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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 - Consciousness.docx

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Psychology 1000
Mark Holden

Chapter 6 – States of Consciousness  Consciousness – awareness of the outside world, and/or of our own thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and other mental processes at any given time. It’s not a unique mental process but many of them.  William James – our consciousness is like a stream o Multi-layered -> various levels o Ever changing -> various states  Levels of Consciousness – variations in the degree to which one is aware of mental events o Like a stream, some things are near the surface; other things are so deep that we don’t see them, but they are still there  States of Consciousness – variations in quality/pattern/nature of mental activity available to awareness o Normal, “waking” consciousness vs “altered states of consciousness (fatigue, delirium, drugs, dreaming) o Like a stream, we smoothly flow from one state to another  The four characteristics of consciousness o Subjective and Private – no one else can know what you know o Self-Reflective, Central to Sense of Self – we are aware of our own consciousness o Dynamic and Ever Changing – drift in and out of various states o Related to Selective Attention – Can focus on some things, exclude others  Ways to Measure Consciousness o Self-report (most common) – direct insight into subjective experiences but it cannot be verified o Physiological Measures – EEG, fMRI. It is objective but it tells us nothing about the subjective experiences o Behavioural Measures – Ex. The Rouge Test -> red dot is put on monkey and it is put in front of a mirror. If the money touches the dot on itself then it passes the test.  Freud’s Psychodynamic Perspective o Conscious – thoughts on which we are currently aware o Preconscious – mental events not currently in awareness, but can be easily recalled o Unconscious – cannot be brought into the conscious mind under ordinary circumstances  Emotional Unconscious – motivation and emotion often operate at the unconscious level to influence our behaviour  Cognitive Perspective – conscious and unconscious levels are complementary ways of processing information o Controlled processing – conscious thought -> effort o Automatic processing – unconscious -> effortless  Divided Attention – has limits though -> driving on cell phone. However it has its advantages as well. Ex. Go with your gut  Modular Mind – treat the mind like a series of separate “modules”. Each one has a different job. Ex. Each tool of a swiss army knife has its own role but they are put together Vegetative State  Locked-in syndrome – total paralysis, except for eyes  Vegetative state – wakeful but unaware. They are not paralyzed, but not purposeful movement or behaviour in response to external stimuli  Kate was the first person in vegetative state to be scanned. Her brain responded ‘normally’ to pictures of her family  Adrian Owen found that when these patients imagined playing tennis -> premotor cortex worked. Imagined walking around her house -> parietal lobe and hippocampus  1 in 5 vegetative patients was fully conscious  If yes imagine playing tennis , if no imagine walking around your house  Patients scored 100% on the tests for yes no questions  Self-awareness is one of the basic characteristics of consciousness Circadian Rhythms  Circadian Rhythms – 24 hours biological cycles in physiological functions  Body Temperature peaks at afternoon and is lowest at night -> coldness causes sleepiness  Early birds – sleep early wake up early. More alter and better problem solver in the morning. Body temp, blood pressure peak earlier  Night Owls – Go to bed later, wake up earlier. Body temp peaks later in the day  Classes where schools start from 10 -5pm the students do much better on exams and have less problems  Biology o Suprachiasmatic Nuclei (SCN) – found in the hypothalamus. It is the brains clock SCN Melatonin (sleepy Feel Body Temp hormone) Day Active Decreasing awake Increases Night Inactive Increase sleepy Decreases  Environment – normal circadian rhythm is 24 hours o People put in isolation still have the rhythm (Free-running circadian rythem -> 24.5 hours cycle) o Receptors in the eye detect light and send signals to the SCN (re-sets the clock every morning) o People with no sight have messed up sleeping scheduals  Seasonal Affective Disorder – depression in fall and winter o Can be treated with phototherapy – exposure to light  Jet Lag – insomnia and sleepiness from crossing time zones. Travelling east is harder to deal with because the day is shorter. It is easier to catch up to a day that is extra-long compared to a day that is extra short. Travelling west is easier to deal with o Treated by limiting or increase light exposure  Nightshifts – association with fatigue, stress more accidents etc. o Treated with light exposure Sleep  Waking consciousness is actually a number of different states of alertness and awareness and so is sleep  There are 5 stages of sleep (shown by EEG) which cycles every 90 mins  Electroencephalogram (EEG) – measures electrical activity in the brain  Electro-oculograph (EOG) – records eye movement  Electromyograph (EMG) – records muscle tension and movement  Awake and alert – brain activity call beta waves o Highest frequency and lowest amplitude  Awake (but drowsy) – Alpha waves o Waves are slower, slightly higher amplitude  Stage 1 sleep – lightest sleep level o Easily awakened. People may twitch or jerk suddenly o Theta waves – waves are even slowe, higher amplitude  Stage 2 – slightly deeper sleep o Still theta waves o Sleep Spindles – Burst of rapid brain-wave activity  Stage 3 – Deep sleep o Difficult to awaken o Muscles relaxed, slow heart rate o Decreased brain activity o Theta and delta waves (<50%) o Delta waves ate the slowest frequency, highet amplitude  Stage 4 – deepest sleep o Difficult to awaken -> groggy and sioriented o Muscles very relaxed, heart rate slow o Some theta waves, but mostly delta waves (>50%)  Cycles through stage every 60-90 min o 1 -> 2-> 3->4->3->2->1  BATS Drink Blood  REM Sleep – rapid eye movements, dreams, increased heart rate, sleep paralysis o Brain activity resembles stage 1 or even awake person o Combination of beta and theta waves -> paradoxical sleep Age and Sleep Patterns  Newborns sleep 16 hours per day o Only have 2 stage of sleep -> non REM and REM sleep  Children sleep 10 hours o 5 stages of sleep o The proportion of REM sleep declines for the first few years then holds steady at 20%  Adults – amount of total sleep continues to decline though the lifespan  5-6 hours per night  5 stages of sleep  Slow wave sleep decreased  Without clocks people sleep 10-12 hours but most people need about 8-10 hours  Sleep debt -> need to pay back the debt hour by hour. That is why people sleep in on the weekend  Sleep Deprivation – examines mood, cognitive function, and physical performance o Short term dep. – 45 hours without sleep o Long term dep. – more than 45 hours without sleep o Partial dep. – less than 5 hours per night  “All-Nighter” Experiment by Pitcher and Walters (1997) o Students stayed u
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