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Chapter 5

Chapter 5- Variations in Consciousness.docx

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PSYC 1010
Gerald Goldberg

Chapter 5 Mind wandering- people’s experience of task-unrelated thoughts - People do this 15-50% of their time - Less likely to occur if task you are engaged in is one that requires significant cognitive resources - Associated w/less accurate awareness of external information Controlled processes - Judgments or thoughts that we exert some control over (we intend to occur) Automatic processes - w/o intentional control or effort Blink- how quickly + effortlessly some of our judgments + choices seem to be made Conscious thought is constrained by capacity limitations such that you often consider only a small subset of all the relevant information when making a decision or evaluation. Advantage of unconscious thought is that it doesn’t have the same capacity constraints Electroencephalograph (EEG) - device that monitors the electrical activity of the brain over time by means of recording electrodes attached to the surface of the scalp - four principal bands (based on frequency of the brain waves)- cycle per second - beta (13-24cps)- normal walking though, alert problem solving - alpha (8-12cps)- deep relaxation, blank mind, meditation - theta (4-7cps)- light sleep - delta (under 4cps)- deep sleep - different patterns of EEG activity are associated w/different sates of consciousness Variations in consciousness are shaped in part by biological rhythms Biological rhythms- periodic fluctuations in physiological functioning (biological clock) Ciracadian rhythms- 24 hour biological cycles found in humans + many other species - Daily cycles also produce rhythmic variations in BP, urine production, other cognitive performance - Can leave individuals physiologically primed to fall asleep more easily at a particular time of day (time varies) - Daily exposure to light readjusts people’s biological clock - Some receptors in retina send direct inputs to small structure in hypothalamus called suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)- sends signals to nearby pineal gland (secretion of hormone melatonin)- adjusts clock - Regulated by multiple internal clocks with a central pacemaker located in SCN Out of sync w/ciracadian rhythm causes jet lag - Make you feel fatigued, sluggish, irritable during daytime - Chronic jet lag- deficits in cognitive performance - Readjustment process takes about a day for each time zone (when flying) eastward - Two third of day going westward (easier b/c easier to lengthen your day) Workers- less sleep when going on rotating shifts (increase accidents and mental, physical health decreases) Melatonin can reduce effects of jet lag by helping travelers resynchronize biological clock (inconsistent research) Electromyograph (EMG)- records muscular activity + tension Electroculograph (EOG)- records eye movement Stage 1- brief transitional stage of light sleep that usually last only a few (1-7) minutes - Theta waves are prominent - Hypnic jerk (brief muscular contractions that occur in people falling asleep) Stage 2- lasts about 10-25 minutes - Brief bursts of high-frequency brain waves (sleep spindles)-EEG Slow wave sleep (SWS) - Sleep stages 3 + 4, during which high-amplitude, low frequency delta waves become prominent in EEG recordings - Reach this point about 30 min + stay for 30 min - Cycle reveres itself + sleeper gradually moves back upward through the lighter stages th REM (rapid eye movement)- 5 stage of sleep - Little ripples move back + forth across the person’s eyelids - This stage tends to be a “deeper” sleep in conventional sense that people are relatively hard to awaken from it - Sleeper is virtually paralyzed - Marked by irregular breathing, pulse rate and relaxed muscle tone - Most “dreams” REM sleep - relatively deep stage of sleep marked by rapid eye movements; high frequency, low amplitude brain waves; vivid dreaming Non-REM (NREM) sleep - sleep stages 1-4, which are marked by an absence of REM, relatively little dreaming, and varied EEG activity People repeat sleep cycle about 4 times - First REM period is short (only few minutes) - Subsequent REM period get progressively longer (peak 40-60 min) - NREM intervals get shorter, descents more shallow nd - Slow wave sleep mainly occurs early in cycle, REM sleep piles up in 2 half of sleep cycle - Young adults- 15-20% in slow-wave, 20-25% REM - Babies- 50% REM - Declines to 30% in first year (then to 20%) - Thru age, stage 1 becomes longer, decline in slow wave sleep (stronger in men)- health problems interfere Ascending reticular system (ARAS) - Consist of afferent fibres running thru the reticular formation that influence physiological arousal - Brain structure that’s important to sleep + wakefulness (arousal + alertness) - Constellation of brain structures + neurotransmitters contribute to regulation of sleep and waking cycle Sleep Restriction - Occurs when people make do w/substantially less sleep than normal over a period of time - Effects depend on amount of sleep lost + on nature of task at hand - Negative effect when subjects are asked to work on long-lasting, hard, monotonous task (or restrict sleep to 5 hours) - Not good at predicting if and when they will fall asleep - Sleep is important in our ability to regulate our emotional life during our waking hours Selective Deprivation - Effects of REM deprivation- little impact on day-time functioning and task performance - Sleep pattern changes (rebound effect)- more time in REM - REM and slow wave sleep must have specific needs - Contributes to leaning during day (each promote different types of memory) - Memory consolidation- effect of firming up learning that took place during the day - REM sleep - Fosters neurogenesis (formation of new neurons)- contributes to learning - Hippocampus- critical for formation of memories Sleep Loss + Health - Hormonal changes that increase hunger (obesity) - Impaired immune system functioning - Sleep less than 7 hours (mortality risk increase) - More than 8 too (especially 10+ hours) Insomnia- chronic problems in getting adequate sleep - Difficulty in falling asleep initially - Difficulty remaining asleep - Persistent early morning awakening - Day time fatigue, impaired functioning, accidents-risk, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, health problems - Prevalance - Increases w/age (50% more in women) - 34-35% suffers them (half severe) - Pseudo-insomnia- they just think they are getting inadequate amount of sleep (ppl underestimate sleep hours) - Causes - Side effect of emotional problems (ex: depression, stress, pressure) - Health problems (ex: asthma, ulcer, back pain) - Drugs (ex: cocaine, amphetamines) - Higher level of physiological arousal - Treatment - Drugs- benzodiazepine sedatives (relaxes anxiety), non-benzodiazepine sedatives  Reduces nighttime awakening and increase total sleep  Poor long-term solution (carry over effects, overdose, becomes less effective) - Relaxation procedures and behavior intervention  More long lasting benefits  Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)- 70-80% benefit from it Narcolepsy- disease marked by sudden + irresistible onset of sleep during normal waking periods - Goes directly from wakefulness into REM sleep (10-20 min)- only 0.05% of population - Appear to be genetically predisposed to disease - Stimulant drugs- used to treat (modest success) Sleep apnea- frequent, reflective gasping for air that awakens a person and disrupts sleep - Stops breathing for minimum 10 seconds - At least 5 evens per hour of sleep - Heart failure, loud snoring - Leads to excessive daytime sleepiness - Increase vulnerability to hypertension, coronary disease, stroke (3x mortality risk) - Treatment: lifestyle modification, drug therapy, special masks, oral devices (improve air flow), craniofacial surgery Nightmares- anxiety-arousing dreams that lead to awakening, usually from REM sleep - Associated w/individual well being - Stress, neuroticism, anxiety, depression - Reflects a failure in emotional regulation - 10% of adults (persistent nightmares reflect an emotional disturbance) Night terrors - Abrupt awakening from NREM sleep, accompanied by intense autonomic arousal and feelings of panic - Increases HR, usually occurring in stage 4 sleep early in night - Simple frightening image- fades quickly + able to go back to sleep - Often in aged 3-8 - Not emotional disturbance (no treatme
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