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Chapter 6

Psych 1000 Chapter 6 Review Notes.docx

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Wolfe/ Quinlan

Chapter 6 – States of Consciousness  Consciousness – our moment to moment awareness of ourselves and our environment o Has various characteristics:  Subjective and Private – reality and experience depend on the individual  Dynamic – consciousness experiences are ever-changing and a continuous flow of mental activity  Self-reflective and Central to Our Sense of Self – mind is aware of its own consciousness Levels of Consciousness  Freud proposed that the mind consists of three levels: o Conscious – contains thoughts, perceptions, and other mental events that we are aware of o Preconscious – outside of current awareness, but can be recalled under certain conditions (eg. Reminder is necessary) o Unconscious – cannot be brought into conscious awareness under ordinary circumstances (as it would arouse anxiety, guilt, or other negative emotions)  The Cognitive Unconscious o Reject notion of an unconscious mind driven by instinctive urges and repressed conflicts o View conscious mental life as complementary forms of information processing o Controlled vs. Automatic Processing  Controlled – voluntary use of attention and conscious effort (studying, planning, etc.)  Automatic – performed with little or no conscious effort (driving, etc.) o Divided Attention – ability to perform more than one activity at the same time  More difficult when tasks require similar mental resources  The Emotional Unconscious o Emotional and motivational processes also operate unconsciously and influence behaviour  The Modular Mind o Many models propose that the mind is a collection of largely separate but interacting modules o Information processing subsystems that perform tasks related to sensation, perception, memory, problem solving, etc. o Subjective experience of consciousness arises from the integrated activity of the various modules Circadian Rhythms: Our Daily Biological Clocks  Circadian rhythms – daily biological cycles within the body that occur on a 24 hour cycle  Most rhythms regulated by brain’s suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in the hypothalamus o Linked to pineal gland, which secretes melatonin (relaxing hormone) at night when SNC is less active to reduce secretion  Gradual and sudden environmental changes can disrupt our circadian rhythms o Seasonal affective disorder – cyclic tendency to become psychologically depressed during certain months of the year o Jet lag caused by change in typical daily time cycle Sleep and Dreaming  Brain’s electrical activity mostly beta waves (high frequency, low amplitude) while awake  Alpha waves (lower frequency, slightly higher amplitude) while relaxed and frowsy Stages of Sleep  Stages 1 through 4 o Stage 1 – alpha waves turn into theta waves  Lasts a few minutes, can be easily awakened o Stage 2 – sleep spindles in brain-wave activity indicate transition to stage o Stage 3 – regular appearance of slow and large delta waves o Stage 4 – delta waves dominate brain wave activity  Within 60-90 minutes of falling asleep, stages proceed through 1-2-3-4-3-2  REM sleep – periods of sleep involving rapid eye movements o Periods of REM comes following stage 2 sleep o Period where dream occurs  Dreams can occur during non-REM sleep, but not as vivid o REM sleep paralysis – brain sends signals to make voluntary muscle movements more difficult  Body is highly aroused, but little or no muscle movement How Much Do We Sleep  Newborns began by sleeping 16 hours a day, almost half in REM  As people age, three important changes occur: o Sleep less (19-30 year olds: 8 hours average, elderly: under 6 hours average) o REM sleep dramatically decreases during early childhood, but remains stable afterwards o Time spent in stages 3 and 4 decline  Both genetics and environment can affect length of sleep  Sleep deprivation causes negative impact on functioning, mood, cognition, and physical performance Why Do We Sleep  Restoration model – sleep recharges our run-down bodies and allows us to recover from physical and mental fatigue o Researchers believe adenosine (decreases alertness, promotes sleep) may play a role in why we sleep  Evolutionary/circadian sleep models – sleep’s main purpose is to increase a species’ chances of survival in relation to its environmental demands o Those who left shelter at night would be killed by nighttime predators o Circadian pattern developed as adaptation to environment  REM sleep is vital for mental functioning o Memory consolidation – ability to transform short-term memory into long-term memory  REM may strengthen neural circuits required for this process Sleep Disorders  Insomnia – chronic difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restful sleep o Most common sleep disorder o Caused by genetics, medical conditions, mental disorders, drugs, stress, poor lifestyle, and circadian disruptions  Narcolepsy – extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks that may last from one minute to one hour o Narcoleptics may go right into REM sleep  REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder – loss of muscle tone that causes normal REM sleep paralysis is absent  Sleep Apnea – disorder characterized by a repeated cycle in which the sleeper stops breathing, momentarily awakens, and then returns to sleep o Caused by an obstruction in the upper airways  Sleepwalking – typically occurs during stage 3 or 4 sleep  Nightmares – frightening dreams that occur often during REM sleep in the hours prior to awakening  Night Terrors – sleeper suddenly sits up and screams o No recollection of the episode in the morning o Most common during stage 3 or 4 sleep The Nature of Dreams  Dreams most common when brain is most active (brain activity highest during REM sleep, and during final hours of sleep)  Freud’s psychoanalytic theory o Main purpose of dreaming is wish fulfillment (gratification of unconscious desires and needs)  Desires are too unacceptable to be consciously acknowledged and fulfilled in real life
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