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Chapter 5

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York University
PSYC 1010
Gerry Goldberg

Chapter 5 - Mind wanderers refer to people’s experiences of task unrelated thoughts. It is associated with less accurate awareness of external info and that there may even be a connection between mind wandering and creativity in some contexts - Controlled and automatic processing: the distinction between what we control about our mental processes and what just seems to happen Consciousness and brain activity - The search for brain activity associated with conscious experience is an extremely active area of research and theorizing - Current views range from those that suggest specific neurons are associated with distinct conscious experiences to suggestions that conscious experience is more the result of holistic procession in the brain - The electroencephalograph is a device that monitors the electrical activity of the brain over time by means of recording electrodes attached to the surface of the scalp - Beta waves: normal waking thought, alert problem solving - Alpha : deep relaxation, blank mind, meditation - Theta: light sleep - Delta: deep sleep Featured study - Effects of differences in cognitive ability on people’s experiences of their own everyday mental life, their stream of consciousness. They examine the effects of differences in a pre-existent cognitive ability on the wandering nature of our stream of consciousness - Working memory capacity is typically assessed by giving participants a series of numbers or letters to remember while having them perform another task at the same time - Results: mind wandering was relatively frequent; the rate of reported mind wandering was about 33% of the time. Mind wandering was more common in certain contexts. For example, wandering thoughts tended to occur more frequently when they were tired, stressed or involved in boring activities. Less mind wandering when participants were happy, felt competent, and were involved in enjoyable activities - Low working memory capacity doesn’t mean more wandering thoughts just a higher frequency in specific situations Biological rhythms and sleep - Biological rhythms: periodic fluctuations in physiological functioning - Circadian rhythms: 24 hour biological cycles found in humans and many other species o People generally fall asleep as their body temp drops and wakes up when it rises o When exposed to light some receptors in the retina send direct inputs to a small structure in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. The SCN sends signals to the nearby pineal gland whose secretion of the hormone melatonin plays a key role in adjusting biological clocks o Sleep debt accumulates and for everything to return to normal it must be paid back by getting extra sleep; must be paid back hour for hour o Giving people small amounts of melatonin which appears to regulate the biological clock o Researchers have also tried carefully timed exposure to bright light as a treatment to realign the circadian rhythms of rotating shift workers in industrial settings The sleep and waking cycle - Electromygraph records muscular activity and tension and an electrooculograph records eye movement - As the sleeper descends through stages 2, 3, 4 respiration rate, HR, muscle tension and body temp continue to decline. - Brain waves become higher in amp and slower in freq as the body moves into a deeper form of sleep (slow wave) and reverses itself and the sleeper gradually moves back upward through lighter stages - REM: deep stage of sleep as in its hard to wake people up from it ; relatively deep stage of sleep marked by REM, high frequency and low amp brain waves and vivid dreaming - Adults spend 15-20% of their sleep time in slow wave sleep and another 20-25% in REM ; slow wave decreases in adulthood - Infants spend much more of their sleep time in REM and adults; 50% but declines to 30% - Average amount of total sleep time declines with advancing age - Cultures closer to the equator sleep/take naps more - Reticular formation: brain structure that’s important to sleep and wakefulness ; the ascending reticular activating system consists of the afferent fibres running through the reticular formation that influence physiological arousal - Pons and midbrain: critical to generation of REM sleep - Medulla, thalamus, hypothalamus, and limbic system: implicated n the control of sleep and waking - Serotonin is GABA appear to play esp. important roles in regulation of sleep - REM SLEEP: wide awake mostly beta waves, rapid lateral eye movements, vivid dreams, difficult to awaken, 20% of total sleep, decreases with age, dominates late in sleep cycle - NREM SLEEP: lots of delta waves, no/slow eye movements, less frequent dreaming, easier to awaken, 80% of total sleep, increases with age, dominates early in sleep cycle - Sleep deprivation: REM and slow wave sleep contribute to firming up learning that takes place during the day. Sleep seems to enhance subjects’ memory of specific learning activities that occurred during the day - 78 types of Sleep disorders: - Insomnia: most common sleep disorder. It refers to the chronic problems in getting adequate sleep. Three basic patterns: difficulty in falling asleep initially, difficultly in remaining asleep, and persistent early morning awakening. o 34-35% of adults and more common in older people and women. o Treatment: drugs that affect the GABA synapses. Sedatives decrease the proportion of time spent in slow wave sleep and some of the older drugs also reduce REM sleep o Behavioural treatments are just as effective as medication in the short term and that behavioural interventions produce more long lasting benefits than drugs - Narcolepsy: disease marked by sudden and irresistible onsets of sleep during normal waking periods - Sleep apnea involves frequent reflexive gasping for air that awakens a person and disrupts sleep - Night mares are anxiety arousing dreams that lead to awakening, usually from REM sleep - Night terrors: are abrupt awakenings from NREM sleep accompanied by intense autonomic arousal and feelings of panic. Victims let out a piercing cry, bolt upright and then stare into space Dreams - Dreams distinctly associated with males tend to be (+) in nature while those with females then to be (-) - The relationship of daily stress to dreams may depend on a variety of factors including the nature of the stressor. For instance an imminent surgery might affect dream content more than an impending exam - Day residue: when contents of daytime spill into dreams Hypnosis - Many interesting effects can be produced through hypnosis: anaesthesia, sensory distortions and hallucinations, disinhibition, post hypnotic suggestion and amnesia - Dissociation: splitting off mental processes into two separate simultaneous streams of awareness. I.e can’t feel pain because it isn’t registered in the portion of consciousness that communicates with other people - Meditation: refers to a family of practices that train attention to heighten awareness and bring mental processes under greater voluntary control Drugs - Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that modify mental, emotional, or behavioural functioning - Narcotics/opiates: drugs derived from opium that are capable of relieving pain o Can be injected, smoke, oral desired effects: euphoria, relaxation, anxiety, reduction pain relief - Sedatives: sleep inducing drugs that tend to decrease CNS activation and behavioural activity o Oral injected desired effect: euphoria, relaxation, anxiety reduction, reduced inhibition - Stimulants: drugs that increase CNS activation and behavioural activity o Oral, sniffed, injected, freebased, smoked desired effect: elation, excitement, increased alertness, increased energy, reduced fatigued - Hallucinogens: have powerful effects on mental and emotional functioning, marked most prominently by distortions in sensory and perceptual experience o Oral desired effects: increased sensory awareness, euphoria, altered perceptions, hallucinations, insightful experiences - Cannabis: hemp plant from which marijuana, hashish, and THC are derived o Smoked, oral  desired effects: mild euphoria, relaxation, altered perceptions, enhanced mental awareness - Alcohol: containing ethyl alcohol o Drinking desired effects: mild euphoria, relaxation, anxiety reduction, reduced inhibitions - MDMA: ecstasy is a compound drug related to both amphetamines and hallucinogens esp. mescaline o Feel warm, friendly, euphoric, sensual, insightful, and empathetic but alert and energetic - The frequency and quantity consumed often play a role; drug impact depends on age, mood, motivation, personality, previous experience with the drug, body weight and physiology, the dose and potency of the drug, the method of administration and the setting in which the drug is taken - If someone EXPECTS the drug to have a certain effect these expectations may contribute to the experience - Tolerance: progressive decrease in a person’s responsiveness to a drug - Psychoactive drugs work by altering neurotransmitter activity in the brain - Amphetamines mainly increase the release of DA and NE by presynaptic neurons. They interfere with reuptake of DA and NE from synaptic clefts - Coke blocks reuptake of DA, NE and serotonin synapses - Both amphetamines and cocaine, elevated activity in certain dopamine circuits is believed to be crucial to the drugs’ pleasurable and rewarding effects - THC hijacks the brain’s cannabinoid receptors and eventually leading to increased release of endorphins and activation of the dopamine circuits associated with reward Drug dependence - Physical dependence exists when a person must continue to take a drug to avoid withdrawal illness - Psychological dependence exists when a person must continue to take a drug to satisfy intense mental and emotional craving for the drug - Drugs that are CNS depressants carry the greatest risk of overdose - Psychology evolves in a sociohistorical context, that experience is highly subjective, culture influences many aspects of behaviour, and that psychology is characterized by extensive theoretical diversity Application - Napping: can be refreshing if they don’t interfere with night time sleep - Many drugs reduce the time spend in REM sleep and slow wave sleep - Yawning: cools the brain; correlated with sleepiness and boredom - Snoring: more frequent 35+, overweight, men Critical thinking - Definitions: experts have the power to make definitions and generally do not emerge out of research ; therefore we should look at the definition itself and its source Chapter 6 Classic conditioning - Classically conditioned responses have traditionally been characterized as reflexes and are said to be elicited(draw forth) because most of them are automatic and involuntary - Regulate everyday responses like phobias, mild fears, and pleasant emotional responses - Acquisition: refers to the initial stage of learning something - Spontaneous recovery: is the reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of nonexposure to the CS ; however the response may be weak. Also if a response is extinguished in a different environment than it was acquired, the extinguished response will reappear if the animal is returned to the original environment where acquisition took place...therefore extinction does not appear to lead to unlearning - Stimulus discrimination: occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus does not respond in the same way to the new stimuli that are similar to the original stimulus. I.e dog responding to all sound of all cars but if there’s something distinctive about my car then the dog will gradually respond to only my car and not other cars; requires that the original CS (my car) continues to be paired with the UCS (my arrival) while similar stimuli (other cars) not be paired with the UCS - High order conditioning: a conditioned stimulus functions as if it were an unconditioned stimulus ; it shows that classical conditioning does not depend on the original UCS, the CS will do just fine Operant conditioning - Classical conditioning sometimes contributes to the regulation of voluntary behaviour and operant conditioning can influence involuntary, visceral responses and that the two types of conditioning jointly and interactively govern some aspects of behaviour - Thorndike’s Law of effect: if a response in the presence of a stimulus leads satisfying effects, the association between the stimulus and the response is strengthened - Skinner box: a small enclosure in which an animal can make a specific response that is recorded while the consequences of the response are systematically controlled - Because operant responses are said to be voluntary they are said to be emitted rather than elicited; send forth - Acquisition: gradually increases because of reinforcement, possibly shaping. Shaping: which consists of the reinforcement of closer and closer approximations of a desired response ; necessary when an organism does not emit desired response on its own i.e training animals to perform impressive tricks - Extinction: gradual weakening and disappearance of a response tendency because the response is no longer followed by a reinforcer. Extinction begins in operant conditioning whenever previously available reinforcement is stopped. I.e experimenter stops giving food - Resistance to extinction occurs when an organism continues to make a response after delivery of the reinforcer has been terminated - Discriminative stimuli are cues that influence operant behaviour by indicating the probable consequences (reinforcement or nonreinforcement) of a response i.e birds learn that hunting for worms is likely to be reinforced after a rain - The key dependent variable in operant conditioning is the rate of response over time, which is tracked by a device called cumulative recorder. When responding over time is shown graphically, steep slope indicate rapid responding - Ratio schedules require the organism to make the designated response a certain number of times to gain each reinforcer o Fixed ratio schedule, the reinforcer is given after a fixed number of nonreinforced th responses i.e every 10 try o Variable ratio schedule, the reinforcer is given after a variable number of nonreinforced responses. The number of nonreinforced responses varies around a predetermined average - Interval schedules require a time period to pass between the presentation of the reinforces o Fixed interval schedule, the reinforcer is given for the first response that occurs after a fixed time interval has elapsed i.e get treat first try then after two mins you can try again o Variable response schedule, the reinforcer is given for the first response after a variable time interval has elapsed. The interval length varies around a predetermined average - In general, ratio schedules tend to produce more rapid responding than interval schedules because faster responding leads to reinforcement sooner when a ratio schedule is in effect. Variable schedules tend to generate steadier response rates and greater resistance to extinction than their fixed counterparts - Escape learning: an organism acquir
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