CAS PS 125 Lecture Notes - Sleep Spindle, Sleep Walk, Heart Rate

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09/29/14 – PS101 Notes: State of Consciousness
Puzzle of Consciousness
What is consciousness?
oOur moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment
Characteristics of Consciousness
oSubjective and private
oSelf-reflective and central to sense of self
Consciousness is intimately connected with selective attention process
oYou can’t be aware without paying attention
Measuring States of Consciousness
oSelf-reports: people often lie, good subject bias by responding with what
they think you want to hear
oPhysiological measure: EEG
oBehavioral measures: example: how awake are you? Count the yawns /
example: when cops pull someone over for drunk driving, ask you to walk
a straight line (behavior)  probably going to contradict what the person
says but it’s objective information
Levels of Consciousness (Freud)
oPreconscious: information that is not in conscious awareness, but can be
easily called to conscious awareness
Conscious awareness: overlearned motor skills
oUnconscious: information that you are not consciously aware, and can not
be called to conscious awareness through ordinary ways but through
extraordinary ways such as dream tests, hypnosis
The Cognitive Unconsciousness
oConscious and unconscious processes are complementary, work in
harmony (Reisberg, 1997)
Overlearned – Cognitive
Controlled (Effortable) Processing
oConscious use of attention, effort (e.g. learning to ride a bike)
Automatic Processing
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oPerform tasks with little or no conscious awareness or effort (e.g. riding a
bike while talking)
Circadian Rhythms
oDaily (24-hour) biological cycles – regulate in your drives and appetites
oAffect body temperature, some hormonal secretions, other bodily
Body temperatures: Lowest in morning, highest at night
Testosterone: highest in the morning, lowest at night
oRegulated by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in the brain
oSCN neurons link to pineal gland, which secretes melatonin
SCN sends signal to pineal gland
Stages of Sleep
oCycle through stages roughly every 90 minutes
oBrain activity, other physiological responses change
oBeta waves occur when awake and alert (15-30 cycles per second)
oAlpha waves occur when relaxed and drowsy (8-12 cps)
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