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Chapter 6

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Psychology 1000

Chapter 6: States of Consciousness  Consciousness – moment to moment awareness of ourselves and our environment  Characteristics of Consciousness -subjective and private -dynamic (ever changing) -intimately connected with the process of selective attention  Measuring States of Consciousness -self reports (people describe their inner experiences) -physiological measures (correspondence between bodily states and mental processes, i.e. EEG recordings of brain activity)  Freud’s Levels of Awareness -conscious: contains thoughts, perceptions, and other mental events that we are aware of -preconscious: mental events that are just outside our current awareness and can be easily recalled under certain conditions -unconscious: content that has been put in the back of the mind and cannot be easily recalled; can arouse anxiety, guilt, and negative emotions  The Cognitive Unconscious -reject the idea of an unconscious mind, driven by urges and conflicts -view conscious and unconscious mentality complementary forms of information processing** -controlled processing: voluntary use of attention and conscious effort -automatic processing: carry out familiar tasks under constant circumstances (i.e. eating with utensils); DISADVANTAGE: reduce chances of finding new ways to approach a problem -divided attention: ability to perform more than one activity at the same time (multitask); DISADVANTAGE: can cause accidents (i.e. people driving and talking on their cell phones)  Emotional Unconscious -emotional and motivational processes operate unconsciously and influence behaviour  Modular Mind -the mind is a collection of largely separate but interacting modules (information-processing subsystems within the brain that perform tasks related to sensation, perception, memory, problem-solving, emotion, motor control, etc.)  Circadian Rhythms -daily biological cycle in our 24 hour cycles in our lives -operated by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in hypothalamus; the brain’s “clock” -linked to the pineal gland, which secretes melatonin (relaxing effect on body) -SCN neurons active during day = less melatonin (increased alertness and temperature) -SCN neurons are inactive at night = more melatonin (sleep and relaxation) -free running circadian rhythm: desynchronized from 24 hour day cycle (usually a longer “natural” cycle of 24.2 to 24.8 hour days) -influence our tendency if we are “morning” or “night” people  Environmental Disorders of Circadian Rhythms -seasonal affective disorder (SAD): cycle tendency to become psychologically depressing during certain times of the year; usually during the fall/winter due to lack of sunlight -jet lag: flying across several time zones in one day; fly east= lose hours from day; fly west = day becomes longer than 24 hours -nightshift work: work in the night, sleep during the day; disrupt circadian rhythms -Daylight Savings Time: lose one hour sleep = increased likelihood of death  Stages of Sleep -EEG shows BETA WAVES (high frequency, low amplitude) when awake and alert, shows ALPHA WAVES when relaxed and drowsy -Stage 1: theta waves, light sleep from which you can be easily awakened -Stage 2: sleep spindles, relaxed muscles, slower breathing and heart rate, harder to awaken -Stage 3: very large and slow delta waves -Stage 4: delta waves dominate EEG pattern, “slow wave sleep” -Stage Cycle of Sleep: 1-2-3-4-3-2  REM Sleep -rapid eye movement; DREAMS OCCUR DURING THIS STAGE -heart rate quickens, rapid breathing, increase brain wave activity -REM sleep paralysis: muscles, arms, torso, and legs become relaxed; the appearance of sleeping peacefully because there is little movement -REM dreams are story-like with vivid sensory and motor elements and perception of reality -non-REM dreams resemble a tableau more than a story with a plot; resembles daytime thoughts, fixed and not moving  Brain and Environment -different brain stem area (between RETICULAR FORMATION and PONS) plays a key role in initiating REM sleep; contains “REM-sleep On” neurons that activate other brain systems that control other aspects of REM sleep (i.e. eye movements, muscle paralysis, genital arousal) -People sleep 15 to 60 minutes longer per night during the fall/winter  Three Important Changes in Sleep 1. We sleep less: 15-24 year olds average 8.5 hours sleep per day, and the elderly average 6 hours 2. REM sleep decrease dramatically during infancy and early childhood, but remains stable thereafter 3. Time spent in stages 3 and 4 declines. By late adulthood,
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