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Chapter 6

Psychology Chapter 6 Notes.docx

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Mark Holden

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 The Puzzle of Consciousness • Consciousness: o Awareness of the outside world, and/or of our own thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and other mental processes at any given time o NOT a unique mental process o Consciousness is a property of many mental processes  not unique mental process o Consciousness encompasses sense and perception o Consciously recall a childhood memory, but consciousness is more than just memory/perception/emotion • William James: o Stream of Consciousness  Multi-layered  various levels  Ever-changing  various states • Levels of Consciousness: o Variations in the degree to which one is aware of mental events o i.e. Normal Ads: Buy Coke! Vs. Subliminal messages that affect our behaviour without our conscious awareness 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! o It is ever changing because we slip from one state to another smoothly like a stream flows smoothly along its course • States of Consciousness o Variations in quality/pattern/nature of mental activity available to awareness  Differences in perceptions, emotions, memory, sense of time, self-control, suggestibility o i.e. normal, ‘waking’ consciousness  perceive time, places, events as real, meaningful, familiar o vs. ‘Altered’ states of consciousness  fatigue, delirium, hypnosis, drugs, dreaming  Even long-distance running, sex, listening to music o Like Stream, we smoothly flow from one state to another o Altered states of consciousness differ drastically from ‘normal’ mental activity • 4 Characteristics of Consciousness o Subjective and Private  No one else can know your experiences o Self-Reflective, Central to Sense of Self  We are aware of our own consciousness • Can reflect on what we are feeling, thinking, seeing o Dynamic (Ever Changing)  We drift in and out of various states throughout the day  Continuous flowing ‘stream’ of mental activity o Related to selective attention  Can focus on some things, exclude others • 3 Ways to Measure Consciousness o Self-Report  ‘Describe your thoughts/feelings’  Most common method  Pro: Direct insight into subjective experiences  Con: Cannot be verified (not objective)  i.e. asked about sexual fantasy (mate choice), some will be honest but some will not be. We cannot verify how honest they are o Physiological Measures  EEG, fMRI  Relates bodily states and mental processes  i.e. we use EEG to identify stages of sleep  Pro: Objective  Con: Tells us nothing about the subjective ‘experience’, must infer the mental state o Behavioural Measures  Use the command call  i.e. rouge test  self-awareness  Pro: Objective  Con: Tells us nothing about the subjective ‘experience’, must infer the mental state Levels of Consciousness: Psychodynamic and Cognitive Perspective • Levels of Consciousness: o Variations in the degree to which one is aware of mental events o i.e. Normal Ads: Buy Coke! Vs. Subliminal messages that affect our behaviour without our conscious awareness 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! o It is ever changing because we slip from one state to another smoothly like a stream flows smoothly along its course • Freud’s Psychodynamic Perspective: o Conscious  Thoughts, perceptions, and other mental events of which we are currently aware o Preconscious  Mental events not currently in awareness, but can be easily recalled (or focused on)  i.e. think about your best friend when you were a child o Unconscious  Cannot be brought into the conscious mind under ordinary circumstances  Recall Freud’s unconscious, unacceptable urges  traumatic memories don’t arise consciously because it would arouse anxiety o Despite out of date, Freud’s general premise is correct  nonconscious processes influence behaviour • Modern Psychodynamic Ideas o Emotional (and Motivational) Unconscious  Suggests that motivation and emotion often operate at the unconscious level to influence our behaviour  Ever been in a bad mood and not known why? Could be environment • Subliminally present positive vs. negative words  influenced participants’ mood scores o Modular Mind  Treats the mind like a series of separate (but interacting) ‘modules’ • Modules are networks that perform specific tasks, like perception, memory, problem-solving, etc. • Consciousness is the combination of all these different modules o Like listening to a choir  Similar to Freud’s idea that the mind is not a single entity • Cognitive Levels of Consciousness: o Conscious and Unconscious levels are complementary ways of processing information o They are not in conflict, as Freud said, but they work together  Controlled Processing • Conscious thought  effortful, voluntary • i.e. first learning how to drive, play piano, throw a football  Automatic Processing • Little or no conscious effort (unconscious) o i.e. driving on ‘autopilot’, play/throw ‘automatically’ • Much faster, frees us up to think about other things o Forcing conscious thought can actually screw us up • Reason why you should go with your gut because it helps decision making • Divided Attention: the ability to perform more than one activity at the same time o Facilitated by automatic processing o Has limits  extremely dangerous driving/cellphone  Controlled offers flexibility and possibility of change, automatic processing offers speed and economy of effort and most actions processed this way  Too much thinking under pressure can cause people to ‘choke’ Vegetative State • Locked-in Syndrome: o Total paralysis, except for eyes o Communicate via blinks, gaze direction  conscious • Vegetative State: o ‘wakeful but unaware’ o Not paralyzed, but not purposeful movement or behaviour in response to external stimuli  Cannot follow commands  no consciousness? • Kate  first person to be scanned in vegetative state o showed pictures of her family o brain responded ‘normally’ • Adrian Owen (UWO): o fMRI of ‘normal’ subjects, asked them to  1) imagine playing tennis • Activated premotor cortex  2) Imagine walking around their house • Activated parietal lobe and parahippocampal gyrus  Between trials, asked to relax (think of nothing) o fMRI of ‘vegetative’ subjects  followed same instructions  found that 1 in 5 vegetative patients was fully conscious  they could follow instructions  Can we use this as a means of communication? • Possibly, answering yes with imagining playing tennis, and answering no with imagining walking around house  Asked 5 questions in a row, all 5 were confirmed by family and were correct • Therefore he knows something about himself  Self-awareness is one of the basic characteristics of consciousness • Maybe ask, are you in pain? Do you want to live? Circadian Rhythms • Circadian Rhythms: o 24 hour biological cycles in the physiological functions  Includes blood pressure, temperature, urine production, levels of certain hormones  Biological ‘clock’  Variation between people o Physiological cycles affect mental functioning  Causes shifts between sleeping and waking states  Leads to 24-hour cycles in things like alertness, short-term memory, etc. Keeping the Time: Brain and Environment • Biology: Suprachiasmatic Nuclei o Most circadian rhythms are regulated by its suprachiasmatic nuclei  located in the hypothalamus o SCN is indeed the brain’s clock o SCN neurons have a programmed cycle of activity and inactivity, functioning like a clock o They link to the pineal gland, and secretes melatonin, a sleepy relaxing hormone o SCN neurons become active during daytime and reduce pineal gland’s secretion during the day, raising body temperature and increasing alertness o At night, SCN neurons inactive allowing melatonin levels to increase and promotes relaxation and sleepiness • Environment: o Normal circadian rhythm is 24 hours o Environmental factors help keep SCN neurons on a 24-hour schedule o BUT, could our body just be responding to associations with certain times of day?  People do get hungry around noon o What if people were imprisoned underground, with no day/night, no clocks, no meals at regular times?  If only biology caused circadian rhythms o People would drift into a longer ‘natural’ cycle of about 24.2 to 24.8 hours, called a free-running circadian rhythm  Eventually might sleep at noon, wake up at midnight o How does the environment keep us on a ‘normal’ 24-hour cycle?  Some receptors in the eye detect light, and send signals to the SCN to increase SCN and basically resets the clock every morning  Blind people whose eyes are insensitive to light may also experience free-running circadian rhythms • When forcing sleep-wake cycle into a 24-hour world by going to bed at fixed times would cause fatigue and insomnia Early Bird or Night Owl? • Temperature varies over the day o Peaks in the afternoon, lowest in the middle of the night (on average) o People tend to feel sleepy as their body temperature drops(and awakens as it rises)  Temperature drop causes sleepiness  hypothermia causes drowsiness o Suggests that people are primed to fall asleep most easily at a certain time of day  But everybody has different rhythms/cycles  Could this be the difference between early birds and night owls? • Different circadian rhythms influence our tendency to be a ‘morning person’ or a ‘night person’ • Early Birds: o Go to bed earlier, wake up earlier o More alert, better problem-solving earlier in the day o Perform better in early morning classes than ‘night owls’ o Body temperature, blood pressure peak earlier • Night Owls: o Go to bed later, wake up later o Alertness, problem-solving abilities peak later in the day o Perform poorly in early morning classes o Body temperature, blood pressure peaks later in the day o Classes that start from 9-4, or 10-5, students do better on standardized exams and have fewer behavioural problems o Early birds still do better than night owls, but scores more similar in later classes Environmental Disruptions of Circadian Rhythms • Seasonal Affective Disorder o Depression-like symptoms in the fall and winter o In North America, more common in higher latitudes o Less sunlight overall, later sunrise  Some people extra-sensitive to light has their circadian rhythms pushed back  Waking up when it is dark in the morning is still hard for these people • Jet Lag o Typically, insomnia, and overall decrease in alertness and cognitive ability caused by traveling across multiple time zones within a day o Traveling east, you lose hours in the day. Traveling west, your day becomes longer than 24 hours and screws up your circadian rhythm o This is why there is less effect, faster recovery flying West than east because it is more compatible with our natural free-running circadian cycle o i.e. visiting team flies to the east wins the least amount of games, fly west you win a bit more. Not traveling, wins the highest percentage. • Night Shift work o Associated with fatigue, stress, increased likelihood of work-related errors, fatal accidents o Caused by de-synchronization of biological and environmental rhythms  disrupts sleep patterns  Light during the day makes it harder to sleep, so shift workers who sleep at night get little sleep o On days off, sleep on time which disrupts their hard-earned circadian adjustments o Job errors peak at between midnight and 6AM because biological clocks promote sleepiness in the morning hours combined with fatigue from poor day time sleep  Major concern for night time long distance drivers o Rotating shiftwork  a rotating and shifting work schedule that takes advantage of extending the ‘waking day’ • Springtime shift to daylight savings time (losing 1 hour of sleep) caused a short lived increase in likelihood of accidental death • Outsmarting the Disruptions o Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)  Can be treated with phototherapy • Exposure to (full spectrum) lights • Suggests that SAD is due to light, not temperature o Jet Lag  Can be limited in carefully planning light exposure • Flying east? Bright lights early in the day • Flying West? Dark until mid-day • In general, getting outside at the destination also helps o Night Work  can be limited by carefully planning light exposure • super bright work lights, dark home o Treating people with melatonin seems to work but long term effects unknown, supervised self-medication make disruptions worse Sleep • Circadian rhythms do not regulate sleep directly  decreasing nighttime alertness they promote a readiness for sleep and optimal sleep time • Sleep is not a ‘shutting down’ period • It is not a period of uniform inactivity • ‘Waking’ consciousness is actually a number of different states of alertness and awareness • So is sleep! o 5 stages  Determined through EEG recording o We cycle through all 5 stages about 90 minutes or so • Sleep Labs o Participants are asked to come in and sleep in the lab for a few days  Electroencephalogram (EEG) • Measures electrical activity in the brain  Electro-oculograph (EOG) • Records eye movement  Electromyograph (EMG) • Records muscle tension, movement Stages of Sleep • Awake and alert o Brain activity characterized by Beta waves  highest frequency, lowest amplitude waves • Awake (but drowsy) o Brain activity characterized by alpha waves  Waves are slower, slightly higher amplitude • Stage 1 Sleep o Lightest sleep level  Can be easily awakened, spend a few minutes in this stage  Many people twitch, or sudden body jerk  May seem like a ‘daydream’ but is actually slep o Brain activity characterized by theta waves  Waves are even slower, higher amplitude • Stage 2 Sleep o Slightly deeper sleep  A little harder to awaken  Muscles more relaxed, heart rate slower o Brain activity:  Still theta waves (3.5-7.5 cycles)  Defining feature: sleep spindles (periodic 1-2 second bursts of rapid brain-wave activity) • Bursts of rapid brain-wave activity • Stage 3 Sleep o Deep sleep  More difficult to awaken,  Muscles very relaxed, heart rate slower o Brain Activity:  General decrease in brain activity  Still theta waves, with some delta waves (<50%) • Delta waves are the slowest frequency, highest amplitude brain waves  slow wave sleep or deep sleep • Stage 4 Sleep o Deepest level of sleep  Most difficult to awaken  groggy, disoriented  Muscles very relaxed, heart rate slow o Brain activity:  General decrease in brain activity  Still some theta waves but mostly delta waves (0.5-2 cycles) • More than 50% are delta waves • also slow wave sleep or deep sleep • Cycle through the Stages o After 20-30 minutes in stage 4, our brain goes back up the stages o Within 60-90 minutes:  123432??? • REM Sleep o Very unique level of sleep, characterized by:  REM (Rapid Eye Movements)  Vivid, story like (narrative) dreams • Even people who never have dreams report them  Increased heart rate  Sleep paralysis o Brain Activity:  Resembles stage 1 or even awake person!  Combination of beta and theta waves  paradoxical sleep  REM Sleep Paralysis  muscles may twitch, but you are ‘paralyzed’ and unable to move  REM Sleep called Paradoxical Sleep because your body is highly aroused yet it looks like you are sleeping peacefully  REM Sleep thoughts may even be referred to sleep thoughts because of closer resemblance to daytime thinking • Cycle through the Stages o Each cycle takes about 90 minutes  Typically about 4-5 cycles per night o With each cycle, we get less and less ‘slow-wave’ sleep and more and more REM sleep • Sleeping and the Environment o Sleep is biologically regulated, but environment plays a role as well o Change of season affects sleep; in fall and winter people sleep 15-60 minutes longer per night o Shiftwork, jetlag, stress at work and school, night time noise can decrease sleep quality o Different areas at the base of forebrain controls aspects of REM sleep o Different aspects of the sleep cycle is controlled by different brain mechanisms Age and Sleep Patterns • There are substantial differences in sleep amounts at different ages • Newborns: o Newborns sleep about 16 hours per day  Split between 6-8 ‘cat naps’ of 1-2 hours o Only have 2 stages of sleep  Non-REM and REM sleep  About 50% of sleep is REM Sleep • Children: o Amount of total sleep declines to about 10 hours  Through the whole night o Increases to 5 stages of sleep  Proportion of REM sleep declines until it hits about 20% • Adults o Amount of total sleep continues to decline throughout the lifespan  Elderly people average about 5-6 hours of sleep  Seems like the just need less sleep (no signs of fatigue) o 5 stages of sleep  Proportion of REM sleep holds steady at 20%  Amount of slow-wave sleep (stage 3-4) decreases  By late adulthood, get very little stage 3-4 • How much do we need? o Depends on the person  Average 15-24 year old kids average 8.5 hours of sleep  About 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night is optimal  Without clocks, schedules, most people sleep 10-12 hours  How much one sleeps is influenced by genetic factors, work schedules, stress, age, etc.  Most need 8-10 hours of sleep • Some exceptions: Napoleon, Churchill, Thatcher, JFK slept 3-5.5 (4) hours • Sleep Debt  may sleep 10-12 hours on their own o Pay back the debt hour for hour o Because of sleep debt, they sleep so little one day so they owe themselves hours and make up for the sleep that they miss Sleep Deprivation • Studies on Sleep Deprivation: o Examined mood, cognitive function, physical performance o 3 types of 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 • Less than 5 hours of sleep every night o Participants self-reported mood, responses on mental tasks, and physical tasks were measured o Results:  All 3 groups showed severe impairments • On average, functioned as well as someone in the bottom 10% of the non-sleep-deprived people • Mood first to go, then cognition, then physical performance o What about all-nighters before an exam?  BAD IDEA • People think they concentrate better and try harder • Actual scores are much lower o Pitcher and Walters (1997)  Students stayed up all night  Performed a critical thinking task  Results: • Sleep deprived kids performed worse • But they thought they performed better! o Incorrectly believed that they concentrated harder  All-nighters are a bad idea! o Randy Garner set a world record by staying awake for 11 days for school project in 1964  First few days became irritable, forgetful, nauseous, and intensely tired  By day 5 he had distorted thinking  Last 4 days he developed finger tremors and slurred speech  Beat researcher in pin-ball game in his final day without sleep o Sleep Deprivation Psychosis:  Confusion, disorientation, delusions, hallucinations associated with extreme sleep deprivation • i.e. peter Tripp (200 hours) • Randy Gardner (268 hours) • Can even lead to death!  removed from Guinness World Records  i.e. catastrophic effects: • Pitcher and Walters study • Nuclear accidents at Three-mile Island, Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Challenger Space shuttle crash Why do we sleep? • Electrical activity: o BATS Drink Blood? Beta, Alpha, Theta, Sleep spindles, Delta, Beta • Restoration Model: o Allows us to ‘recharge the batteries’ o Helps us recover from physical and mental fatigue  what is being recovered is unclear o Evidence:  Ultra marathon runners sleep longer, spend more time in slow-wave sleep  People sleep slightly longer after exercise  Increased adenosine concentrations cause sleepiness  believed to play a role • Evolutionary/Circadian Models:  sleep is evolutionary adaptive o Sleep increases chances of survival  Every species has its own unique sleep patterns that is adaptive, given other traits of the species • Some species have great night vision, others do not • Some species need lots of food, others eat less • Some species have great camouflage, while others are good at running away • Two-Factor Model: o Metabolism slows slightly during sleep (restoration) o Helps conserve energy compared to awake resting (evolutionary) • REM-Rebound Effect: o A tendency to increase the amount of REM sleep after being deprived of it o Occurs after being woken up in REM sleep stage • Research shows that we need to have REM sleep  brain is as active as when you are wakeful and alert Sleep Disorder • Insomnia o Frequent, persistent difficulty falling asleep o Or frequent, persistent difficulty staying asleep o Or frequent, persistent difficulty getting a restful sleep o Most common sleep disorder  10-40% of the population in various countries o Actually feels worse than it is  Insomniacs overestimate how long they take to fall asleep  Some believe they didn’t even sleep, but they did  pseudoinsomniacs o Causes:  Biology: genetics, medical conditions, mental disorders, drugs  Environment: Stress, lifestyle, bedroom associations • Stimulus Control treatment for these associations by associating the stimuli in your sleep environment with sleep. • Narcolepsy o Extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks  Can last minutes to hours o Sometimes associated with cataplexy  Sudden loss of muscle tone triggered by laughter, excitement, or other strong emotions  Essentially REM’s sleep paralysis o Extremely Devastating  may go right into REM stage  Job discrimination  75% report have fallen asleep while driving o Causes:  Biology-Environment interaction • Genes increase chances, but no guarantee • MUST HAVE AN ENVIRONMENTAL TRIGGER  No cure, but drugs can decrease attacks of cataplexy. Naps can also help for a few hours • REM-Sleep Behaviour Disorder o do not have the sleep paralysis that most do during REM sleep o Tend to ‘act out’ their dreams  Often wild movements: kicks, punches, running into walls o Causes:  Brain abnormalities that prevent signals that inhibit movement during REM from being sent, but CAUSES ARE UNKOWN  No cause that is widely agreed upon • Sleepwalking o Typically occurs during stage 3 or stage 4 sleep of slow wave sleep  Much more common in children • 10-30% of children vs. less than 5% of adults o Generally return to bed and wake up with no memory of the event o If you did not sleep walk as a child then the odds are less than 1% that you will do so as an adult o Waki
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