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States of Consciousness.docx

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Psychology 1000

States of Consciousness We have multiple states of consciousness, some of which are beyond our control. Consciousness – Our moment-to-moment awareness of our environment and ourselves  Subjective & Private (Only you know all the experiences you had, and anything you though or the feelings you felt)  Dynamic (Consciousness is constantly changing)  Self-reflective and central to our sense of “self” (We change based on experience, knowledge, and make more decisions for ourselves as we age o This is all central to the idea of “who we are” Measuring States of Consciousness  Self reports (we ask people)  Physiological measures (correlate them with observable behaviors)  Behavioral measures Levels of Consciousness  Freud proposed that the mind consists of three levels: o Conscious – contains thoughts, perceptions, and other mental events that we are aware of o Preconscious – outside of current awareness, but can be recalled under certain conditions (e.g. Reminder is necessary) o Unconscious – cannot be brought into conscious awareness under ordinary circumstances (as it would arouse anxiety guilt, or other negative emotions)  Includes instincts such as sex drive and aggression - Freud said that consciousness is only a tiny bit of who were are Ego – tries to satisfy all desires of the Id Superego – Moral compass Unconscious Mind – can cause problems, repetitive actions (Coming out of prison and breaking the law) - Wants to be briefly satisfied that it exists - Aggression is largely a consequence of the ego not satisfying the Id - When the ego provides you with insufficient sexual output, one can turn to rape The Cognitive Unconscious  Reisberg (1997) - The cognitive unconscious works in harmony with our conscious thoughts (Reisberg offered a new look at consciousness) o Controlled processing: Voluntary use of action and conscious processing o Automatic processing: Activities carried out with little or no effort which may not require or give rise to conscious awareness Consciousness  The Emotional Unconscious o Unconscious processes can affect emotion and motivation  The Modular Mind o Interacting “modules” or brain networks for sensation, perception, memory, emotions etc. alter our unconsciousness  The Id likes to feel good* Circadian Rhythms  Circadian Rhythms are essentially daily biological cycles o Are regulated by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in the hypothalamus  Linked to pineal gland, which secretes melatonin (relaxing hormone) at night when SCN is less active to reduce secretion o Environmental factors like the day-night cycle also affect circadian rhythms  Seasonal Affective Disorder – cyclic tendency to become psychologically depressed during certain months of the year (lack of vitamin D and sunlight)  Treatment, sitting under special lights, a good substitute for natural light  Melatonin is what causes us to get tanned which tells us if we’ve had too much sunlight  Jet lag caused by change in typical daily time cycle  Oral melatonin to reset circadian rhythm Sleep Five stages of sleep 1. Stage 1: Theta waves o Moving from consciousness and into sleep 2. Stage 2: Sleep Spindles o Fast but low amplitude activity, as the brains trying to reset itself 3. Stage 3:Delta Waves o Irregular in amplitude, with spikes spaced out, this is relaxed from mental activity 4. Stage 4: Deep Sleep o Really deep sleep, above threshold stimulation to bring you back to consciousness 5. Stage 5: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) – Dream state - Eyes move rapidly - Most important point of sleep - 8 hours of sleep is required to reach REM cycle peak - Length of REM sleep increases as cycle and stages go by - Brain wave patterns during last REM sleep is similar to when you are awake More On REM Sleep  Characteristics of REM sleep o REM dreams are longer than non-REM (NREM) stages o Physiological arousal increases  Heart-rate quickens  Breathing more irregular and rapid  Brainwave activity resembles wakefulness  Genital arousal o May be involved in memory consolidation o During REM all other muscles are in most cases paralyzed Sleep Deprivation  Short-term sleep deprivation o Up to 45 hours without sleep  Long-term sleep deprivation o More than 45 hours without sleep  Partial deprivation o No more than 5hrs. /night for 1 or more nights  Sleep loss affects mood, cognitive performance, and physical performance (One doesn’t even get half the amount of REM sleep if they only sleep for 5 hours) Why Do We Sleep? - Theories behind it  Restoration Model o Sleep allows us to recharge our bodies and recover from physical or mental fatigue  Evolutionary/ Circadian rhythm model o Sleep’s main purpose is to increase a species’ chances of survival  Those who left shelter at night would be killed by nighttime predators  Circadian pattern developed as adaptation to environment Sleep Disorders  Insomnia – Chronic difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restful sleep o Most common sleep disorder o Caused by genetics, mental conditions, mental disorders, drugs, stress, poor lifestyle, and circadian disruptions o Aspirin is top selling drug on the planet for this reason (Too much worry and not enough sleep)  Narcolepsy – Sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks that can last from 1 minute to an hour o Narcoleptics may go right into REM sleep o Very dangerous condition, can be bad in many situations  Sleep Apnea – Breathing stops and restarts during sleep o Caused by obstruction in upper airways o Requires a breathing system when you sleep o Prone to hearth attacks  Sleep Walking – Typically occurs during stage 3 and 4  Nightmares – Frightening dreams that occur often during REM sleep in the hours prior to awakening  Night Terrors – Sleeper suddenly sits up and screams o No recollection of the episode in the morning o Most common during stage 3 or 4 of sleep Why Do We Dream?  Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory o Wish fulfillment  Activation-Synthesis Theory (Hobson & McCarley, 1977) o 1. Brainstem bombards higher brain centers with random neural activity o 2. Cerebral cortex interprets activity and creates a dream  Dreams are a string of random things in a non logical order Everything feeds into cerebral cortex which produces the dream Multiple Perspectives & Dreams  Dreams may be viewed from at least a half dozen different perspectives 1. Re-evocation of conscious experiences as they affect Overt Behavior  REM sleep occurs during dreams and both heart rate and respiration rate increase as though person was engaged in real activity 2. Biological Perspective – Brain waves  Brain waves are measured via electrical patterns of activity recorded via electrodes place on the scalp Cognitive-Process Dream Theories  Proposes that dreaming and waking thought are produced by the same mental systems in the brain  Dreaming requires imagery skills and other cognitive abilities that young children have not yet developed o Explains ability to dream develops with age  Similar activity between dreaming and waking mental activity o Rapid content shifts due to change of thought 3. Dream as Thinking or Cognition  Similarity of wave patterns for awake & dreaming lend support to this view  Dreams contain information consistent with the dreamers own knowledge  Persons with better mental imaging skills while awake can recall their dreams in greater detail 4. Cultural Influences and Dreams  In North American culture dreams are viewed as nonsensical or unimportant, unless they are disturbing and repetitive  Content varies – in North American culture public nudity in a dream is viewed as embarrassing – not so in cultures where clothes are absent or optional 5. As a resolution to internal conflict (Freud’s wish fulfillment  Dreams can serve as a way to acquire experiences which, while conscious, are either unattainable or morally forbidden  E.g, poor may dream of life of wealth  Dreams may also provide solutions to event
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