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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Notes

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Psychology 1000

CHAPTER SIX: STATES OF CONCIOUSNESS > THE PUZZLE OF CONCIOUSNESS - consciousness: our moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment several characteristics: o subjective and private: other ppl cannot know what is reality for you o dynamic (ever changing): we drift through various states each day o self-reflective and central to our sense of self: the mind is aware of its own consciousness o intimately connected with the process of selective attention: consciousness consists in the selection of some stimuli, and the suppression of others Measuring States of Consciousness - self-report: (most common) ppl describe their inner experiences most direct insight, but not always verifiable - physiological measures: establish the correspondence between bodily states and mental processes objective, but cannot tell us what a person is experiencing subjectively - behavioural measures: includes performance on tasks also objective, but still cannot tell what a person is experiencing subjectively Levels of Consciousness: Psychodynamic and Cognitive Perspectives - Freud proposed that the human mind consists of three levels of awareness: o The conscious mind contains thoughts, perceptions and whatever we are aware of o Preconscious mental events are outside current awareness, but can easily be recalled eg, childhood memories o Unconscious events cannot be brought into conscious awareness under ordinary circumstances eg, sexual urges, traumatic memories - Behaviourists do not agree with Freuds theory, and many cognitive and psychodynamic psychologists believe it is out dated The Cognitive Unconscious - Cognitive psychologists reject the notion of an unconscious mind driven by instinctive urges and repressed conflicts. Rather, they view conscious and unconscious mental life as complementary forms of information processing Controlled versus Automatic Processing - controlled processing: the voluntary use of attention and conscious effort - automatic processing: take little or no conscious effort (routine tasks, etc) - things that are use conscious effort such as typing eventually become automatic Divided Attention: - automatic processing facilitates divided attention, the ability to perform more than one task at a time 1 The Emotional Unconscious - modern psychodynamic views emphasize that emotional and motivational processes operate unconsciously and influence behaviour - these hidden processes can cause to feel and act in ways we cannot explain The Modular Mind - many believe the mind is a collection of largely separate but interacting modules - these modules are info processing subsystems within the brain that perform tasks related to sensation, perception, memory, problem solving, motor skills, etc - the various modules process info simultaneously and mostly independently - output from one module can provide input for another - according to this perspective, consciousness arises from the integrated activity of the various modules > CIRCADIAN RYTHEMS: OUR DAILY BIOLOGICAL CLOCKS - biological cycles within the body that occur on an approximately 24-hour cycle Keeping Time: Brain and Environment - most circadian rhythms are regulated by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), located in the hypothalamus acts as the brains clock - SCN neurons have a genetically programmed cycle of activity and inactivity - They link to the tiny pineal gland, which secretes melatonin, a hormone that has a relaxing effect on the body. During the day the SCN neurons are active reducing the secretion of melatonin, but at night the SCN neurons are inactive, allowing melatonin levels to increase, making you sleepy - Circadian clock is biological, but environmental factors such as the day-night cycle help keep SCN neurons on a 24-hour schedule - Eyes have neural connections to the SCN light of day increases SCN activity and helps reset the 24 hour clock if you lived in the dark, most ppl drift into a longer cycle of about 24.2 to 24.8 hrs, called a free-running circadian rhythm - Blind ppl may also experience free running circadian rhythms, and if they try to go to bed at normal fixed times, may experience insomnia Environmental Disruptions of Circadian Rhythms - seasonal affective disorder (SAD): a cyclic tendency to become psychologically depressed during certain months of the year - as sunrise occurs later in winter, the daily onset time of their circadian clocks may be pushed back, and then when ppl wake up in darkness, they are in sleepiness mode for a long time after they wake up - jet lag is a sudden circadian disruption caused by flying across several time zones in one day east you loose hours, flying west day becomes longer - accidents peak between midnight and 6:00am night shifts hard to deal with > SLEEP AND DREAMING - spend approximately 1/3 of our lives asleep Stages of Sleep 2- approximately every 90 minutes while asleep, we cycle through different stages in which our brain activity and other physiological responses change - EEG recordings of the brains electrical activity show a pattern of beta waves when you are awake. Beta waves have a high frequency of about 15-30 cycles per second (cps), but a low amplitude. When getting tired, brain waves slow down and alpha waves occur at about 8-12 cps Stage 1 through 4 - Stage 1: brain-wave patterns become more irregular and slower theta waves (3.5- 7.5 cps) increase. Can easily be awakened, and lasts just a few minutes. Some ppl experience images and sudden body jerks - Stage 2: Sleep spindles one or two second bursts of rapid brain-wave activity (12-15 cps) begin to appear. Muscles become more relaxed, and breathing and heart rate slows down - Stage 3: appearance of very slow (0.5-2 cps) and large delta waves. When delta waves dominate the EEG pattern this indicates you have moved into stage 4. - Stage 4: together, stage 3 and 4 are referred to as slow-wave sleep body is relaxed, activity in various parts of the brain has decreased, and become harder to awaken - After about 20-30 minutes of stage 4 sleep, you go back through stages 2 and 3 - Within 60-90 minutes of going to sleep, complete cycle of stages 1-2-3-4-3-2 REM Sleep - when awakened from REM sleep it is much easier to remember a dream - during
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