of Sleep - Brain waves and sleep stages o Stage 1 o Stage 2 o Stage 3 o Stage 4 o REM sleep Sleep Stages: Cycling Through Sleep - Stage 1: brief, transitional (1-7 min.) o Alpha > theta o Hypnic jerks - Stage 2: sleep spindles (10-25 min.) - Stages 3 & 4: slow-wave sleep (30 min.) - Stage 5: REM, EEG similar to awake, vivid dreaming (initially a few minutes, progressively longer as cycle through the stages) o Developmental differences in REM sleep o Babies spend the majority of their sleep (40%) in REM, as you get older you spend more time in stages 1 and 2 – why older people are light sleepers • Sleep researchers have discovered 5 distinctly different stages of sleep, based on physiological recordings. • Stage 1 is a brief, transitional stage of light sleep that lasts between 1 and 7 minutes. The EEG moves from predominately alpha waves, when the person is just about to fall asleep, to more theta activity. Hypnic jerks, those brief muscle contractions that occur when one is falling asleep, occur in stage 1 sleep. • Stage 2 is characterized by more mixed brain wave activity with brief bursts of higher-frequency brain waves, called sleep spindles. • Stages 3 and 4 are characterized by low frequency delta waves. • It takes abo
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