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Psychology (1,855)
PS101 (450)


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Wilfrid Laurier University
Jim Mc Cutcheon

10/27/2013 Biological Rhythms A periodic, more or less regular fluctuation in a biological system Rhythms can be synchronized with external (entrainment) or internal (endogenous) cues Biological rhythms influence effectiveness of medication, alertness, and job performance. Circadian Rhythms occur approximately every 24 hours Commonly entrained to external time cues Endogenous rhythm averages around 24.3 hrs Removed from cues about 10% of people have clocks running slower and 10% running faster Increase in accidents at transition to Daylight Savings Time Controlled by biological clock in suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) Regulates levels of melatonin secreted by pineal gland Out of Sync? Internal desynchronization A state in which biological rhythms are not in phase (synchronized) with one another Changes in your normal routines can cause desynchronization May also occur in response to jet lag, rotating shift work, daylight savings time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ygvt7G1DLs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUtyaS3ga0A Moods and Long-term Rhythms Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) not a form of desynchronization A disorder in which a person experiences depression during the winter and an improvement of mood in the spring Treatments may involve photography or exposure to fluorescent light Inconsistent findings with respect to prevalence (2-20%) and effectiveness or treatments Moods and Menstrual Cycles Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Vague cluster of physical and emotional symptoms associated with the days preceding menstruation that was labeled as an illness Physical symptoms: (cramps, water retention are common) Emotional symptoms: (irritability, depression) are rare Moods, PMS, & Research Estimates of prevalence range from 13% to “most women” Expectations and beliefs may be related to PMS symptom reporting Evidence supports that women often experience physical symptoms, but emotional symptoms are relatively rare Recent research suggests it is a social construction http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/is-pms-a- myth-one-study-says-yes/article4621996/ The Rhythms of Sleep During sleep, we cycle between periods of REM & non-REM (90 minutes) Rapid eye movement (REM) – characterized by eye movement, loss of muscle tone, and dreaming Non-REM (NREM) sleep – characterized by fewer eye movements than in REM Divided into 4 stages with different brain waves Relaxed brain associated with alpha waves The stages of sleep Stage 1 Feel on the edge of consciousness, light sleep Stage 2 Presence of sleep spindles; minor noises wont disturb you Stage 3 Delta waves begin; breathing and pulse have slowed down; hard to awaken Stage 4 Delta waves predominant; deep sleep; most likely stage for sleepwalking Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep increased eye movement, loss of muscle tone and dreaming An overview of the cycle of sleep Why We Sleep Exact function of sleep unclear… But allows for certain processes to occur Body eliminates waste product from muscle Repairs cells Conserves and replenishes energy stores Strengthens immune system Recovers abilities lost during the day necessary for normal mental functioning Sleeplessness Chronic sleep deprivation Increases cortisol levels which can impair neurons involved in learning and memory Chronic insomnia Difficulty falling or staying asleep; (3.3 million Canadian adults experiences this) Daytime sleepiness linked to inadequate sleep during night, associated with decreased mental performance Sleep Disorders Sleep Apnea Disorder in which breathing briefly stops during sleep, causing person to choke and gasp and momentarily awaken Narcolepsy (rat race Mr. bean) Disorder involving sudden and unpredictable daytime attacks of sleepiness or lapses into REM sleep REM behavior disorder Muscle paralysis associated with REM sleep does not occur, and sleeper (mostly males) may “act out” their dreams Benefits of Sleep Memory consolidation Process by which the synaptic changes associated with recently stored memories become durable and stable, causing memory to become more reliable Linked to REM and slow wave sleep May also enhance problem-solving abilities Exploring the Dream World Most people dream, although, may not be aware Lucid dream: dream in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming, may be able to exert some control over dream Various theories proposed to explain the purpose of dreams Psychoanalytic, problem-focused, cognitive, activation-synthesis Dreams as Unconscious Wishes Psychoanalytic approach to dreaming (Freud) Dreams provide insight into unconsciousness wishes and desires – “a royal road to the unconsciousness” According to psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, the latent content of a dream is the hidden psychological meaning of the dream. Freud believed that the content of dreams is related to wish fulfillment and suggested that dreams have two types of content: manifest content and latent content. The manifest content is the actual literal subject-matter of the dream, while the latent content is the underlying meaning of these symbols. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWMEnkyL_qA Dreams as Problem Solving Problem-focused approach to dreams Explanation in which the symbols and metaphors in a dream do not disguise its true meaning; they convey it Dreams often contain material to our current concerns May provide opportunities to resolve problems Dreaming is thinking Cognitive approach is dreaming Dreams reflect modifications of cognitive activity that goes on when we are awake E.g. most likely to dream about topics that occupy waking thoughts Cut off from sensory input and external feedback during dreaming Dream as Brain Activity activation-synthesis theory of
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