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Chapter 5

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Kathy Foxall

Chapter 5: Body Rhythms and Mental States Biological Rhythms: The Tides of Experiene  Consciousness o Awareness of oneself and the environment  Biological rhythm o Periodic, more or less regular fluctuation in a biological system; may or may not have psychological implications  Entrainment o Synchronization of biological rhythms with external cues, such as fluctuations in daylight  Endogenous o Generated from within rather than by external cues  Circadian rhythms o Biological rhythm with a period of about 24 hours Circadian Rhythms  Usually entrained to them, follow strict 24 hour schedule The Body’s Clock  SCN o Located in hypothalamus, contains biological clock that governs circadian rhythms o Neural pathways in eye transmit info to SCN, respond to changes in light and dark o Regulates fluctuating levels of hormones, like melatonin o Melatonin  Hormone secreted by pineal gland, involved in regulation of circadian rhythms o During darkness melatonin rises, falls during brightness When the clock is out of sync  Internal desynchronization o State in which biological rhythms are not in phase with one another o Occurs during jet lag, hormone cycles affected o Occurs when a worker adjusts to a new shift o People need time to adapt, and if given time, will do fine o Hard to resynchronize due to illness, mealtimes, and also due to genetic differences Moods and Long Term Rhythms Does the season affect moods?  Seasonal affective disorder o Depression due to winter months, therapists use light as treatment, rhythms are out of sync o Symptoms reduced when exposed to bright light after waking or to light that slowly became brighter  From clinical cases, not controlled studies  Much more common in women than men Does the menstrual cycle affect moods?  Physical symptoms associated with menstruation, including cramps, breast tenderness, and water retention  May make women grumpy or unhappy, but emotional symptoms relatively rare, if not non existent The Rhythms of Sleep The Realms of Sleep  Discoveries occurred by Nathanial Kleitman, studied sleep  REM Sleep o Sleep periods characterized by eye movement, loss of muscle tone, and dreaming o Increased blood pressure, breathing speeds up o Alternate periods with NON REM  Non Rem stages o Originally close eyes alpha waves occur, these slow down and you fall asleep o Stage 1  Waves become small and irregular, drift into light sleep o Stage 2  Short bursts of rapid high peaking waves called sleep spindles emitted o Stage 3  Adding to waves of stage 2, delta waves emitted, very slow waves with high peaks  Slow breath/pulse o Stage 4  Delta waves take over, in deep sleep  Loud noises taken to away you  After you move back in reverse order, brain emits long burst of rapid irregular waves  Heart rate increases, blood pressure rises  Twitching occurs, erection occurs while other muscles (MUSCLE PARALYSIS) go limp  Entered REM/paradoxical sleep (dreams most likely to occur)  Sometimes people emerge from REM before muscle paralysis has disappeared, become aware of inability to move, start hallucinating  Time and stages of REM and Non Rem vary Why we Sleep  Provides time to eliminate waste, recover, regenerate energy, strengthen immune system  Levels of hormones necessary for movement decline The Mental Consequences of Sleeplessness  Chronic sleep increases levels of stress hormone cortisol, which damages or impairs brain cells necessary for learning and memory  New brain cells may either fail to develop or mature abnormally  Sleep apnea o Disorder in breathing briefly stops during sleep, causing the person to choke and gasp and momentarily awaken o Common in older males and obese o Can cause high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat  Narcolepsy o Disorder involving sudden and unpredictable daytime attacks of sleepiness or lapses into REM  REM behaviour disorder o Muscle paralysis that normally occurs during rem is absent/incomplete, sleeper is able to act out dreams The Mental Benefits of Sleep  Consolidation o Process by which synaptic changes associated with recently stored memories become durable and stable, causing memory to become more reliable  Some negative results  Those who get no rem sleep have improved memory for perceptual/motor skills Exploring the Dream World  Lucid dream o A dream in which the dreamer is aware of dreaming Dreams as Unconscious Wishes  Sigmund Freud o Express unconscious wishes as desires, often sexual or violent in nature o If anxiety is aroused, dream must disguise and distort it otherwise dream will wake the person o Dream resembles psychoanalysis, severe mental disturbance, must be kept delusional to keep anxiety at bay  Manifest content o Aspects that we experience during sleep and remember upon waking  Latent content o Unconscious wishes expressed symbolically Dreams as Efforts to Deal with Problems  Reflects ongoing conscious preoccupations of waking life (concerns over work, sex, or he
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