PSYCH*1100 FINAL REVIEW 22/11/2011 22:34:00
CHAPTER SIX: state of consciousness
o Blind sight, split-brain, Amnesia (pinprick)
o Placebo effect: active placebos- if you feel a side effect, you know youre in a
o Anecdote: coughing, posture shifts
o Experiment: confederate face-rubbing> face-rubbing in participants.
Subliminal: stimulus so weak/brief that cant be perceived consciously
Popcorn/coke study: increased sales
o Public outcry- never really happened
CBC TV: no increased calls
Backward masking: affect behaviour, teenage behaviour as a result
o Little evidence we can perceive it or that it affects behaviour
Inattentional blindess/ change blindness Were blind to changes at scene cuts or during eye movements.
o Failure of short-term memory
o Why store something right in front of us?
Unconscious: usefull & accessibility
Sometimes unconscious can be superior to consciousness
o When thinking hurts performance (millipede/ in the zone example)
Trusting your gut: conscious decision is needes, but unconscious cant contribute.
o Art fraud example
Unconscious is sometimes inaccessible:
o Card game example.
The cognitive unconscious
o reject the notion of an unconscious mind driven by instinctive urges and
o view conscious and unconscious mental life as complementary forms of
Controlled versus automatic processing
Controlled processing: the voluntary use of attention and conscious effort
o (ex. planning a vacation or studying)
o Requires effort and is slower, but its more flexible and open to change Automatic processing: can be performed with little or no conscious effort.
o Disadvantage: reduce our chances of finding new ways to approach problems
o faster and economy of effort
The ability to perform more than one activity at the same time
More difficult when tasks require similar mental resources.
daily biological cycles which our state of consciousness changes depending on the time
Keeping time: brain and environment
Most rhythms are regulated by the brains suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), in the
The pineal gland secretes melatonin, a hormone that relaxes the body
SCN neurons become active during daytime and reduces secretion of melatonin, raising
body temp & heightening alertness
o Night = opposite
Free-running circadian rhythm: a longer natural cycle if dark all the time or with no
communication to outside world
o desynchronized with the 24 hour day night cycle, so participants in these
isolation studies tend to go to bed and wake up later.
ex. Blind people experience this- insomnia.
Early birds and night owls
o Circadian rhythms influence our tendency to be as morning person or a night
o Morning peoples temperature, blood pressure and alertness peak earlier in the
Perform better earlier in the morning Disruptions of circadian rhythms
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): a cyclic tendency to become depressed during
Jet lag: a sudden circadian disruption caused by flying across several time zones in one
o Causes: insomnia, decreased alertness, and poorer performance until body
night shifts: Most problematic circadian disruption
o causes: stress and fatigue
Stages of sleep
every 90 minutes while asleep, we cycle through stages of brain activity.
EEG recordings: show a pattern of beta waves when you are awake and alert.
o As you relax and become drowsy> brain waves slow down and alpha waves
STAGE 1: brain wave pattern becomes more irregular & slower theta waves increase
o light sleep from which you can easily be awakened
STAGE 2: periodic 1-2 second bursts of rapid brain wave activity begin to appear.
muscles are more relaxed, breathing and heart rate are slower. harder to
STAGE 3: regular appearance of very slow and large delta waves
STAGE 4: delta waves dominate the EEG pattern
o stage 3 and 4 are often referred to as slow-wave sleep.
o body is relaxed, activity in various parts of your brain has decreased and you
are hard to awaken