PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Alpha Wave, Suggestibility

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3 Aug 2010
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Consciousness
-a constantly moving stream of thoughts, feelings and emotions
-according to William James (1890)
-can be viewed as our subjective awareness of mental events
-functions of consciousness
1. monitoring mental events
2. control: consciousness allows u to formulate and reach goals
-may have evolved to direct or control behaviour in adaptive ways
Cortex and Consciousness
-the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is activated during conscious control tasks
-ie. Subjects asked to name the ink colour in
the Stroop task below have difficulty when
the word name and colours are different
-associated with activation of the dorsolateral
prefrontal cortex
Attention
-the process by which we focus our awareness
-our conscious awareness is limited in capacity and we are aware of only a small amount of
stimuli around us at any one time
-three functions of attentional processes
1.orientating function toward the environment
2. control of the content of consciousness
-I will think about this issue but not that one
3. maintaining alertness
Subliminal Perception
-notion that brief exposure to sub-threshold stimuli can influence awareness
-study
A. aggressive stimulus
B. positive stimulus
C. neutral stimulus
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subjects in shown
panel A first
subsequently rated
the boy in panel C
more negatively
Unconscious Cognitive Processes
-information-processing view can be extended to analysis of unconscious processes
-notion is that many brain mechanisms operate in parallel
-some of these mechanisms operate outside of the level of consciousness
-functional significance of conscious mechanisms
-are efficient and rapid
-can operate simultaneously
-operate in the absence of consciousness
Neurology of Consciousness
-consciousness is distributed throughout the brain
<--prefrontal cortex is key for conscious
control of information processing
-hindbrain and midbrain are important for
arousal and for sleep
Ådamage to the reticular format can lead to
coma
Sleeping
-behavioural characteristics of sleep
-minimal movement
-stereotyped prone posture
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