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Chapter 3

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Nigel Desouza

CH 3: CONSCIOUSNESS 1. Waking consciousness 2. Sleep and Dreams • Biological rhythms • Sleep rhythms • Reasons for sleep • Sleep disorders • Dreams 3. Drugs and consciousness • Dependence and addiction • Psychoactive drugs Waking consciousness History Psychology was once defined as the study of CONSCIOUSNESS = the mind • Behaviourism (early 1900s) : o Focus on directly observable behaviour • Return to focus on consciousness in the 1990s o Technology of study altered states of consciousness  Ex. Electroencephalogram or EEG to study the brain wave patterns) Consciousness: Awareness of self and environment (internal and external events) Two Functions of consciousness: 1. Control Function To: • Control ourselves and our environment • Voluntarily initiate and terminate behavioural and cognitive activities 2. Monitoring Function To: • Track ourselves and environment for accurate perceptions, memories and thoughts. • Focus attention on tasks i. Automaticity: Automatic performance is subconscious o Ex. You brush your teeth without acknowledging that you are brushing each tooth. Daydreams and Fantasies: o DAYDREAM  Waking fantasy  Different functions  Examples • Escapist • Role play • Creativity • Impulse expression • Problem solving o Fantasy-Prone Personalities • Fantasize about 50% of the time • About 4% of the population have this o Altered States of consciousness  Sleep  Hypnotic states  Drug-induced hallucinations  Near-death experiences SLEEP AND DREAMS • Biological Rhythms o Periodical physiological fluctuations controlled by internal “Biological Clocks”  Ex. Sleep Rhythms: • Circadian Rhythm o 24Hour Day-Night cycle • Alterations of Circadian Rhythm o Aging  Shift of daily peak of circadian arousal to earlier time  May shorten circadian rhythm o Jet-Lag  Time zone change disrupts circadian rhythm o No Day/Night Information  Cycle becomes 25 Hours • Artificial light delays sleep • Light sensed by: o Retina and signals go to Hypothalamus (controls circadian clock) which is signalled to stop melatonin secretion (hormone that increases sleep) Sleep Rhythms (Stages) • 90 minute cycle • Five stages of sleep (1-4 and REM) o Electroencephalogram (EEG) measures brain wave activities EEG Patterns • Awake: o Fast irregular waves o Low amplitude (height) • Awake and Relaxed: o Alpha Waves:  Higher amplitude and slower cycle • 8-12 cycles/ sec (=Hertz or HZ) Sleep Stages • Four depths: Stages 1-4 o + Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM) as fifth stage o STAGES 1-4  All are NON-REM (NREM) STAGE 1: • Slowed breathing and less regular EEG pattern • Theta Waves: o Reduced amplitude waves • Transition to sleep • Hypnogogic sensations: o Hallucinatory experiences STAGE 2: • Sleep spindles: o Short bursts of 12-16 HZ • “K – Complexes” o Occasional sharp rises and falls in amplitude STAGE 3 AND 4 • Slow wave sleep • Delta Waves are 1-2 HZ • Harder to awaken What is the Difference Between stage 3 and stage 4? • Stage 4 has more large slow delta waves than stage 3 REM sleep: • Occurs for about 10 minutes after about an hour • EEG resembles stage 1 o Called “Paradoxical sleep”. Not trying to wake up, they are still asleep • Rapid Eye Movements (40-60 per minute) • Increased and irregular Heart rate and breathing • Relaxed muscle tone • Physical evidence of sexual arousal • Brain is very active o Neurons normally involved in movement are active but a state of essential paralysis • Hard to awaken but if do so, 80% of them recall a dream o Vivid, Bizarre, story-like, illogical and often emotionally charged.  Non REM Dreams are more like waking life  EVERYONE DREAMS! BUT SOME LACK RECALL Need For REM sleep?  REM Rebound o In all mammals o If deprived of REM, will go more quickly to it and spend more time in REM Sleep Cycle:  Repeats every 90 minutes  Stage 4 reduces over cycles and disappears  Typically 4-5 REM periods per 8 hour sleep o REM gets longer and accounts for about 1/4 of total sleep time Reasons for Sleep:  We need sleep o Amount changes with age and varies across individuals  Infants: • Alternate often between waking and sleeping (up to 16 hours a day with about 50% REM)  By the age of 5: • REM drops to 25% and the fairly constant till elderly when drops to 18%  Adults: • Most sleep 7-8 hours • 9-10 hours needed to function well and be alert  Sleep Debt: o An account by the body of the amount of sleep lacking  Tracks for up to 2 weeks o Sleep deprivation symptoms:  Drowsiness (fatigue)  Low mood and irritability  Increase risk of: • Accidents • Making Mistakes • Illness  Decreases: • Speed of performance • Productivity • Concentration ability • Immune system functioning • Expected life span o Other Suspected Effects:  Increased Vulnerability to • Obesity • Hypertension • Memory impairments Prevalence of sleep deprivation:  30% of high school and college students fall asleep in class at least once a week  31% of all divers have fallen asleep at the wheel at least once REM deprivation Study Results:  Increased Irritability  Lowered ability at: o Logic o Reasoning o Problem solving Theories of reasons for sleep: 1. Restoration Theory o Physical recuperation o Psychological Recuperation (REM) o Evidence  Some studies • Increased physical exercise associated with increased slow wave sleep time • Psychiatric patients have large % of REM Sleep and Growth Process • Release of growth hormone during sleep is reduced with aging • Aging associated with less deep sleep time 2. Survival Value/Protection Theory • Vision is not very efficient at night • Sleep protects animals from predators during darkness • Evidence o Non-vision based predators (Ex. rodents) are more active at night o Vision based animals and large animals can’t hide well tend to sleep little Sleep Disorders: Insomnia  Recurrent problems falling or staying asleep (severe in 15% of population)  Typically overestimate sleep loss  Medication and alcohol (reduce REM) can worsen insomnia later  May be due to: o Stress o Emotional problems o Medical conditions  More serious is FFI which can cause death o Affects 40 families wo
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