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PSYC 200 Study Guide - Siberian Chipmunk, Circadian Rhythm, Theta Wave

Course Code
PSYC 200
Peter Van Der Velde

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PSYC 200 – CHAPTERS 6 & 7
- Sensory Memory Store
- Cocktail Party Phenomenon
- Defensive Inattention
What is consciousness?
- Everything you are thinking about right now
- Your awareness of your surroundings and yourself
- Stream of consciousness: a continuing flow of changing thoughts
- Consciousness involves:
oAttention – different areas of the brain are responsible for attention and for one’s awareness of
that attention
Cerebral cortex
Thalamus – intralaminar nuclei midline nuclei
Inattentional blindness – failure to notice things around us to which we are not paying
Blindsight – being unaware of what has reached our attention
Conscious awareness – being aware of what has reached our attention
Develops around 18 months
-Preconscious – information from your past that is stored in your long term memory and can easily be
oEg. What you did last weekend
-Unconscious- info from your past that is stored in your long term memory, but is not easily accessible
oFreud – a repressed memory of a significant traumatic event
oFreudian slips
2 Types of Memory
1. Explicit – memories that we are consciously aware of
a. Eg. Memories of things we have done, facts
2. Implicit – memories that we are unconsciously aware of
a. Eg. Knowing how to ride a bike
How do we sleep?

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-Adaptive theory of sleep- humans can conserve energy while it is dark and they can’t hunt for food
okeeps humans away from predators that are more active at night
onot a good theory for humans
-Restoration theory – sleep restores our brains and bodies (may help with info processing)
-Circadian Rhythms – 24 hr rhythms controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)
oSynchronized with the light/dark cycle of the outside world
oDay or night active animals adjust their activity patterns via shifting their endogenous (biological)
rhythms under the influence of light being present or absent at certain times of day (dawn/dusk)
oEntertainment vs. free-running rhythms
oSCN lesions – eliminate rhythm of locomotor activity. This double-plotted actogram shows the
rythem of running wheel activity of a Siberian chipmunk maintained in constant light before and
after a complete lesion of the SCN (arrow). Note the absence of any sign of recovery of
circadian rhythmicity for 5 months after the lesion was produced
oWhat causes our circadian rhythm?
Genetic differences – morning people vs. night people (lark vs, owl)
Some people need more sleep than others
Environmental differences – low sunlight triggers production of melatonin which helps
induce sleep
oDisruptions of circadian rhythms?
Jet lag
Night shift work
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
-Brain waves and stages of sleep (EEG based measurements)
oHypnagogic state – vivid sensory phenomena during presleep
Myoclonic jerk – sharp muscular spasm
oStage 1 – hypnogogic (5 min)
Transition into sleep
HR slows, BP decreases
Alpha waves change to theta waves
oStage 2 – Sleep Spindles (15-20 min)
Harder to wake, more relaxed
Sleep spindles (burst of random brain waves)
oStages 3– deeper sleep(5-15 min)
Delta Waves and theta waves

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oStage 4 – deepest sleep (20-30 min)
Slow HR, brain and body in total relaxation
Mostly delta waves
Sleep walking and bed wetting more likely
oREM – rapid eye movement
Rapid and jagged brain wave patterns
Increased HR
Rapid and irregular breathing
Lose control over voluntary muscles, you can’t move (kind of like being paralyzed)
Pons – responsible for pushing the brain to REM sleep
Reticular Formation – pushed wakefulness into the brain
oParadoxial Sleep
oStages 1-4 are non-REM sleep (NREM)
-Sleep Cycle – 90-100 minutes sleep cycle
oOne complete sleep cycle goes through stage 1, 2, 3, 4 and REM sleep
oHave about 5 cycles per night
oWhen you are falling asleep you go through all the stages, but the following cycles that follow
skip more and more stages
But when you skip stages, your sleep isn’t as deep. So you get your deepest sleep
earlier in the night
Why do we dream?
-Freudian theory of dreams- wish fulfillment and conflict resolution
oFreud wanted to explain the unconscious mind by subjectively analyzing dreams
-Information processing theory – dreams involve processing information from the day (eg. Encoding
memory and problem solving)
oDreams could be a mental realm where we can solve problems and think creatively
-Activation-synthesis theory – during sleep our brain has a lot of random activity; dreams are an attempt
to make sense of this
oDreams reflect the brains efforts to make sense out of or find meaning in the neural activity that
takes place during sleep
oActivity comes from the brain stem and fans out through the cingulate cortex
Sleep and Age
- You get less sleep (both REM and non-REM) as you age
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