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6 - States of Consciousness.docx

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Psychology 1000

Chapter 6 States of Consciousne ss The Puzzle of Consciousness  State of Consciousness: Awareness of the relationship between self and the external world  Altered State of Consciousness: variations from our normal waking state e.g. daydreaming  Consciousness: moment to moment awareness of ourselves and our environment o Subjective and private since nobody can know reality is for you o Dynamic (ever changing) stimuli we are aware constantly change o The mind is aware of its own consciousness o Conscious awareness on some stimuli to the exclusion of others Measuring States of Consciousness  Self-report o Offer the most direct insight into a person’s subjective experiences o Not always verifiable  Physiological measures o Correspondence between bodily states and mental processes e.g. EEG o Objective but cannot tell us what a person is experiencing subjectively  Behavioural measures o Performance on special tasks e.g. rouge test o Objective but we still must infer the person’s state of mind Levels of Consciousness: Psychodynamic and Cognitive Perspectives  Freud o Conscious mind - Thoughts, perceptions, mental events of which we are currently aware o Preconscious - Mental events outside current awareness that is easily recalled under certain conditions o Subconscious level - Info not accessible but may “leak” out from time to time o sUnconscious - Kept out of conscious awareness The Cognitive Viewpoint  View conscious and unconscious mental life as complementary forms of info processing working in harmony  Controlled (effortful) processing: voluntary use of attention and conscious effort o Learning is controlled but will eventually become automatic when practiced often o Flexible and open to change  Automatic processing: little or no conscious effort o Carry out routines actions or well-learned tasks quickly with minimal effort o Reduce our chances of finding new ways to approach problems o Too much self-focused thinking can hurt task performance  Divided attention o Ability to perform more than one activity at the same time o Automatic processing facilitates this The Emotional Unconscious  Modern psychodynamic view o Emotional and motivational processes also operate unconsciously and influence behaviour o Environment can unconsciously influence emotion  Subliminally conscious o Show words that affects mood The Modular mind  The mind is a collection of largely separate but interacting modules process information simultaneously  Modules o Information processing subsystems or networks within the brain eg. sensation, perception, memory etc. o info recalled from memory becomes input to problem solving, motor modules enable to write answers 2 Circadian Rhythms: Our Daily Biological Clocks  humans have adapted to a 24 hour day-night cycle o Circadian rhythms – daily biological cycles (hormonal secretions, body temperature, etc.) Keeping Time: Brain and Environment  Suprachiasmatic Nuclei (SCN) o regulate most circadian rhythms in hypothalamus o located in the hypothalamus o have genetically programmed cycle of activity and inactivity, functioning biological clock o link to pineal gland that secretes melatonin (hormone that gives relaxing effect) o SCN neurons active during daytime  reduce pineal gland secretion of melatonin  melanopsin breaks down in blue light  ↑ body temperature  heightening alertness o SCN neurons inactive during night  allowing melatonin levels to rise and promote relaxation and sleepiness  Free-running circadian rhythm not following 24 hour clock o Daylight and darkness helps regulate clock  Early Birds and Night Owls o Circadian rhythms influence our tendency to be a morning or night person Environmental Disruptions of Circadian Rhythms  Gradual and sudden environmental changes can disrupt our circadian rhythms  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): cyclic tendency to be depressed during certain months of the year o Symptoms begin in fall and winter due to less daylight o Phototherapy  Properly timed exposure to bright artificial light is the best treatment o Dawn simulation  Artificial light gradually intensifies to normal light levels over the course of one to two hours in the early morning helps reset circadian clock  Jet lag o Adjust better if travel to the west  Phase delay (lengthening day) is less difficult than phase advance o Avoiding Jet Lag  Hydrate on plane  Avoid alcohol  Get up and stretch  Light meals  Expose self to sunlight upon arrival  Night shiftwork o Rotating shiftwork solution  When work shifts changed, easier to extend the “waking day” o Bright indoor lighting at the workplace helps  Days light savings Melatonin Treatment: Uses and Cautions  Oral melatonin shift cycles forward or backwards Regulating Activity Schedules  Properly timed physical exercise can help shift the circadian clock o Exercise when you normally go to bed may push back your circadian clock 3 Sleeping and Dreaming Stages of Sleep  Beta Waves: high frequency (15 – 30 cycles/s) low amplitude waves when you are awake and alert  Alpha Waves: brain waves slow down (8 – 12 cycles/s) with big waves as you relax and feel drowsy Stage 1 through Stage 4  60 – 90 minute cycle  During sleep, body begins to “shut down”  stage 1 – irregular theta waves o 3.5 – 7.5 cycles/sec o light sleep, easily awakened o few minutes o experience images and sudden body jerks  stage 2 o sleep spindles – high frequency, burst of activity, inhibition (12-16 cycles/sec) o muscles relaxed, breathing and heart rate are slower o K complex – dramatic drop of followed by spindles  Relation to RLS and Epilepsy  stage 3 & 4 o 3 - Delta waves appear – large slow waves (1 cycle/sec) o 4 - as time passes, delta waves dominate EEG pattern o slow-wave sleep o body relaxed, activity in various parts of your brain has decreased o hard to awaken REM (Rapid Eye Movements) Sleep or Paradosical sleep  every 30 sec, burst of muscular activity  sleepers’ eyeballs vigorously move back and forth  physiological arousal may increase to daytime levels o heart rate increases, rapid and irregular breathing o brain wave activity (theta and beta) resembles active wakefulness – high frequency and low amplitude  brain sends signals relax muscles o REM sleep paralysis  Have REM dreams o Sensing people, objects, places, moving, behaving, witnessing, joining in series of real or bizarre events Non-REM dream (Sleep Thoughts)  shorter than a REM dream Will cycle from stage 1 – REM – stage 4 – REM  As time increases, time spent in REM increases and time spent in stage 4 decreases  8 – 10 dreams a night (2 for each REM)  Most time spent in stage 2  More time in REM than stage four Getting A Night’s Sleep: Brain and Environment  Basal forebrain and brain stem area where reticular formation passes through pons helps initiate REM sleep o contains “REM sleep On” neurons that periodically activate other brain system that controls REM sleep  Eye movements, muscular paralysis, genital arousal  Sleep is biologically regulated but environment plays a role o Sleep longer during winters o Shiftwork, jet lag stress, nighttime noise decreases sleep quality 4 How Much Do We Sleep?  As we age we sleep less (8.5 hours or 6 hours for elderly) o REM sleep decreases dramatically during infancy and early childhood o Time spent in stage 3 and 4 declines Sleep Deprivation  Short term total sleep deprivation – up to 45 hours without sleep  Long term total sleep deprivation – more than 45 hours without sleep  Partial deprivation – allowed to sleep no more than 5 hours per night for one or more consecutive nights  All types had negative impact on functioning o Mood suffered the most o Then cognitive and then physical performance Why Do We Sleep?  Restoration Model: 1 or 2 stage sleep recharges and recovers us from physical and mental fatigue  Adenosine o cellular waste product as cells consume fuel o ↑ adenosine = influence brain systems to ↓ alertness and promote sleep to signal body to slow down  Evolutionary/Circadian Sleep models: purpose to ↑ a species’ chances of survival in its environment o Ancestors had little to gain and much to lose by being active at night o Can hunt in day and had night predators o Sleep may have evolved as a mechanism for conserving energy  Deprived of REM sleep o Brain will be fighting back to get REM sleep o REM rebound effect  Tendency to increase the amount of REM sleep after being deprived o High levels of brain activity during REM  Help strengthen the neural circuits involved in mental functioning, learning and memory  Mood Adjustment o Speed of cycling into REM correlated with positive mood on following day o Depressed individuals tend to cycle into REM very quickly Sleep Disorders Insomnia (most common)  Chronic difficulty in falling asleep (younger adults) or staying asleep or experiencing restful sleep (elders)  Many overestimate how much sleep they lose and how long it takes them to fall asleep  Biological, psychological, environmental cause o Genetically predisposed o Poor lifestyle habits e.g. anxiety, depression, drugs, stress disrupt sleep o Situational insomnia - Specific stressor e.g. traumatic event happened o Chronic insomnia - Possibly circadian rhythm problem o Thermoregulation problem - Failure to lower body temperature to signal sleep  Stimulus control (treatment) o Conditioning your body to associate the stimuli in your sleep environment (such as your bed) with sleep Narcolepsy  Sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks during daytime or any time  May go right into a REM stage  Caused by genetic predisposition and unknown environmental factors o Sudden loss of muscle tone often triggered by laughter, excitement, strong emotions (cataplexy) o Abnormal version of muscular paralysis and timing cycle of REM o Depleted supply of hypocretins (arousal, wakefulness) 5 REM-Sleep Behaviour Disorder  Loss of muscle tone that causes normal REM sleep paralysis is absent  Actions matches what they are dreaming about  Brain abnormalities may prevent signals that normally inhibit movement during REM from being sent Parasomnia  Sleep Talking o Occurs in lighter stages (1 or 2) or in REM o Sensitive to external world  Sleepwalking o Occurs in stage 4 (difficult to wake up) – not a part of a dream o 15% of children and adolescents but rare in adults o Unresponsive to other people o Many waking actions performed out of awareness o Genetic, stress, alcohol, certain illnesses, medication could increase sleepwalking o Treatments  Psychotherapy  Drugs  Routinely awakening children before typically sleepwalk  Wait to outgrow it  Night Terrors o more intense than nightmares o Suddenly sits up and seems to awaken letting out a scream  Dilated pupils  Heart rate and breathing increases  Panic o No memory o In deep sleep during stage 3 and 4 o Disappears with age  Nightmares o Vivid, high anxiety dream o Could be caused by antidepressants, beta blocks, withdrawal Sleep Apnea  Interruption in breathing during sleep is normal o People with disorder do not start breathing again unless they wake up  If sever, may stop many times at night causing insomnia  Cause o Obstruction of air passage (loud snores) o Abnormal brain function o SID (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) The Nature of Dreams  Traditional aboriginal peoples of Australia belief o Parallel reality that connects them to spiritual world and an unconscious linked to their ancestral past When Do We Dream?  Hypnagogic state o Transitional state from wakefulness through early stage 2 sleep  Start dreamlike activity within 6 minutes of falling asleep  Dream when the brain is most active o REM for 1 – 15 mins o Higher activity during final hours of sleep 6 What Do We Dream About?  Familiar settings, people and experiences  Most dreams consider some negative content e.g. current concerns  Women  Men o equally about female and male o more about other males o Children o Strangers o Clothing, jewellery o Cars, weapons o Targets of aggression o Act aggressively o Significant other o Attractive stranger  Structure o Mostly visual and in colour o Eye movements related to action o Events unfold in real time - “fleeting experiences” Why Do We Dream?  Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory o Wish fulfillment  Gratification of our unconscious desires and needs  Sexual and aggressive urges that are too unacceptable to be consciously acknowledged o Manifest content - Surface story o Latent content - Disguised psychological meaning o The same dream can be interpreted differently to fit the particular analyst’s point of view  Activation-Synthesis Theory o Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley o Awake  Neural circuits in our brain are activated by sensory input (sights, sounds, tastes etc.)  Cerebral cortex interprets patterns of neural activation, producing meaningful perceptions o REM  higher brain centres bombarded with random neural activity (activation component)  Since we are asleep, this neural activity does not match any external sensory events  But our cerebral cortex continues to perform its job of interpretation  Creating a dream that “best fit” to particular pattern, activation (synthesis component) o Dreams are a by-product of REM neural activity o To some extent, dreams have meaning  Cognitive Approaches o Problem solving dream models  Dreams help us find creative solutions to our problems, conflicts since not constrained by reality o Cognitive-process dream theories  Process of how we dream  Dreaming and waking thought are produced by the same mental systems in the brain o Dreaming requires imagery and cognitive abilities that young children have not yet developed o Rapid shifting of attention is a process common to dreaming and waking mental activity  Toward Integration o Concepts from cognitive, biological and modern psychodynamic perspectives o Sleep physiology with cognitive principle of modular consciousness o Evidence that unconscious cognitive, emotional and motivational processes influence our waking life To Sleep, to Dream, Perchance to Learn  REM density o Total number of eye movements divided by the total am
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