Unit 7 (chapter 6) – Consciousness, Sleeping, Dreaming, Hypnosis, Drugs Study Guide
State of consciousness – a subjective experience and how someone experiences external &
Altered state of consciousness – variations from our normal waking state
our awareness of the present moment of ourselves and environment.
Subjective and private (no one else knows what reality is for you)
Dynamic, constantly changing
Our perception is selective
Self reflective, only aware of self
States of consciousness
Self reports allow insight into subject’s mind, but not verifiable
Physiological measures (EEG recordings) find correspondence between body and mind.
Objective, no insight into subject’s subjective experience.
Behavioural measures (eg. Rouge test) are objective, however one must infer the
subject’s state of mind
Controlled vs. automatic processing
Controlled (effortful) processing is the voluntary use of attention & effort
(eg. Planning a vacation, studying)
Open to change, more flexible
Automatic processing involves little/no conscious effort (eg. eating, driving, typing)
Disadvantage: decreased chance of finding new solutions to problems; less flexible
Advantage: less time consuming, less mental exertion
Divided attention – multitasking
Advantage: do >1 thing w/o overwhelming mental capacity
Disadvantage: difficult to do tasks requiring the same mental processes (doing two
similar things at the same time)
Multitasking in some situations (driving & talking on the phone) result in serious
consequences The Emotional Unconscious
Unconscious processes can have an effect on your mood (eg. Feeling upset for no reason,
possibly influenced by something in your environment)
The Modular Mind
Theories propose that the mind is a single entity, rather, it’s a collection of separate but
Circadian rhythm: daily biological cycles, regulated by (SCN) suprachiasmatic nuclei, located
in the hypothalamus
SCN neurons link to the pineal gland, which secretes melatonin, which makes the body
SCN neurons become active in the day and inactive at night, allowing melatonin levels to
increase and decrease accordingly
Circadian clock biological, but influenced by day-night schedule
o Subjects who sleep without a schedule tend to sleep and wake up later, gradually
going to bed at noon and waking up at midnight
o Because of this, blind people can suffer from insomnia and daytime fatigue
Early Bird/Night Owl
o Morning people’s body temperature, BP, and alertness peak early in the day;
common among older adults
o Same thing applies to nigh people, except later in the day
Environmental disruptions of circadian rhythms
SAD (seasonal affective disorder) makes people psychologically depressed during the
winter/fall months because of shorter periods of daylight
Jet lag is caused by flying across several time zones in one day
o Causes insomnia, decreased alertness, poor performance until body adjusts
o Body adjusts one hour or less per day
o People adjust faster when flying west, because it lengthens the travel day
Daylight savings timg
Night shiftwork o Can cause accidents and job performance errors as our bodies are programmed to
be tired in the early morning
o Since its easier to extend the waking day than to compress it, some schedules take
advantage of “rotating shiftwork”
Spend 1/3 of our lives asleep
Every 90 minutes of sleep, we go through different cycles
EEG recordings show beta wave patterns when you are awake (15-30 cycles/sec)
Alpha waves appear when you are relaxed and drowsy (8-12 cycles/sec)
Stages of sleep
1) slow theta waves increase, and you enter a light sleep. A few minutes or less will be spent in
stage 1. Images and body jerks can be experienced.
2) sleep spindles (periodic 1-2 sec bursts of brain-wave activity) indicate the 2 stage.
Breathing and muscles relaxed, harder to awaken.
3) slow and large delta waves (0.5-2 cycles/sec). Said delta waves will appear more frequently.
Referred to as slow wave sleep.
4) When delta waves dominate EEG. Referred to as slow wave sleep. After 20-30 min of this
stage, you go back to stage 3 and 2.
After 1-1.5 hrs of sleep, these stages will have been completed : 1-2-3-4-3-2.
Rapid eye movements occur every half minute. Eyeballs move vigorously beneath closed
eyelids. Dreams are always reported when subjects are awoken from REM sleep.
Physiological arousal can increase to daytime levels
Heart rate & breathing quickens, brain-wave activity resembles wakefulness
Men get erections and women get vaginal lubrication, however genital arousal isn’t
always a response to sexual imagery
Muscles become relaxed and twitch. Because your body is aroused, yet your muscles are
relaxed, REM sleep paralysis is also called paradoxical sleep.
REM dreams are vivid and realistic, compared to non-REM dreams. Non-REM dreams are referred to as sleep thoughts as they resemble daytime thoughts,
although jumbled4REM periods become longer as the hours pass
Newborns sleep 16 hours a day, almost half their sleep time is REM
15-24 year olds sleep 8.5 hours a day
Elderly people get under 6
REM decreases during infancy and early childhood, but remains stable afterwards
Time spent in 3 & 4 declines; by late adulthood, little slow wave sleep occurs
Men in Canada sleep 8 hours a day, while women get 8.2 (on average)
15% of Canadians 15years+ get <6.5 hours a night
Short-term sleep deprivation (45 hours of no sleep)
Long-term sleep deprivation (45+ hours of no sleep)
Partial deprivation (no more than 5 hours of sleep for one or more nights)
All 3 types had a negative effect on their mood, cognitive and then physical performance
Restoration model: sleep recharges our bodies and we recover physically and mentally.
Evolutionary/circadian sleep models state that we sleep to improve our chances of survival.
Each species developed over time a circadian sleep-wake patter that adapted to the patterns of
predators and prey.
chronic difficulty falling/staying asleep or experiencing restful sleep. Trouble falling
asleep is common among young people while staying asleep is hard for older adults.
Most common sleep disorder (10-40% of the population)
Pseudoinsomniacs complain of a lack of sleep, when they actually get sufficient sleep
Caused by a genetic predisposition, medical problems, anxiety, depression, drugs, stress,
poor lifestyle habits, and circadian disruptions
Stimulus control conditions the body to associate stimuli in your sleeping environment
(bed) with sleep. Is a non-drug treatment.
Difficulty staying awake
Patients can fall asleep uncontrollably and suddenly, no matter how much sleep they get Can also experience cataplexy, a sudden loss of muscle tone triggered by laughter,
excitement, and strong emotions.
Sufferers can be discriminated against and called lazy; can be accident prone
Genetic predisposition, some environmental factors
REM sleep behaviour disorder
Loss of muscle tone that causes normal REM sleep paralysis is absent
Causes people to act out dreams
Occurs in stage 3 or 4
No memory of event
Blank stares, unresponsive to others, although they seem conscious of environment as
they move around
Can be inherited, or caused by daytime stress, alcohol, illnesses, medications
More intense than nightmares, which occur during REM sleep
Children suffer from it more often than adults
Will sit up, seemingly awake, and scream
May run out of bed or to another room, but the person will not remember it
Stage 3 and 4
We dream more during REM sleep as our brains are more active
Women dream almost equally about male & females, whereas 2/3 of men dream of other
Dreams shaped by experiences and concerns
Why do we dream? Different theories and perspectives
Freud’s psychoanalytical theory...
Wish fulfillment/unconscious needs & desires that are too unacceptable in real life
Manifest content (“surface” story) and latent content (hidden meaning)
Theory criticized for lack of evidence, & dream interpretation is subjective Activation-synthesis theory...
Physiological theory proposes that brain is trying to make sense of “random” neural
activity by creating a dream that “best fits” random sensory input, based on our memories
During REM sleep, brain is bombarded with random neural activity, so the cerebral
cortex keeps interpreting them
Ignores the fact that non-REM sleep dreams occur too
Allow us to creatively problem solve in our sleep, as the limits of reality are removed
Depressed people going through divorce are more successful at coping with depression
Cognitive-process dream theories focus on the process of how we dream
Dreams are bizarre because the content shifts rapidly
Concepts from cognitive, biological, and modern psychoanalytical theories combined
EEG measurements can read 5 sleep stages:
1 & 2 – lighter sleep
3 & 4 – deeper sleep, slow-wave
5 – REM sleep, high physiological arousal, rapid eye movements
Amount of sleep changes as we age. Also affected by genetics, environment,
Sleep deprivation negatively affects mood, mental & physical performance because we
sleep to recover from fatigue
Evolutionary/circadian models state that species evolved certain cycles to survive
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, while narcolepsy isn’t
Dreams occur in all stages, but most common in REM
Gender differences in dreams exist
Dreams affected by background, current issues, recent events
3 different theories as to why we dream:
o Freud thought dreams were about suppressed desires o Activation-synthesis theory stated that dreams were purely the result of
physiological causes, and that they were the brain’s creation and interpretation
from “random” neural activity
o Cognitive-process theory stated that BOTH dreams & waking thought came from
the same mental systems
Dreams & Drugs
Drugs alter brain chemistry by entering bloodstream and are carried throughout the brain
Blood-brain barriers in capillaries don’t succeed in screening out all foreign substances so
drugs still g