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Psychology - Consciousness.docx

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PSYC 2510
Richard N Lalonde

October 24, 2012 Psychology - Lecture 7 Chapter 5: Consciousness & Mental States Consciousness:  Definition: Awareness of oneself & the environment  A private and personal experience that cannot be shared directly  Freud: conscious (momentary), preconscious (easily accessible) & unconscious (must be inferred, discovered & translated) Contemporary views:  Conscious (momentary & controllable)  Subconscious (easily accessible)  Nonconscious (must be inferred & discovered) Cannot be aware of all things external and internal at any one time Selective attention: process that controls awareness of, and readiness to respond to, particular stimuli Biological Rhythms  Some regular biological cycles (eg. sleep) related to consciousness  Some rhythms are synchronized with external cues (clock, daylight) – process of entrainment o Menstrual synchrony?  Other rhythms are endogenous (produced inside; no apparent external cause) Endogenous Circadian Rhythms  About every 24 hours (without entrainment)  Sleep-wake cycle  Pathway of biological clock: Light levels Retina Suprachiasmatic nucleus of hypothalamus Pineal gland Secretion of melatonin  Jet lag – entrainment (external clock) & circadian rhythm out of sync (internal desynchronization) o Why is it harder to travel east than to travel west?  Infradian Rhythms o About monthly (menstrual 28 day cycle) or seasonally (migration & hibernation)  Ultradian Rhythms o About every 90 minutes o Stomach contractions & hormone levels o Basic rest-activity cycle – waxing & waning of alertness Menstrual Cycles & Mood  PMS – Myth or reality?  Critical thinking o Video clip would suggest it is true o Other humorists suggest otherwise  “Women complain about PMS but I think of it as the only time of the month when I can be myself.” –Rosanne Barr  What does research have to say? Need to distinguish physical (crampy) from emotional (crabby) o McFarlane et al (1988); Romans et al (2012) Research about “PMS”  No gender differences in mood  No relation between stage of menstrual cycle and reported mood  No consistent “PMS” pattern Review of Research “PMS” & Mood  Romans et al., 2012 o 47 studies with rigorous criteria  Prospective ratings (same women over all phases of MC)  Unaware of menstrual focus of the study  Mood data collected during all phases o No clear evidence of a link between pre-menstrual period & negative mood Menstrual Cycles & Mood  Physical symptoms (cramps, bloating, acne) common but emotional symptoms (irritability & depression) less common  Why ♀ overestimate “PMS” mood swing? o Notice when symptoms occur but overlook when absent o Irritable at other times but attribute this irritability to other things o Self-fulfilling prophecy & cultural attitudes Sleep & Dreaming  REM (rapid eye movement) sleep discovered in 1950’s  Paradoxical sleep, therefore brain is very active  Period of dreaming  REM sleep follows an ultradian cycle Index of Consciousness  Brain-waves (EEG) o Frequency (cycles per second)  Beta (13-24 cps) – awake, alert  Alpha (8-12 cps) – very relaxed  Theta (4-7 cps) – light sleep  Delta (<4 cps) – deep sleep  Muscle activity & eye movements Sleep Cycle  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)  REM, EEG similar to awake, vivid dreaming (progressively gets longer throughout night) Pattern of sleep cycle:  1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, REM, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, REM, …  REM periods longer & deep sleep shorter (4 & 3 start to cut out) as night progresses Do we need REM sleep?  Dement (1960): REM deprivation study (time series – quasi-exp.) – selective deprivation study  Pre-deprivation night: 19.4% REM  Manipulation: reduce 80% of REM by waking Ss (subject) for 5 nights (need 11 awakeningings on 1 night & 22 on 5 )  Recovery night: 27.3% REM  Conclusion: we need REM (same rebound effect in animal studies) Why do we need to sleep? – The Science of Sleep Video  Sleep is as essential as food  Study with rats - they died just about as quick from food deprivation as sleep deprivation (sleep is that important)  Whatever the functions of sleep are, they seem to be so important that evolution is willing to put us in that place of potential danger by losing consciousness  Sleepcan enhance your memories  Walker’s study: Five college students had been awake for more than 24 hours o Students like these do 40 percent worse memorizing lists of words after a night without sleep  Study at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine: o 4 volunteers get wired up with electrodes o Have to stay awake until 4 a.m., then are woken up at 8 a.m. for 5 nights in a row o Given tests to measure the effects of "chronic partial sleep deprivation" o Cumulative impairment that develops in your ability to think fast, to react quickly & to remember things o A single night at 4, 5 or 6 hours can begin to show affects in attention, memory and thinking speed – each day gets worse  "micro-sleeps" - Lapses that can even occur when people have their eyes open o Reason for most accidents – slowed reaction from lack of sleep  People who are chronically sleep deprived, often have no sense of their limitations (like people who've had too much to drink)  Study - Students deprived of sleep for 35 hours o placed inside a MRI scanner and showed increasingly negative and disturbing images o control group - showed a nice, modest controlled response in their emotional centres of the brain o Sleep -deprived subjects - hyperactive brain response  disconnect between that over-reacting amygdala and the brain's frontal lobe (the region that controls rational thought and decision-making
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