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Chapter 6

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Psychology 1000

Chapter 6 Summary THE PUZZLE OF CONSCIOUSNESS - consciousness: defined as our moment to moment awareness of ourselves and our environment - consciousness is: - Subjective and private - other people cannot know reality for you - Dynamic - we drift in and out of various states throughout the day - Self-reflective and central to our sense of self - our mind is aware of its own consciousness - Intimately connected with the process of selective atten- tion - Selective attention is possible because it focuses con- scious awareness on some stimuli to the exclusion of others measuring states of consciousness - ways to define states of consciousness: 1. self-report - the most common method - people describe their inner experiences - offer the most direct insight into a person’s subjective experiences, but are not always verifiable 2. physiological measures - establish the correspondence between bodily states and mental processes - eg. EEG recordings of brain activity help to identify different stages of sleep throughout the night - objective but cannot tell us what a person is experiencing subjectively 3. Behavioural measures - they are objective but we must infer the person’s state of mind levels of consciousness: Psychodynamic and cogni- tive perspectives - Freud posed that the human mind consists of three levels - conscious mind: contains thoughts, perceptions and other mental events that we are currently aware - preconscious: mental events are outside current awareness but can be easily recalled under certain conditions eg. being reminded of a childhood friend - unconscious mind: events that cannot be brought into consciousness under ordinary circumstances - some behaviourists and cognitive psychologists disagree - however, generally research strongly supports Freud’s premise that the non conscious processes influence behaviour cognitive viewpoint - rejects the notion of an unconscious mind driven by instinctive urges and repressed conflicts, says unconscious is an information processing system - they view conscious and unconscious as complementary forms Controlled versus automatic processing - controlled (effortful) processing: the voluntary use of attention and con- scious effort - more flexible and open to change than automatic processing - automatic processing: activities that can be performed with little or no con- scious effort - usually happen when we do routine actions - learning these actions usually are controlled eg. learning to drive - once you get used to it, it becomes automatic - automatic processing provides a disadvantage in that it reduces chances of finding new ways to approach problems - as a matter of fact, too much controlled processing on an automatic processing activity can hurt the task performance - can’t think too much when doing things you know to do well Divided Attention - Automatic processing facilitates divided attention: ability to perform more than one task at the same time - pro: without ability to divide attention everything we did would need our full attention and quickly overwhelm our mental capacity - con: it is more difficult when tasks require similar mental resources - eg. when two messages are delivered to different ears we can- not concentrate on them both - it can be adaptive but can have serious negative consequences - eg. talking and driving the emotional unconscious - the unconscious processes can have an effect on mood and motivation - eg. being in a bad or good mood without knowing why - because influenced by events in environment without knowing it Modular mind - Freud challenged that the mind is a single process - today that view is supported; it is believed that the mind is a collec- tion of largely separate but interacting modules - the modules are information- processing subsystems or “net- works” within the brain that perform tasks related to problem solving, emotion, memory, motor behaviour etc. - these modules process info simultaneously and largely inde- pendently but the output from one module can provide input for another - eg. when info recalled from memory becomes input to the problem solving and motor modules that enable you to write down answers in a math exam - from this perspective, our subjective experience of conscious- ness arises from the integrated activity of the various modules - eg. listening to a choir sing and being aware of the over- all harmonies instead of the sound of the individual voic- es carcadian rhythms: our daily biological clocks - carcadian rhythms: our biological schedules - every 24 hours our bodily functions (hormones) undergo a rhythmic change that affects mental alertness and wake and sleep keeping time: brain and environment - most carcadian rhythms are regulated by the brain’s superachiasmatic nu- clei (SNC): located in the hypothalamus - the SNC is linked to the pineal gland that secretes melatonin (hormone that has relaxing effect on the body) - SNC neurons become active in the daytime and reduce the secretion of melatonin, raising body temp and alertness - SNC neurons are inactive during the night so the melatonin levels in- crease - environment factors like the day night cycle helps to keep SNC neurons on a 24 hour schedule - eyes are connected to SCN so after sleep the light increases SNC ac- tivity and helps to reset the circadian clock - what if you lived in the dark or couldn’t tell if it was day or night - people drift into a free running circadian rhythm (natural cycle be- comes about 24.2- 24.8 hours) - people in this situation would go to bed and wake up later each day without realizing it - applies for blind people- if they try to fit themselves into the 24 hour clock, they may suffer from insomnia or daytime fatigue early birds and night owls - circadian rhythms is what makes a morning person or a night person - morning people go to bed earlier and wake up earlier than the night person; they peak alertness earlier - this is usually older adults - in university morning people tend to take morning classes and do better in those than night classes Environmental disruptions of circadian rhythms - environmental changes can affect our circadian rhythms - Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): a cyclic tendency to become psy- chologically depressed during certain months of the year (usually fall or winter) - maybe because they are more sensitive to light so because they wake up so much earlier than the sun, they are still in sleepiness mode - jet lag - can cause insomnia and decreased alertness - typically easier to adjust to moving west because lengthening the day is more compatible with our natural free running circa- dian cycle - night shiftwork - adjusting to the reverse biological clock can be difficult - on weekends they usually revert to the usual day night sched- ule which messes up the circadian shift during week - our biological clocks promote sleepiness in early daytime and combined with poor daytime sleep can cause poor job perfor- mance and performance errors (problem for truck drivers etc.) - some people never adjust to working at night - when work shifts change it is easier to extend the waking day than to compress it and a rotating shiftwork takes ad- vantage of that - daylight savings time - that hour increases likelihood of accidental death Sleep and Dreaming stages of sleep - every 90 minutes we cycle through different stages of sleep - when people study stages of sleep, you are hooked to an EEG machine that look at brain waves - beta waves: when awake, high frequency but low amplitude - alpha waves: when asleep, low frequency - stages: 1. brain wave patterns become irregular and slower theta waves increase a.light sleep which you can easily be awakened b.only a few minutes c.may experience images and sudden body jerks 2. sleep spindles - periodic two second bursts of rapid brain wave activity a.muscles relax- breathing and heart rate slow b.harder to awaken 3. regular appearance of very slow delta waves a.delta waves increase 4. delta waves dominate EEG pattern a.stage 3 and 4 are slow-wave sleep b.body is relaxed and activity in various parts of brain are decreased c.hard to awaken d.20-30 minutes e.after that go back to sage 3 and 2 f. within 60- 90 minutes of sleep, you have completed a cycle of 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2 5. REM sleep a.every 30 seconds or so there of bursts of muscular activity that cause rapid eye movements b.if awakened during REM, a dream was almost always reported c.physiological arousal may increase to daytime levels i. heart rate quickens, breathing more rapid, brain wave activity resem- bles of active wakefulness, men have erections, women produce lube (but REM does not produce sexual content so it has nothing to do with sexual imagery) d.brain sends signals that make it difficult for voluntary movement so muscles in limbs relax i. because they are unable to move (may twitch) it is called REM sleep paralysis ii.known as paradoxical sleep because body is aroused but you look like you sleep peacefully because of lack of movement e.you can dream anytime but REM dream have storylike quality i. vivid sensory and motor elements as well as perception of reality ii.REM dreams are also longer and non REM dreams are not as story- like (lacks in the sensory and motor elements) and they are non mov- ing so they are more like a tableau rather than a story with a plot iii. apart from dreams mental activity during non-REM sleep resem- ble daytime thinking more than REM dreams so they are called sleep thoughts getting a night’s sleep: brain and environment - sleep is controlled by different brain mechanisms - basal forebrain and brain stem are important in regulating fallign asleep - different brain stem area initiates REM sleep - environment plays a role as well - people sleep more in fall and winter - jet lag, stress and school all affect sleep How much do we sleep - as we age: - we sleep less - REM sleep decreases dramatically during infancy and early childhood but remains relatively stable after - time spent in stages 3 and 4 decline - generally 8 - 10 hours of sleep but is unique for each individual - eg. genetic factors, health, age, lifestyle Sleep deprivation - short-term total sleep deprivation : 45 h without sleep - long term total sleep deprivation : more than 45H without sleep - partial deprivation: allowed to sleep for no more than 5 hours per night for one or more consecutive nights - mood suffers most followed by cognitive then physical performance from sleep deprivation - in general it takes several nights to recover from extended total sleep de- privation and we do not make up all the sleep thime that we have lost why do we sleep? - according to the restoration model sleep recharges our rundown bodies and allows us to recover from physical and mental fatigue - seems to be supported by the fact that sleep deprivation and night shift work affect our ability to function at our emotional, mental and physical best - we may need sleep to live - if restoration model is correct activities that increase daily wear on our bod- ies should increase sleep - seems people sleep longer after they did exercise (eg. marathon) - we do not know precisely what gets restored in our bodies but some believe it is a cellular waste product adenosine - it is produced as cells use energy and they believe as it accumulates, it influences brain systems that are responsible for alertness and pro- mote sleep - according to evolutionary/circadian sleep models sleep’s main purpose is to increase a species’ chances of survival in relation to its environmental de- mands - our prehistoric ancestors had little to gain and a lot to lose by being active at night - so over the evolution of each species developed a circadian sleep wake pattern that was adaptive in terms of whether it was predator or prey - eg. small prey like mice would benefit from the shelter when it sleeps, horses sleep outside so it would be beneficial for it to be awake longer - sleep may have evolved as a mechanism to conserve energy: meta- bolic rate slower when we are asleep - both theories highlight complementary functions of sleep and contribute to a two-factor model of why we sleep - do sleep stages have special functions? - if you are prevented from entering REM sleep, 1. you have have to be awakened more and more often because you brain is fighting to get REM sleep 2. when the study ends you will experience a REM rebound effect: a tendency to increase the amount of REM sleep after being deprived of it - suggests that we need REM sleep - theories have proposed that REM sleep is vital for mental func- tioning (especially for learning and mental processes) - high level of brain activity may help to strengthen the neural circuits involved in remembering important information from the preceding day sleep diorders - insomnia - chronic difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep or experiencing rest- ful sleep - most common sleep disorder - Pseudoinsomniacs believe they have insomnia but test normal - has biological, psychological and environmental causes - some people are genetically predisposed to insomnia - stress and lifestyle and drugs can also affect - can be controlled by stimulus control - conditioning body to associate the stimuli in your sleep environ- ment with sleep - narcolepsy - extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden uncontrollable sleep attacks that may last from less than a minute to an hour - when a sleep attack occurs narcoleptics may go right into REM stage - may also experience attacks of cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle tone often triggered by laughter, excitement and other strong emo- tions) - cataplexy abnormal version of the normal muscular paralysis that takes place during nighttime REM sleep - narcoleptics may be discriminated against when seeking jobs and viewed as lazy - have lower quality of life and more prone to accidents (some may fall asleep while driving) - may be genetic predisposition that combines with an unknown envi- ronmental factors - REM-sleep behaviour disorder - loss of muscle tone that causes normal REM sleep paralysis is absent - they act out what they dream - eg. one man was chocking his wife - these people may damage rooms, kick, and hurt themselves - some believe that brain abnormalities may prevent signals that nor- mally inhibit movement during REM from being sent, but at present the causes of RBD are unknown - Sleepwalking - during stage 3 or 4 - they are unresponsive to other people but are vaguely aware of their environment: can navigate around things - most children sleepwalk, less adults do - if the children do not sleepwalk they will most likely not do so as adults - can injure themselves - cause: may be inherited and daytime stress, alcohol and certain ill- nesses and medications also increase sleepwalking - treatment: to wait for kids to outgrow it - nightmares and night terrors - nightmares are frightening dreams - occur more often in REM sleep in the hours before we wake up - physiological arousal are similar to levels experienced during pleasant dreams - night terrors are more intense than nightmares - usually a child - suddenly sits up and seems to awaken while screaming - they are terrified and roused in a near-panic state and might thrash in the bed or flee to another room - when they awaken they usually will have no memory of that nature of dreams when do we dream? - mental activity occurs throughout the whole sleep cycle - as hypnagogic state (transitional state from wakefulness through early stage 2 sleep) progresses, the mental activity became more dreamlike - dream the most when the brain is the most active eg. REM sleep and in the final hours of sleep - people can remember their dream better when awakened from REM than from non-REM - dream more in the last few hours of both REM and non-REM than dur- ing the same stages earlier in the night When do we dream about? - dreams are not as strange as they are stereotyped - most take place in familiar settings and often involve people we know - bizarre dreams have a lasting impression and these drems have a lasting impression that biases our perception of wha
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