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Chapter 6 - States of Consciousness.docx

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Psychology 1000

States of Consciousness  Drift into and out of various states of consciousness  State of Consciousness o Pattern of subjective experience, a way of experiencing internal and external events  Altered State of Consciousness o Refers to variations from our normal waking state o Daydreaming or passing from wakefulness ot sleep – dreams Puzzle of Consciousness  Consciousness o Moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment  Consciousness is o Subjective & Private  Other people cannot know what reality is for you o Dynamic  Drift and out of various states throughout each day  Continuously flowing ―stream‖ of mental activity o Self-Reflective & Central to Sense of Self  Mind is aware of its won consciousness  No matter what awareness is focused on – you can reflect on how you are the one who is conscious of it o Intimately Connected with Process of Selective Attention  Selection of some and the suppression of the rest by the conscious awareness on some stimuli to the exclusion of others  Selective Attention  Focuses conscious awareness on some stimuli to the exclusion of others  Consciousness reflects whatever is illuminated at that moment Measuring States of Consciousness  Operationally define private inner states in terms of measurable responses  Self-report Measures o Most common measure o People describe inner experiences o Direct insight into a person’s subjective experiences  Psychological Measures o Establish the correspondence between bodily states and mental processes o Objective but cannot comment on subjective experiences o Ex. EEG recordings  Behavioral Measures o Performance on special tasks – rouge test o Objective o Still must infer the person’s state of mind Levels of Consciousness: Psychodynamic & Cognitive Perspectives  Freud proposed that the human mind consists of three levels of awareness  Conscious Mind o Contains thoughts, perceptions, and other mental events of which we are currently aware  Preconscious Mental Events o Outside current awareness, but can easily be recalled under certain conditions o Ex. you may not have thought about a childhood friend for years, but when someone mentions your friend's name, you become aware of pleasant memories  Unconscious Events o Cannot be brought into conscious awareness under ordinary circumstances o Some unconscious content—such as unacceptable urges and desires stemming from instinctive sexual and aggressive drives, traumatic memories, and threatening emotional conflict—is kept out of conscious awareness because it would arouse anxiety, guilt, or other negative emotions Cognitive Viewpoint  Reject idea: unconscious mind driven by urges & repressed conflicts  View conscious and unconscious mental life as complementary forms of information processing  Cognitive unconscious functions as a sophisticated support service, working in harmony with conscious thoughts Controlled vs. Automatic Processing  Controlled (Effortful) Processing o Voluntary use of attention and conscious effort o Flexible and open to change o Ex. Studying or planning an event  Automatic Processing (Autopilot) o Performed with little or no conscious effort o Disadvantage: reduce our chances of finding new ways to approach problems o Speedy o Ex. Well-learned tasks or routine actions Divided Attention  Ability to perform more than one activity at the same time  Facilitated by automatic processing  Has limitations and is more difficult  Negative Consequences o Ex. phone-use while driving Emotional Unconscious  Emphasize that emotional and motivational processes also operate unconsciously and influence behaviour  Ex. Bad or good moods without knowing why you felt that way – influenced by events in environment of which were not fully aware Modular Mind  Mind is a collection of largely separate but interacting  Modules  Information-processing subsystems or ―networks‖ within the brain that perform tasks related to sensation, perception, memory, problem solving, emotion, motor behaviour, etc.  Process information in parallel and independently  Output from one can provide input for another Circadian Rhythms: Daily Biological Clocks  Humans adapted to a world with a 24-hour day-night cycle  Every 24 hours, our body temperature, certain hormonal secretions, and other bodily functions undergo a rhythmic change that affects our mental alertness  Daily biological cycles are called circadian rhythms Keeping Time: Brain & Environment  Circadian Rhythms o Regulated by brain’s Suprachiasmatic Nucleu  Suprachiasmatic Nuclei (SCN) o Located in hypothalamus o Brain’s clock o Genetically programmed cycle of activity and inactivity o Link to pineal gland – secretes melatonin (hormone: relaxing effect on body) o Become active during daytime and reduce melatonin  Raising body temperature  Heightening alertness o Become inactive during nighttime and increases melatonin  Promotes sleepiness  Circadian Clock o Biological o Environmental factors such as day-night cycle – keep SCN neurons on 24-hour schedule  Eyes have neural connections to SCN  After sleep, light of day increases SCN activity – helps reset 24-hour clock  Free-Running Circadian Rhythm o Dark, isolated, clock-free environment o Drift into longer ―natural‖ cycle of 24.2-24.8 hours o SCN neurons exhibit this longer cycle of firing even when taken out of brain and put in petri dish o Desynchronized with 24-hour day-night cycle – tend to go to bed and wake up later each day o Blind individuals experience this Early Birds & Night Owls  Circadian rhythms influence tendency to be a ―morning person‖ or a ―night person‖  Early Bird o Go to bed and rise earlier o Body temperature, blood pressure, and alertness peak earlier o Common in older adults Environmental Disruptions of Circadian Rhythms  Gradual and sudden environmental changes can disrupt circadian rhythms.  Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) o Cyclic tendency to become psychologically depressed during certain months of the year o Symptoms typically begin in fall or winter, which usher in shorter periods of daylight, and then lift in spring o Circadian rhythms of SAD sufferers may be particularly sensitive to light, so as sunrises occur later in winter, the daily ―onset‖ time of their circadian clocks may be pushed back to an unusual degree  Jet Lag o Sudden circadian disruption o Caused by flying across several time zones in one day o Flying east – lose hours o Flying west – gain ours o Causes insomnia, decreased alertness, poorer performance until body readjusts o Body naturally adjusts about one hour or less per day to time zone changes o Adjust faster when flying west  Nightshift Work o Inverted night-day world o Drive home in daylight – harder to rest their biological clocks o Fatigue, stress, likelihood of accidents – increase  Day-light Savings o Change in time Sleep & Dreaming  Circadian Rhythms o Do not regulate sleep directly o Decreasing nighttime alertness o Promote a readiness for sleep o Help to determine the optimal period when we can sleep most soundly  1/3 of life is spent sleeping Stages of Sleep  Approximately every 90 minutes while asleep - cycle through different stages in which our brain activity and other physiological responses change in a generally predictable way  EEG recordings of your brain's electrical activity show a pattern of beta waves when you are awake and alert  Beta Waves o Have a high frequency (of about 15 to 30 cycles per second, or cps) but a low ―amplitude‖ or height  Alpha Waves o Close your eyes, feeling relaxed and drowsy, your brain waves slow down and alpha waves occur at about 8 to 12 cycles per second Stage 1 through 4  Sleep begins, brain-wave pattern becomes more irregular, and slower theta waves (3.5 to 7.5 cycles per second) increase  Stage 1 o Form of light sleep from which you can easily be awakened o Duration: just a few minutes (or less) o During which time some people experience images and sudden body jerks  Stage 2 o As sleep becomes deeper, sleep spindles—periodic one- to two-second bursts of rapid brain-wave activity (12 to 15 cycles per second)—begin o Sleep spindles o Muscles are more relaxed, your breathing and heart rate are slower, and you are harder to awaken  Stage 3 o Sleep deepens o Marked by the regular appearance of very slow (0.5 to 2 cycles per second) and large delta waves  Stage 4 o As time passes, they occur more often, and when delta waves dominate the EEG pattern o Together, stage 3 and 4 are often referred to as slow-wave sleep o Your body is relaxed, activity in various parts of your brain has decreased, and you are hard to awaken o After 20 to 30 minutes of sleep, your EEG pattern changes as you go ―back through‖ stages 3 and 2, spending a little time in each o Overall, within 60 to 90 minutes of going to sleep, you will have completed a cycle of stages 1-2-3-4-3-2 o At this point, a remarkably different sleep stage ensues th 5 Stage: REM Sleep  Every half minute or so, bursts of muscular activity caused the sleepers' eyeballs to vigorously move back and forth beneath their closed eyelids  Rapid Eye Movements (REMs), stage called REM sleep o Dream was almost always reported  Physiological arousal may increase to daytime levels o Heart rate quickens, breathing becomes more rapid and irregular, and brain-wave activity is active o Men have penile erections and women experience vaginal lubrication – not due to sexual imagery  Brain also sends signals, making it more difficult for voluntary muscles to contract o Muscles in the arms, legs, and torso lose tone and become relaxed o REM Sleep Paralysis  May twitch, but in effect you are ―paralyzed‖ and unable to move  REM sleep called paradoxical sleep  Highly aroused body and looks peacefully  Dreams have their well-known storylike quality, with vivid sensory and motor elements and the perception of reality  Non-REM dream o Shorter than a REM dream o Less storylike, lacking the vivid sensory and motor experiences of a REM dream o Often fixed and unmoving – tableau rather than story o May resemble o Simple mental activity – sleep thoughts  Each cycle through the sleep stages takes about 90 minutes Getting A Night’s Sleep: Brain & Environment  Brain steers nightly, into and through sleep  It does not contain a single ―sleep centre‖  Different aspects of the sleep cycle, such as falling asleep, REM sleep, and slow- wave sleep, are controlled by different brain mechanisms  Basal Forebrain o Base of forebrain and within brain stem o Important in regulating our falling asleep  Another Brain Stem Area o Where reticular formation passes through the pons o Key role in initiating REM sleep o Contains ―REM-Sleep On‖ neurons o Periodically activate other brain systems – each controls a different aspect of REM  Eye movements  Muscular paralysis  Genital arousal  Changes of sleep are affected by environment o People sleep about 15-60 minutes longer per night in fall and winter o Shiftwork, jet lag, stress, nighttime noise affect sleep quality How Much Do We Sleep?  Substantial differences in how much people sleep at various ages  Newborn infants average 16 hours of sleep a day, and almost half of their sleep time is in REM  Three Changes Occur After o We sleep less  Average: 15- to 24-year-olds average 8.5 hours of sleep per day, and elderly adults average just under 6 hours o REM sleep decreases dramatically during infancy and early childhood, but remains relatively stable thereafter. o Time spent in stages 3 and 4 declines. By late adulthood, we get relatively little slow-wave sleep.  How much sleep a person needs is influenced by genetic factors, work schedules, stress, age, lifestyle, and general health  Men in Canada sleep an average of 8.0 hours a night, while women get slightly more sleep, averaging 8.2 hours a night Sleep Deprivation  Psychologists study sleep deprivation for its practical significance and to gain insight into why we need to sleep  Short-term Total Sleep Deprivation o Up to 45 hours without sleep  Long-term Total Sleep Deprivation o More than 45 hours without sleep  Partial Deprivation o Being allowed to sleep no more than five hours per night for one or more consecutive nights  ―Average‖ sleep-deprived person functioned only as well as someone in the bottom 9 percent of nondeprived participants  All three types of sleep deprivation had a negative impact on functioning  Mood suffered most, followed by cognitive and then physical performance  Takes several nights to recover from extended total sleep deprivation Why Do We Sleep?  Restoration Model o Sleep recharges our rundown bodies and allows us to recover from physical and mental fatigue o Need sleep to function at our emotional, mental, and physical best o Activities that increases daily wear on body should increase sleep o Tend to sleep longer by only about 10 minutes on days we have exercised o Don't know what exactly ―gets restored‖ in our bodies while we sleep  Some researchers believe that a cellular waste product called adenosine plays a role  Adenosine is produced as cells consume fuel  Adenosine accumulation - influences brain systems that decrease alertness and promote sleep  Evolutionary/Circadian Sleep Model o Sleep’s main purpose is to increase a species' chances of survival in relation to its environmental demands o Little to gain and much to lose by being active at night  Ex. Hunting, food gathering, and travelling accomplished more easily and safely during daylight  Evolution  each species developed a circadian sleep-wake pattern that was adaptive in terms of whether it was predator or prey, its food requirements, and its methods of defence from attack  Ex. o For small prey animals, who reside in burrows or trees safely away from predators, spending a lot of time asleep is adaptive o For large prey animals, who sleep in relatively exposed environments and whose safety from predators depends on running away, a lot of sleep would be hazardous  Sleep may have evolved also as a mechanism for conserving energy  Our body's overall metabolic rate during sleep is about 10 to 20 percent slower than during waking rest  Both models contribute to the actual reason  REM-Rebound o Tendency to increase the amount of REM sleep after being deprived of it o Volunteering for a sleep deprivation study in which we awaken indivudal only when entering REM sleep o Two things will happen  Successive nights  we will have to awaken indivudal more often, because your brain will be fighting back to get REM sleep  When the study ends, for the first few nights probably will experience a REM-rebound effect  REM-Importance o Vital for mental functioning, especially for processes linked to learning and memory consolidation o Brain is as active during REM sleep as it is during alert wakefulness o High level of activity help to strengthen the neural circuits involved in remembering important information from the preceding day Sleep Disorders Insomnia  Refers to chronic difficult in falling asleep, staying asleep or experiencing restful sleep  Trouble falling asleep - common among young adults  Difficulty staying asleep – common among older adults  Most common sleep disorder o Experienced by 10-40% of population  Overestimate how much sleep they lose and how long it takes them to fall asleep  Psuedoinsomniacs o Complain of insomnia but sleep normally in laboratory o Despite a good night’s sleep – awaken saying they didn't get any sleep  Biological, psychological and environmental causes o Mental conditions and disorders  Anxiety or depression o Drugs o General worrying & stress o Poor lifestyle habits o Circadian disruptions  Treatments o Stimulus Control  Based on learning principles  Conditioning body to associate the stimuli in your sleep environment (bed) with sleep rather than waking activities Narcolepsy  1/2000 people suffer from the inability to stay awake  Involves extreme daytime sleepiness, sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks  Sleep attacks o Can occur at any time o Do not depend on night’s rest o May last from less than a minute to an occur o Go right into REM stage  some have intense visual images and sounds  Can experience attacks of cataplexy o Sudden loss of muscle tone often triggered by laughter, excitement and other strong emotions o Knees buckle – person collapses, conscious but unable to move for several moments o Abnormal version of normal muscular paralysis that takes place during nighttime REM sleep  Disorder in which REM sleep intrudes into waking consciousness  Discriminated against when seeking jobs and mistakenly viewed as lazy at work  Report a lowered quality of life and are more prone to accidents  Causes o Genetic predisposition combines with still unknown environmental factors  Treatment o No cure o Stimulant drugs often reduce daytime sleepiness, and antidepressant drugs (which suppress REM sleep) can decrease attacks of cataplexy o Daytime naps help feel more alert – only last for a few hours REM-Sleep Behaviour Disorder  Repeatedly talking, singing, and moving hands and legs during REM sleep  Loss of muscle tone that causes normal REM sleep paralysis is absent  If awakened, patients often report dream content that matches their behavior  May kick violently, throw punches, or get out of bed and move about wildly, leaving the bedroom in a shambles  May injured themselves while sleeping, and almost half have injured their sleeping partners  Causes o Brain abnormalities may prevent signals that normally inhibit movement during REM from being sent o Causes of RBD are unknown Sleepwalking  Typically occurs during a stage 3 or stage 4 period of slow-wave sleep  Often have blank stares and are unresponsive to other people, but they seem vaguely conscious of the environment as they navigate around furniture, go to the bathroom, or find something to eat  Often return to bed and awaken in the morning with no memory of the event  About 10 to 30 percent of children sleepwalk at least once, but less than 5 percent of adults do  Can injure themselves accidentally, such as by falling down stairs or wandering out of their homes.  Causes o Genetic predisposition o Daytime stress o Alcohol o Certain illnesses and medications  Treatments o Psychotherapy o Drugs o Routinely awakening children before the time they typically sleepwalk o Wait for children to outgrow it while creating a safe home environment so that the sleepwalker does not get injured Nightmares & Night Terrors  Nightmares o Frightening dreams, and everyone has them o Occur more often during REM sleep and in the hours before we arise o Physiological arousal during nightmares is similar to levels experienced during pleasant dreams  Night/Sleep Terrors o More intense than nightmares o Sleeper, usually child, suddenly sits up and seems to awaken, letting out a blood-curdling scream o Terrified and aroused to a near-panic state, the person might thrash about in bed or flee to another room, as if trying to escape from something o Come morning, the person usually has no memory of the episode o Night terrors are most common during deep sleep (stages 3 and 4) o Treatment  Wait for the night terrors to diminish with age The Nature of Dreams  ―Parallel reality‖ connecting them to the spiritual world  Collective unconscious linked to their ancestral past  Stories of creation and beliefs passed on to educate successive generations  Defines personal and cultural identities  Guiding force – dreaming influences waking life When Do Dream Occur?  Mental activity occurs throughout the sleep cycle  Hypnagogic State o Transitional state from wakefulness through early stage 2 sleep o Mental activity became more dreamlike o 15%-40% of sleepers report dreamlike activity when awakened within six minutes of falling asleep  Activity o Dream most when the brain is most active o Brain activity is higher during REM sleep than non-REM sleep - dream more during REM sleep o When awakened from REM sleep, people report a dream about 80 percent of the time, versus 15 to 50 percent of the time for non-REM sleep o Brain activity also is higher in the final hours of sleep than it is during the earlier hours - dream more in the last few hours of both REM and non- REM sleep What Do Dreams Concern?  Most take place in familiar settings and often involve people we know  Certainly, some dreams are bizarre, but they often leave a lasting impression that biases our perception of what most dreams are like  Given the stereotype of ―blissful dreaming,‖ – surprising most dreams contain some negative content  Women dream almost equally about male and female characters  Two-thirds of men's dream characters were male  Our experiences, and current concerns can shape dream content  Up to 50 percent of our dreams contain some content reflecting the experiences of our most recent day Why Do Dreams Occur? Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory  Main purpose of dreaming is wish fulfillment o Gratification of our unconscious desires and needs  Desires include sexual and aggressive urges that are too unacceptable to be consciously acknowledged and fulfilled in real life  Distinguished between a dream's o Manifest Content  ―Surface‖ story that the dreamer report o Latent Content  Which is its disguised psychological meaning o Ex.,  Dream about being with a stranger on a train that goes through a tunnel (manifest content) might represent a hidden desire for sexual intercourse with a ―forbidden‖ partner (latent content)  Contemporary researchers reject the postulates of his theory Activation-Synthesis Theory  When awake, neural circuits in brain are activated by sensory input: sights, sounds, tastes etc.  Cerebral cortex interprets these patterns of neural activation, producing meaningful perceptions  Activation Component o REM sleep  brain stem hits higher brain centres with random neural activity  Sleep  neural activity does not match any external sensory events, but cerebral cortex continues to perform its job of interpretation  Synthesis Component o It does this by creating a dream that provides the ―best fit‖ to the particular pattern of activation that exists at any particular moment  Accounts for the bizarreness of dreams: brain is trying to ―make sense‖ out of random neural activity  Memories and experiences can influence the stories that brain develops - dream content may reflect themes pertaining to individual’s life o Limited meaning  Overall – dreaming does not serve any particular function  Critics say that activation-synthesis theory overestimates bizarreness of dreams and ignores that dreaming and mental imagery occurs during non-REM sleep Cognitive Approaches  Problem-Solving Dream Models o Dreams help find creative solutions to problems and conflicts because they are not constrained by reality o Critics argue - just because a problem shows up does not mean that the dream involved an attempt to solve it – gives insight but doesn't solve while dream is occurring  Cognitive-Process Dream Theories o Focus on the process of how dream o Based on the modular model of consciousness, theories propose that dreaming and waking thought are produced by the same mental systems in the brain o Consider that when 3- and 4-year-old children are awakened from REM sleep, they rarely report dreams, whereas 8- and 9-year-olds
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