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6 Pages

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PSYC 1000
Anne Bergen

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Chapter 6: State of Consciousness State of consciousness –meant by psychologist’s  variations from our normal waking state Consciousness: our moment – to – moment awareness of ourselves and our environment Conscious is: • Subjective and Private: other’s cannot know what reality is for you, nor experience it • Dynamic: drifting in and out of various states • Self-reflective and central to our sense of self: the mind is aware of its own conscious – “you” are the one who is conscious of it • Intimately connected with the process of selective attention: focus on one stimuli and exclusions of others (like casting a spotlight) Measuring states of consciousness: • Self-report: people describe inner experiences • Physiological measures: establish the correspondence between bodily states and mental processes. EX: EGG recording of brain activity help identify different stages of sleep throughout the night. • Behavioural measures: performance on special tasks. Levels of Consciousness: According to Freud • Conscious: contains thoughts, perceptions, and other mental evens that we are aware of • Preconscious: mental events outside current awareness, not easily recalled • Unconscious: cannot be brought through conscious awareness – kept out of conscious awareness Controlled (effortful) processing: the voluntary use of attention Automatic processing: can be performed with little or no conscious effort – used when we carry out routine, or well learned actions - Ellen Langer: downside to automatic processing - reduces our chances of finding new ways to solve problems. Still, it offers speed and economy of effort, and in everyday life most actions may be processed this way. Divided attention: ability to perform more than one activity at the same time (talking and walking) - Downfall to dived attention – reduced attention for each task (talking on the phone while driving) Circadian rhythms: daily biological cycles (every 24 hrs our body temp, certain hormonal secretions and other bodily functions undergo a rhythmic change that affects our mental alertness) - Affect our tendencies to be a “night person” or “morning person” - Gradual and sudden environmental changes can disrupt our circadian rhythm - Suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in the hypothalamus regulates most circadian rhythm Brain and Environment - SCN neurons have a genetically programmed cycle of activity and inactivity, functioning like a “biological clock” - Melatonin, a hormone that has a relaxing effect on the body. - SCN neurons become active during daytime and reduce the pineal gland’s secretion of melatonin, raising your body temperature and heightening alertness; - At night, SCN neurons are inactive, allowing melatonin levels to increase and promoting relaxation and sleepiness. - Free-running circadian rhythm, a longer natural cycle of about 24.2 to 24.8 hours when in complete darkness. - Blind children and adults whose eyes are completely insensitive to light also may experience FRCR. When they try to force their sleep-wake cycle into the 24-hour world by going to bed at fixed times, blind people often experience insomnia, other sleep problems and day time fatigue. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): psychological tendency to become psychologically depressed during certain months of the year (usually in fall or winter with shorter day light) - Jet lag disrupts rhythms – changing times - Nightshift work – most problematic Stages of sleep: - Every 90 mins while sleeping, cycle through different stages Beta waves: high frequency – low amplitude (awake and alert) Alpha waves: brain waves slow (feeling relaxed and drowsy) Stages of sleep: 1. light sleep – easily awakened 2. sleep spindles (2 sec. Bursts of rapid brain energy) = entered stage 2 – muscles are more relaxed, breathing and heart rate slower – harder to awaken 3. marked by regular appearance of very slow delta waves 4. body is relaxed, activity in brain has decreased – hard to awaken - After 4 you go back through stages 3 and 2 – therefore: 1-2-3-4-3-2 REM sleep (Rapid eye movements): after going back to stage 2 – bursts of muscular activity causing eyeballs to move back and forth – heart rate quickens irregular brain wave activity etc. - Eugene Aserinsky and Nathaniel Kleitman identified REM sleep - We dream through all stages of sleep... but during REM = more vivid, emotions, sensory & more story like How much do we sleep? • New born: 16 hours – almost ½ is REM • 15-24 yrs old: 8 ½ hours • Elderly adults: just under 6 hours Needed = 8 – 10 hrs a night Sleep deprivation: - Short-term total sleep deprivation: up to 45 hrs without sleep. - Long-term total sleep deprivation: more than 45 hrs without sleep. - Partial deprivation: being allowed to sleep no more than 5 hours/night for one or more consecutive nights. - Result: mood suffered most, followed by cognitive and then physical performance. - In general, it takes several nights to recover from extended total sleep deprivation, and we do not make up all the sleep time that we have lost. Why sleep? (According to restoration model) • To function at our emotional, physical and mental best • Recharges run down bodies • Recover from physical or mental fatigue • Enhance species survival rate – tested on rats – sleep deprivation = death • Some researchers believe that adenosine reduces alertness and promote sleep. Evolutionary/circadian sleep model emphasize that sleep’s main purpose is to increase a species’ chances of survival in relation to its environmental demands. Sleep Disorders: - ½ of north American adults feel they have sleep problems Insomnia: chronic difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep of experienced restful sleeps - Most common sleep disorder - Biological, psychological and environmentally caused - Stimulus Control: non-drug related treatment – conditioning body to associate the stimuli in sleep environment with sleep (bed – used only for sleeping) - Pseudionsomniacs: complain of not getting sleep – but while being examined, sleep fine Narcol
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