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Altered States of Consciousness.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

PSYA01 Oct. 24/29 Altered States of Consciousness  Sleep o medical term of ‘conscious’  Hypnosis o Give conscious control to hypnotist  Drugs  Sensory deprivation Sleep We spend 1/3 of our life asleep Evolution theories for sleep: 1. Sleep must be critically important  If it wasn’t, our ancestors wouldn’t have slept and it would have been phased out by now 2. Hunting/gathering takes energy but we get energy from food  At night, we are even more defenseless – we can’t see at night  Sleeping at night meant we didn’t have to expend energy when we didn’t have to Stages of sleep PSYA01 Oct. 24/29 Deep sleep: brain releases neurochemical that paralyzes muscles for dreaming (those without this neurochemical ‘act out’ in their sleep. (this occurs sort of around stage 4)  ‘Running away’ in dreams: dream senses that muscles have been paralyzed and is trying to get away Internal world is influenced by external world that is relatively stable – this means the internal world is stable. During dreams, influence comes from brain which is not stable. Stages 1 – 5: cycles that occur a few times a night. Stage 1 only occurs a couple of times a night. Early in the night is where you get your cycles of deep sleep. After that, you mostly get dreams. Woken up in stage 4: This is not good because the neurochemical that paralyzes you is still in action. REM (rapid eye movement): occurs when dreaming Deprivation studies: without sleep, people will eventually die  When you wake someone up during REM sleep, this tends to restart the sleep cycle. Without this, a few days can lead to hallucinations. Sleep and Physical Repair The link between sleep and physical repair may be more psychological than physiological.  Marathon runners (example): people travel all over for marathons. Sleep is thrown off by travel, however, this does not affect race times. Actually, it may even lead to personal bests. Habitual tasks (running for marathons [?]) seem to be immune to sleep disruptions, only tasks that require deep (conscious [?]) thought (chess) are affected. Sleep and Learning (Consolidation) Consolidation: during sleep, brain memorizes
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