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Chapter 5

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Kris Gerhardt

Levels of Awareness • No Awareness – unconscious • Subconscious Awareness – things you do without thinking, such as walking up stairs • Primary Awareness – normal level of awareness • Self-Awareness – metacognition, thinking about what and how you are thinking • Altered States of Awareness – changing (un)conscious activity in an artificial fashion Sleep and Waking • The sleep-wake cycle – Infants sleep 2/3 of day, senior sleep ¼ of day • Why do we sleep? – Accumulated wastes, depleted reserves – Bottom line – we don’t know !!! – *People need a minimum of 6 solid hours of sleep per night. (brain dumps out irrelevant information from the day and stores memories/emotions). More like 7-8 hours when brain is more busy, such as when studying for exams. • Circadian Rhythms – Day and night people – Controlled by hypothalamus; pineal gland • Sleep Deprivation – Reduces function of the immune system, supresses it – Time required to fall asleep drops significantly after only one sleepless night • Circadian rhythms regulated by suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) • SCN neurons link to pineal gland, which secretes melatonin • Consciousness includes awareness of • a. external events only • b. internal sensations only • c. self only • d. external events, internal sensations, and self • An electroencephalograph is a device that measures • a. glucose metabolism in the brain • b. electrical activity of the brain • True or False • In general, research into circadian rhythms has found that overall level of alertness and body temperature are negatively correlated. TRUE 9 What happens when we sleep? • Sleep – differentiated into stages • –Differences in muscle tension, eye movements 1 – Stage 1: light sleep, EEG shows synchrony (neurons start firing more together) – Stage 2: K-complexes, sleep spindles (which are when neurons are falling out of synchrony) – Stage 3: increased sleep spindles, Delta waves (more synchrony) – Stage 4: Delta waves predominate, night terrors (clusters of neurons firing at the exact same time) – night terrors, bed wetting, sleep walking, etc. • Progression through stages (1,2,3,4,3,2,REM) takes about 60 min REM (happens just before return to stage 1) • EEG – alpha waves – should be awake • Decrease in muscle activity • Increase in cortical blood flow • Dreams (not all dreams, but most, occur in REM sleep) • Length of REM sleep 10-60min • What do we know about REM sleep – REM rebound (catching up on REM sleep from previous nights with less sleep) – REM sleep shuts down muscle activity (basically paralyzed). 13 Sleep to Wakefulness • RAS responsible for wakefulness – Inhibition by thalamus, hypothalamus – sleep • Role of hypothalamus – Damage produces permanent wakefulness – Mechanisms related to regulation of body temp. • Lower Brainstem – Raphe nucleus – Locus coeruleus – shuts down muscle activity •Responsible for dream related phenomenon (acting out their dreams) – Preoptic area – increased brain wave synchrony • Sleepwalking – NOT during REM sleep 14 Activity of neurons in the locus coeruleus during wakefulness and stages of sleep 15 Sleep Summary • During 24 hr. cycle – Areas in brainstem and hypothalamus become active – Inhibit RAS impulses to cortex – REM sleep – impulses to motor cortex blocked – Sleep ends when these areas decrease activity – Circadian Rhythms – still a mystery? • Why do we need to spend a 1/3 of our life unconscious? •
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