Chapter 5: Body Rhythms and Mental States
- When you first climb into bed and close your eyes, your brain emits bursts of alpha waves
- REM sleep
o Vivid dreams are most likely to occur here
o Occurs 70 – 90 minutes after falling asleep
- Non-REM dreams tend to be shorter, less vivid, and more realistic.
- REM and non-REM tend to alternate throughout the night. As the hours pass, stages 3 and 4 tend to shorten
and disappear and REM periods tend to lengthen and occur closer together
- The time between REM and non-REM is highly variable
- Sleep appears to provide a time-out period, so that the body can eliminate waste products from muscles, repair
cells, conserve or replenish energy stores, strengthen the immune system, or recover abilities lost during the
- Sleep is also necessary for normal mental functioning. Chronic sleep deprivation increases levels of the stress
hormone cortisol, which may damage or impair brain cells that are necessary for learning and memory
- Improvements in memory have been associated most closely with REM sleep and slow-wave sleep (3 and 4),
and with memory for specific motor and perceptual skills
- Freud concluded that our nighttime fantasies provide insight into desires, motives, and conflicts of which we
- We are able to express our unconscious wishes and desires, which are often violent and sexual in nature
- To understand a dream, we must distinguish its manifest control, the aspects of it that we consciously
experience during sleep and may remember upon waking, from its hidden latent content, the unconscious
wishes and thoughts being expressed symbolically.
- Dreams reflect the ongoing conscious preoccupations of waking life, such as concerns over relationships, work,
sex, or health. In this problem-focused approach to dreams, the symbols and metaphors in a dream do not
disguise its true meaning, they convey it.
- They provide us with an opportunity to resolve our problems
- They’re largely the result of neurons firing spontaneously in the pons during REM sleep.
o These neurons control eye movement, gaze, balance, posture, and they send messages to sensory and
motor areas of the cortex responsible during wakefulness for visual processing and voluntary action.
- According to the activation-synthesis theory, the signals originating in the pons have no psychological meaning
o The cortex tries to make sense of them by integrating them with existing knowledge and memories to
produce a coherent interpretation.
Theory Purpose of Dreaming Weaknesses
Psychoanalytic To express unconscious wishes, thoughts, and Interpretations are often far-fetched; there is
conflicts. no reliable way to interpret “latent” meanings.
Problem Focused To express ongoing concerns of waking life Some theorists are skeptical about the ability
and/or resolve current concerns and to resolve problems during sleep.
Cognitive Same as in waking life – to express concerns Some specific claims remain to be tested.
Activation Synthesis None; dreams occur because of random brain- Does not explain coherent, story-like dreams
stem signals, though cortical interpretations of or non-REM dreams.
those signals may reflect concerns and
- People usually suggest that their response to a suggestion feels involuntary, as if it happened without their
willing it. - They sometimes compare the experience to being totally absorbed in a good book, play, or music.
- Most researchers agree on the following points:
o Hypnotic responsiveness depends more on the efforts and qualities of the person being hypnotised
than on the skill of the hypnotist
Hypnotic susceptibility is unrelated to general personality traits such as gullibility, trust,
conformity, or submissiveness
o Hypnotized people cannot be forced to do things against their will
o Feats performed while under hypnosis can be performed by motivated people without hypnosis
o Hypnosis does not increase accuracy of memory
Also increases errors
Canadian law does not permit the use of “hypnotically refreshed” testimony in courts of law
o Hypnosis does not produce a literal re-experiencing of long-ago events
o Hypnotic suggestions have been used effectively for many medical and psychological purposes
Its greatest success in pain management
- 2 theories of hypnosis predominate:
o Dissocation theories
o Sociocognitive approach
The effects of hypnosis result from an interaction between the social influence of the hypnotist
and the abilities, beliefs, and e