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Chapter 6

Psych 1000 - Chapter 6.docx

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Western University
Psychology 1000

Psychology 1000 – Chapter 6: States of Consciousness State of Consciousness: a pattern of subjective experience, a way of experiencing internal and external events Altered State of Consciousness: variations from our normal waking state Consciousness: our moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment. - Is subjective and private – other people cannot directly know what reality is for you - Is dynamic (ever-changing) – we rift in and out of various states throughout each day - Is self-reflective and central to our sense of self – the mind is aware of its own consciousness - Is intimately connected with the process of selective attention – focuses conscious awareness on some stimuli to the exclusion o others Measuring States of Consciousness: Self-report: people describe their inner experiences—offers the most direct insight into a person’s subjective experiences, but not verifiable Physiological Measures: establish the correspondence between bodily states and mental processes—are objective, but cannot tell us what a person is experiencing subjectively Behavioural Measures: performance on special tasks—are objective, but we still must infer the person’s state of mind Levels of Consciousness: Psychodynamic and Cognitive Perspectives: Freud proposed that the human mind consists of three levels of awareness 1. Conscious: contains thoughts, perceptions, and other mental events of which we are currently aware 2. Preconscious: events that are outside current awareness, but can easily be recalled under certain conditions 3. Unconscious: events that cannot be brought into conscious awareness under ordinary circumstances Have been disputed and put out of date, but nonconscious processes do influence behaviour The Cognitive Unconscious: cognitive psychologists view conscious and unconscious mental life as complementary forms of information processing Controlled Processing: the voluntary use of attention and conscious effort Automatic Processing: can be performed with little or no conscious effort—when we carry out routine actions or well- learned tasks under constant or familiar circumstances Divided Attention: the ability to perform more than one activity at the same time—facilitated by automatic processing The Emotional Unconscious: strongly emphasizes that emotional and motivational processes operate unconsciously and influence behaviour The Modular Mind: the mind is a collection of largely separate but interacting modules Modules: information-processing subsystems or networks within the brain that perform tasks related to sensation, perception, memory, problem solving, emotion, motor behavious, etc. - Modules process information in parallel—simultaneously and independently, but integrate Circadian Rhythms: biological cycles within the body that occur on a 24 hour basis Brain and Environment: Suprachiasmatic Nuclei (SCN): located in the hypothalamus—regulated most circadian rhythms—the brain’s clock SCN neurons have a genetically programmed cycle of activity and inactivity function like a biological clock Melatonin: a hormone that has a relaxing effect on the body—in the pineal gland Daytime: SCN neurons are active and reduce the pineal gland’s secretion of melatonin, raising body temperature and heightening alertness Night Time: SCN neurons are inactive, allowing melatonin levels to increase, promoting relaxation and sleepiness Free-running circadian rhythm: people who cannot see if it is day or night outside drift into a longer “natural” cycle Morning people and night people’s circadian rhythms are different. Their body temperature, blood pressure, and alertness peak earlier/later in the day Environmental Disruptions of Circadian Rhythms: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): a cyclic tendency to become psychologically depressed during certain months of the year; typically beginning in fall or winter with shorter periods of daylight, and then end in spring It is believed that the circadian rhythms of SAD sufferers is particularly sensitive to light, so as sunrises occur later in winder, their circadian clocks may be pushed back to an unusual degree Jet Lag: a sudden circadian disruption caused by flying across several time zones in one day - Causes you to either lose hours in a day, or a day to become longer than 24 hours - Causes insomnia, decreased alertness, and poorer performance until the body readjusts Sleep and Dreaming: Stages of Sleep: we cycle through different stages of sleep in which our brain activity and other physiological responses change in a generally predictable way every 90 minutes Beta Waves: recorded from the brain when you are awake and alert—have a high frequency of 15-30 cycles per second, but have a low amplitude or height Alpha Waves: occur at about 8 to 12 cps when you close your eyes and are relaxed and drowsy - Stage 1: o a form of light sleep from which you can easily be awakened, only a few minutes or less o Brain-wave pattern becomes more irregular, and theta waves (3.5 to 7.5 cps) increase - Stage 2: o Sleep Spindles occur (periodic one to two second bursts of rapid brain wave activity (12 to 15 cps) o muscles are more relaxed, breathing and heart rate are slower, you are harder to awaken - Stage 3: o Very slow (0.5 to 2 cps) and large delta waves appear regularly - Stage 4: o Delta waves dominate the EEG pattern Slow-Wave Sleep: stage 3 and 4 – your body is relaxed, activity in various parts of the brain decreases, hard to wake up After stage 4, you go back through stages 3 and 2 in a cycle of 1-2-3-4-3-2-REM-2-3-4-3-2 etc. REM Sleep: rapid eye movements (REMs) – in this stage, bursts of muscular activity cause the eyeballs to move vigorously back and forth beneath closed eyelids every 30 seconds or so - Dreams are almost always reported during REM sleep - Physiological arousal may increase to daytime levels - Heart rate quickens, breathing becomes more rapid and irregular, brain-wave activity resembles being awake - Voluntary muscles have difficulty contracting and become relaxed - These muscles twitch but cannot move—REM sleep paralysis Getting a Night’s Sleep: Brain and Environment: Sleep is biologically regulated, but environment also plays a role Basal Forebrain: at the base of the forebrain; important in regulating our falling asleep Brain Stem Where the Reticular Formation passes through the pons: initiates REM sleep Environmental Factors: seasons, shift work, jet lag, stress, nighttime noise How Much Do We Sleep?: newborns sleep on average 16 hours a day, with almost half their sleep as REM sleep Three important changes occur as we age: 1. We sleep less, 15-24 year olds sleep 8.5 hours per day and elderly people sleep under 6 2. REM sleep decreases during infancy and early childhood but remains stable after that 3. Time spent in stages 3 and 4 declines Sleep Deprivation: has a negative impact on mood, cognitive performance, and physical performance - Short-Term Total Sleep Deprivation: up to 45 hours without sleep - Long-Term Total Sleep Deprivation: more than 45 hours without sleep - Partial Deprivation: being allowed to sleep no more than five hours per night one or more consecutive nights Why Do We Sleep?: We need sleep to function at our emotional, mental, and physical best, and to live The Restoration Model: Sleep recharges our run-down bodies and allows us to recover from physical and mental fatigue Evolutionary/Circadian Sleep Models: emphasize that sleep’s main purpose is to increase a species’ chances of survival in relation to its environmental demands In evolution, each species developed a circadian sleep-wake pattern that was adaptive in terms of whether it was predator or prey, its feed requirements, and its methods of defense from attack REM Rebound Effect: a tendency to increase the amount of REM sleep after being deprived of it REM sleep is vital for mental functioning, especially in learning and memory consolidation Sleep Disorders: Insomnia: chronic difficulty in falling or staying asleep or experiencing restful sleep—the most common sleep disorder - Pseudoinsomniacs: complain of insomnia but sleep normally when examined in the laboratory - Has biological, psychological, and environmental causes - Stimulus Control: treatment of insomnia involving conditioning the body to associate the stimuli in your sleep
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