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PSYC 100 - 5 States of Consciousness.docx

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PSYC 100
Peter Graf

States of Consciousness Consciousness – our awareness of ourselves and the outside world/environment Unconsciousness – loss of responsiveness to the environment from disease, trauma, anaesthesia Attention – state of focused awareness Biological rhythms – periodic physiological fluctuations (ex. 28 days menstrual cycle; geese migration) Circadian rhythm –biological clock (hypothalamus); regular body rhythms that occur on a 24hr cycle (ex. temperature, sleep) States of Consciousness: consciousness, daydreaming, sleep, hypnosis, meditation, drug- induced states Level of Consciousness Conscious level information about yourself and your environment Nonconscious level body processes inaccessible to conscious awareness (ex. blood flow, heartbeat, etc) Preconscious level outside of awareness, but contains feelings & memories that you can easily bring into conscious awareness. (ex. favourite toy as child – preconscious memory) Subconscious level information that we are not consciously aware of but we know must exist due to behaviour; priming and mere-exposure effect Unconscious level unacceptable feelings, thoughts to our conscious mind, repressed into unconscious mind Stages of Sleep Stage 1 – Alpha waves; hypnogogic hallucinations; sleep talking; hypnic jerk; slow down of biological functions (ex. blood pressure, heart rate, respiration) and a decrease in temperature Stage 2 – Waves are slower (some theta waves); sleep spindles; K-complexes; sleep talking; biological functions continue to slow Stage 3 – Transition stage. See first signs of delta waves; biological functions continue to slow Stage 4 – Deep sleep. All delta waves; bedwetting and sleep walking; Biological functions at their lowest REM sleep – rapid eye movement sleep; vivid dreams; erection in males; paralysis; paradoxical sleep (biological function & brain waves appear more like an awake person); muscles are relaxed, but body active NREM/Non-REM sleep – Stage 1-4, rapid eye movements do not occur After stage 4, sleeper moves back to stages 3, 2, then into REM sleep (cycle 4-7 times during the night) Full sleep-cycle=90 mins. As cycles continue throughout the night, stage 4 gets shorter, REM sleep longer Sleep – combination of states -own level of consciousness, awareness, responsiveness, physiological arousal Sleep onset – period when we are falling asleep (between wakefulness and sleep) Hypnagogic state – semiwakeful state of dreamlike awareness Electroencephalograms (EEGs) – reveals brain waves change in form systematically through sleep cycle Recorded with electrodes on the skull’s surface Alpha waves – little, slow brain waves of relaxed, Awake state Delta waves – large, slow brain waves associated with Deep sleep Hallucinations – false sensory experiences that occur without sensory stimulus; usually happen in Stage 1 sleep (ex. Feeling of falling, feeling of floating) Sleep theories Possibly certain chemicals depleted during the day are restored during sleep A build-up of ‘s-factor’ during the day causes sleep at night Pituitary gland more active during deep sleep. Sleep may be involved in growth process Evolutionary view: sleeping when it was dark kept us safe Dream Theories Dream – sequence of images, emotions, thoughts in the mind of sleeping person; contain hallucinatory imagery, incongruities; hard to remember; occur during REM sleep Lucid dreaming – ability to be aware of and direct one’s dreams 1. Freudian Theory – Dreams help disguise unconscious conflicts and motives Manifest content – according to Freud, the remembered dream CONTENT (actual events) Latent content – according to Freud, the hidden meaning of a dream (underlying symbolism) 2. Activation-synthesis theory – during REM sleep the brainstem stimulates the forebrain with random neural activity, interpret as dream – pons; senses still work 3. Cognitive information processing theory – dreams are the interplay of brain waves and psychological functioning of interpretive parts of the mind Daydreaming – state with focus on inner, private realities, generate creative ideas Hypnosis – state with deep relaxation, heightened suggestibility Memory Consolidation Theory – the parts of the brain active when we learn something similarly active later when we sleep and dream; what brain wants to keep (memory) Brain-Stimulation theory – periodic stimulation during dreaming helps form neural connections.
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