Ch4 – The Mind and Consciousness 20140202
Consciousness: The subjective experience of the world and of mental activity.
Two components of conscious: the contents of consciousness and the level of consciousness (coma,
consciousness refers to awareness, to experiences.
Dualism: the view that the brain and mind are separable.
Consciousness Is a Subjective Experience
Qualia: the properties of our subjective experiences
different types of sensory information and awareness are processed by different brain regions
Variations in Conscious Experience
Your level of consciousness is affected by your actions and by consciousnessaltering substances you
It is a unified and coherent experience (there is limit)
Automatic tasks: tasks that are so well learned that we do them without much conscious effort
difficult or unfamiliar tasks require greater conscious effort
Consciousness and coma:
Sleep/ wake cycles
Persistent Vegetative state: they do not respond to their surroundings, but the brain can
Minimally conscious state: a state between vegetative state and full consciousness; people make some
deliberate movements Splitting the Brain Splits the Conscious Mind
Ways to treat seizures:
To cut connections within the brain to try to isolate the site of seizure initiation
Remove the part of the brain in which the seizures began
Corpus Callosum: the massive fibre bundle which is the major connection between the hemispheres
Split brain: A condition in which the corpus callosum is surgically cut and the two hemispheres of the
brain do not receive information directly from each other. The mute right hemisphere, having seen the
picture on the left, is unable to articulate a response.
It produces two half brains, each with its own perceptions, thoughts, and consciousness; Left
hemisphere is dominant for language; right hemisphere is for visual and spatial relationships.
Interpreter: A left hemisphere process that attempts to make sense of events.
the left hemisphere interprets what the right hemisphere has done, it will come up with reasons of the
commands that the right hemisphere has done.
The Interpreter Speculates:
The left brain tends to “compress” its experiences into a comprehensible story and to reconstruct
remembered details. The right brain remembers things in a manner less distorted by narrative
The left brain has a tendency to seek relationships and over analyze between things, but it can
produce lessthanoptimal outcomes when such relationships do not exist.
Most cognitive processes involve both hemispheres’ coordinated efforts; each hemisphere just have
Unconscious Processing Influences Behaviour
p. 150 – 155
What is Sleep?
The conscious experience of the outside world is largely turned off, but to some extent people remain
aware of their surroundings. Many brain regions are more active during sleep than during wakefulness. Sleep is An Altered State of Consciousness
Main difference between being awake and being asleep is about biological processes
brain activity slows and becomes more synchronized, a pattern that produces alpha waves.
Stages of sleep:
1. light sleep; you can be aroused easily; Theta waves:
2. your breathing becomes more regular, and you become less sensitive to external stimulation; theta
waves and occasional bursts of activity called sleep spindles (less amount of it reveals how much your
brain is in work as you age) & large waves called kcomplexes
3. & 4. Slowwave sleep; Deep sleep with delta waves; the mind continues to evaluate the environment for
Rem Sleep stage 5
Rem Sleep/ paradoxical sleep: The stage of sleep marked by rapid eye movements, dreaming, and
paralysis of motor systems.
After about 90 minutes of sleep, the sleep cycle reverses, returning to stage 3 and then to stage 2 to
Most muscles are paralyzed
About 80 percent of the time people are awakened during REM sleep report dreaming.
As morning approaches, the sleep cycle becomes shorter, and the sleeper spends relatively more time
in REM sleep
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people’s mental health and ability to function are compromised
by their inability to sleep.
sleep apnea A disorder in which a person stops breathing while asleep; causes people to have poor
sleep, which is associated with day time fatigue and eve