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PSYC 2410 Study Guide - Final Guide: Delta Wave, Sleep Paralysis, Sleep Spindle

Course Code
PSYC 2410
Dan Meegan
Study Guide

of 9
Psychology: Final Exam Notes
1. Conscious contains thoughts, perception, other mental events of awareness
2. Preconscious outside current awareness, can be recalled under certain circumstances
3. Unconscious can’t be brought into conscious awareness under ordinary circumstances
Some things are kept out of consciousness because it would arouse guilt,
anxiety, other negative feelings
Cognitive psychologists reject idea of unconscious mind driven by instinctive
urges and repressed conflicts
View conscious and unconscious mental life as complementary forms of
information processing - `not an adversary to the unconscious mind. Instead, the
cognitive unconscious functions as a sophisticated support service, working in
harmony with our conscious thoughts’
Circadian Rhythms
Daily biological cycles
Most regulated by brain’s suprachiasmic nuclei (SCN) in the hypothalamus
Linked to the pineal gland melatonin
Eyes connect to SCN light enters and activates
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Cyclic tendency to become psychologically depressed during certain months of the year,
usually fall/winter
Phototherapy exposure to bright light; effective for SAD
Stages of Sleep
1. Form of light sleep from which you are easily awakened from
May only spend a few minutes in
Some people experience images and sudden body jerks
2. As sleep becomes deeper, sleep spindles (1-2 second bursts of rapid brain-wave activity)
begin to appear
Muscles more relaxed, breathing and heart rate are slower, harder to awaken
3. Marked by the regular appearance of very slow (0.5-2 cycles per second) and large delta
4. Hen delta waves occur more often and when delta waves dominate the EEG pattern
Often referred to as the slow-wave sleep (together wth stage 3)
Body is relaxed,activity in various parts of your brain has decreased, hard to
20-30 minutes, EEG pattern changes as you go back through 3 and 2
After 60-90 minutes of sleep, you will have completed a cycle of stages 1-2-3-4-
REM sleep
Every half a minute or so, bursts of muscular activity caused the sleepers’ eyeballs to
vigorously move back and forth beneath their closed eyelids
Rapid Eye Movements
Dreaming only occurs in this stage
A person who ‘never dreams’ can recall dreaming if awakened from this stage
Physiological arousal may increase to daytime levels
HR quickens, more rapid & irregular breathing, brain-wave activity resembles the
‘awake state
Dreaming is not as vivid in non-REM sleep
REM sleep paralysis more difficult for voluntarily muscles to contract; as a result, they
are more relaxed, ‘paralyzed’; body is highly aroused, but little-no muscle movement
Why Do We Sleep?
Restoration Model sleep recharges our run-down bodies and allows us to recover from
physical and mental fatigue
We need to sleep to function at our emotional, mental and physical best
Evolutionary/circadian sleep models emphasize that sleep’s main purpose is to
increase a species’ chances of survival in relation to its environmental demands
Leaving shelter at night was more dangerous than daytime circadian pattern developed
as adaptation to environment
REM sleep may strengthen neural circuits which may help memory
The Nature of Dreams
Mental activity occurs during the sleep cycle
Hypnogogic state transitional state from wakefulness through early stage 2 sleep
15-40% of people awakened after 6 minutes of sleep reported dreamlike activity
Dream more during REM sleep than non-REM sleep and within the final hours of sleep
80% of dream reports involved negative emotions, almost half contained aggressive
acts, and a third involved some type of misfortune
Freud’s psychoanalytical theory main purpose of dreaming is wish fulfillment, the
gratification of our unconscious desires and needs
o Include sexual and aggressive urges that are too acceptable to be consciously
acknowledged and fulfilled in real life
o Manifest content the “surface” story that the dreamer reports
o Latent content its disguise psychological meaning
Activation-synthesis theory during REM sleep, the brain stem bombards our higher
brain centres with random neural activity (the activation component); cortex attempts
to interpret activity by creating a beat fit to the pattern of activation (synthesis)
o Dreaming does not serve any particular function merely a bi-product of REM
neural activity
o Accounts for the bizarreness of dreams: brain is trying to make sense out of
random neural activity
Cognitive Approaches
o Problem-solving dream models dreams can help us find creative solutions to
our problems and conflicts because they are not constrained by reality
o Cognitive-process dream theories focus on the process of how we dream
Dreaming and waking thought are produced by same brain systems
Dreaming requires imagery skills and other cognitive abilities that young
children have not yet developed
Children’s mental abilities develop with age, so does their ability
to dream
Half REM reports involve rapid content shifts
o Toward integration model that incorporates findings on sleep physiology with
the cognitive principle of modular consciousness
Drugs and the Brain
Drug enters bloodstream and carried throughout the brain by small blood vessels, called
Capillaries contain a blood-brain barrier which screens out any foreign substances, but
some (variety of drugs) manage to pass through and alter consciousness by facilitating
or inhibiting synaptic transmission
Agonist drug increase activity of a neurotransmitter