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Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Consciousness

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Psychology 1000
Shauna Burke

States of Consciousness 1 Introduction • ex. Ken Parks • states of consciousness- pattern of subjective experience; experiencing internal & external controls • altered state of consciousness- variations from normal waking state; ex. night dreams • experience division of awareness; ex. not all off bed during night • David Chalmers- range from normal waking states of dreams, drug induced experiences, hypnosis, beyond Puzzle of Consciousness • consciousness- moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves & environment - subjective & private: other people cannot experience your reality directly - dynamic (ever changing): continuous, rather than disjointed perceptions/thoughts - self-reflective & central to our sense of self: ex. itch - intimately connected w/ process of selective attention; focuses conscious awareness on some stimuli to exclusion of others Measuring States of Consciousness: • self-report: people describe inner experiences; not always verifiable • psychological measures: establish correspondence b/w bodily states & mental processes; objective, cannot tell us what person is experiencing subjectively • behavioural measures: performance on specific tasks, inc. rouge test; objective, infer to person’s state of mind Levels of Consciousness: Psychodynamic & Cognitive Perspectives • Freud- 3 levels: - conscious: thoughts, perceptions, other mental events, currently aware - preconscious: mental events are outside current awareness, easily recalled under certain conditions; ex. bringing up childhood friend - unconscious: cannot be brought into conscious events under normal circumstances; ex. aggressive behaviours kept out, to limit anxiety, guilt & negative emotions States of Consciousness 2 • broad level- support theory: Non-conscious processes influence behaviour • ex. placebo effects, split-brain patients, subliminal perception Cognitive Viewpoint: • cognitive psychologists- reject notion of unconscious mind driven by instinctive urges & repressed conflicts; view conscious & unconscious mental life as complementary forms of information processing • controlled (effortful) processing: voluntary effort use of attention & conscious effort; ex. studying • automatic processing: performed w/ little to no conscious effort; ex. routine actions- > athletes- sport becomes well known - disadvantage: reduce chances of finding new ways to approach problems - advantage: offers speed, economy of effort for everyday tasks • divided attention: ability to perform more than 1 action at the same time; ex. eat & read - consequences: driving & talking on phone=increase chances of accident Emotional Unconscious: emphasize emotional & mental processes operate unconsciously & influence behaviour • • ex. Bargh & Chartrand- influenced by unconscious environmental factors; experiment w/ uni students presented w/ positive & negative nouns (i.e. clown, cancer), rate mood, correlation Modular Mind: • propose mind is collection of largely separate but interacting modules; perform tasks related to perception, sensation, memory, problem solving, emotion, motor behaviour Circadian Rhythms: Our Daily Biological Clocks • circadian rhythm: daily biological cycles, within 24 hrs; bodily functions undergo change (ex. temperate, hormonal secretions) Keeping Time: Brain & Environment: • suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN): regulate circadian rhythms, in hypothalamus States of Consciousness 3 - link pineal gland, which secretes melatonin: hormone w/ relaxing effect - SCN neurons active during daytime & reduce melatonin, raising temp. & heightening alertness - ex. Martin Ralph- confirmed SCN; inject SCN neurons into hypothalamus of animals who’s SCN had been destroyed - free-running circadian rhythm: 24.2-24.8 hrs; SCN exhibit longer cycle of firing even when surgically removed & kept alive in dish w/ nutrients; ex. blindness- > insomnia, daytime fatigue Early Birds & Night Owls: • morning: go to bed earlier; body temp., blood pressure, alertness peak earlier in day; adults • night: perform best in late afternoon-evening; ex. ages 18-30 Environmental Disruptions of Circadian Rhythms: • seasonal affective disorder (SAD): cyclic tendency to become depressed during certain months - begin in fall/winter, lift in spring - ex. waking up at 5am to work during winter, still dark out & in “sleepiness” mood • jet lag: sudden circadian disruption after flying across several time zones in 1 day - causes: insomnia, decreased alertness, poorer performance until body readjusts • night shift-work: inverted night-day work day - overtime: increase fatigue, stress, accidents - rotating shift-work: forward rotating work schedule • daylight savings time Sleep & Dreaming circadian rhythms do not regulate sleep directly; decrease nighttime alertness, promote • readiness for sleep & help to determine optimal period when we can sleep most soundly Stages of Sleep: every 90 min during sleep, brain activity & psychological processes change in predictable way • • EEG- show pattern of beta waves when awake & alert; high frequency, low amplitude • alpha waves: 8-12 cycles/second; start to feel relaxed & drowsy States of Consciousness 4 Stage 1-4: • stage 1: light sleep- wave-brain pattern becomes more irregular, slower theta waves (7.5 cycles/sec) increase; easily awakened • stage 2: sleep spindles: periodic one-to-two bursts of rapid brain-wave activity; muscles more relaxed, breathing & heart rate slows, harder to awaken • stage 3: delta waves (0.5-2 cycles/second) • stage 4: delta waves dominate EEG pattern - 3 & 4=slow wave sleep: body relaxed, brain activity decreases, hard to awaken - after 20-30 min in stage 4- EEG pattern changes REM Sleep: • Kleithman &Aserinsky • every half minute- bursts of muscle activity cause sleeper’s eye to vigorously move back & forth beneath closed eyelids • rapid eye movements - > REM • dreams almost always remembered when awoken from REM sleep • heart rate quickens, breathing becomes more rapid & irregular • helps w/ memory, learning REM sleep paralysis: muscles twitch, but paralyzed body; sometimes called paradoxical sleep • • experience of sensing people, objects, places, moving & behaving, witnessing & participating in series of real, bizarre events • non-REM dream=shorter; less story-like, lacks sensory & motor experiences • sleep thoughts- closer resemblance to daytime thinking than to REM dreams Getting a Night’s Sleep: Brain & Environment • separate systems “turn-on” & actively promote sleep • basal forebrain: concentrate on falling asleep States of Consciousness 5 • reticular formation: initiating REM sleep; periodically active other brain systems inc. eye movements, muscular paralysis, genital arousal environment: sleep 15-60 min more during winter • How Much Do We Sleep? • newborn infants: 16 hrs/day, half sleep=REM • older=ages 15-24=8.5 hrs/day, elderly=6 hrs/day; as get older, sleep less • REM sleep decreases dramatically during infancy & early childhood, remains stable thereafter • stages 3 & 4 decrease w/ age- by late adulthood=little slow-wave sleep • women- 8.2, men=8 (night) Sleep Deprivation: • sacrifice sleep to accomplish more work June Pilcher &Allen Huffcutt (1996): either, 1. short term total sleep deprivation (up 45 hrs • w/o sleep), 2. long term total sleep deprivation (more than 45 without sleep), 3. partial deprivation (allowed to sleep no more than 5 hrs/day for 1+ consecutive nights) • reports: mood (irritability, disorientation), responses to mental tasks (ability to concentrate, reasoning, memory), physical tasks (manual dexterity) • university students pulling all-nighters=lower performance, think they concentrate better • ex. Randy Gardner (1964)- world record=stayed awake for 11 days Why Do We Sleep? • restoration model: sleep recharges run-down bodies, allows us to recover from physical & mental fatigue • sleep better w/ exercise • believe- renewal of cellular waste product, adenosine • evolutionary/circadian sleep models: emphasize chances of survival in relation to environmental demands • evolution: species developed circadian sleep-wake pattern, adaptive in terms of whether it was predator or prey, food requirements, methods of defense from attack States of Consciousness 6 - ex. zebra sleeps in open space, hazardous to sleep b/c of predators • metabolic rate during sleep=10-20 times slower than during waking rest • REM-rebound effect: tendency to increase amount of REM sleep after being deprived Sleep Disorders: • 1/2-2/3 NorthAmericans Insomnia: chronic difficulty in falling sleep, staying asleep, experiencing restful sleep • • many insomniacs overestimate how long it takes to fall asleep; ex. 20 min may feel like 1 hr • pseudo-insomniacs: complain of insomnia, sleep normally in lab • factors: anxiety, depression, genetics, circadian disruptions, stress • treatments- stimulus control: associate stimuli in sleep environment w/ sleep, rather than wakeful activities; use bed only for sleeping Narcolepsy: • 1/2000 people • daytime sleepiness; sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks, last from less than min to 1 hour • may go into REM stage- intense, dreamlike visual images & sounds • cataplexy: sudden loss of muscle tone, triggered by laughter, excitement, strong emotions; REM sleep intrudes into waking consciousness • report lowered quality of life, seen as lazy • 75% fall asleep during driving, 12% if not narcoleptic • no cure; naps may help short-term; help w/ stimulant drugs & antidepressants REM-Sleep Behaviour Disorder: • loss of muscle tone causes normal REM sleep paralysis is absent ex. Kaku Kimura- observe 72 yr woman; talked, sang, moved hands & legs during REM sleep • • often dangerous: kick violently, punches, injure sleeping partner, themselves, move furniture Sleepwalking: • during stage 3-4 slow-wave sleep • blank stare, unresponsive to other people, seem vaguely conscious of environment as navigate through furniture; typically no memory in morning; 10-30% children at least once States of Consciousness 7 • can injure themselves; ex. falling down stairs • factors: genetics, daytime stress, alcohol, illnesses, medications • treatment: psychotherapy, drugs, routinely waking up before sleepwalking occurs; waking sleepwalkers is not dangerous, just confusion Nightmares & Night Terrors: • nightmare: frightening dream; more often during REM sleep in hours before arise • night terror: deep sleep (stage 3-4), greatly elevated physiological arousal; heart rate may double or triple Nature of Dreams: • “Dreaming” connected to spiritual world, collective unconscious linked to ancestral past When Do We Dream? • hypnagogic state: transition state from wakefulness through early stage 2 sleep; 15-40% report dreamlike activity when woken 6 or less min after falling sleep • dream more during REM & non-REM sleep than during stages earlier in night What Do We DreamAbout? coding system: Hall & Van de Castle (1966) • • most take places in familiar settings w/ people we know; ex. flying- uncommon but b/c so intense,
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