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Modules 7-10.docx

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York University
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Modules 7-10 - Brain states and consciousness - Importance of cognition (mental processes) - Consciousness: our awareness of ourselves and our environment o Awareness allows us to assemble information o Flit between various states of consciousness (sleeping, waking) - In a motionless body the researchers concluded the brain (and mind) may be still active - If a stimulus activates enough brain wide coordinated neural activity with strong signals in one brain area triggering activity elsewhere it crosses a threshold for consciousness - Weaker stimulus perhaps a word flashed briefly to consciously perceive may trigger localized visual cortex activity that quickly dies out - A stronger stimulus will engage other brain area (language, attention, memory) - Beneath the surface, unconscious information processing occurs simultaneously on many parallel tracks - Dual processing: the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks - Blind sight: a condition in which a person can respond to a visual stimulus without consciously experiencing it o Vision is a dual processing system o Visual perception track enables us to think about the world to recognize things and to plan the future actions o Visual action track guides our moment to moment movements - Consciousness sometimes arrives late to the decision making party - Running on automatic pilot allows the consciousness to monitor the whole system and deal with new challenges while neural assistants automatically take care of routine business - In everyday life we mostly function like an automatic point and shoot camera but with a manual (conscious) override - Our unconscious parallel processing is faster than sequential conscious processing but both are essential - Selective attention: the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus o Cocktail party effect- your ability to attend to only one voice among many, let another voice speak your name and your cognitive radar, operating your minds track, will instantly bring that voice in consciousness - In-attentional attention: failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere o At the level of conscious awareness we are “blind” to all but a tiny sliver of vision o Form of in-attention is choice blindness- (the jam jar switch) - Change blindness: failing to notice changes in the environment Module 8 – Sleep and Dreams - Even when you are deeply asleep, your perceptual window is open a crack , you move around on your bed, but you manage not to fall out - Circadian rhythm: the biological clock, regular bodily rhythms (wakefulness) that occur on a 24- hour cycle o Thinking is sharpest and memory most accurate when we are at our daily peak in circadian arousal o Age an experience alter circadian rhythms Sleep stages - REM sleep: rapid eye movement sleep, a recurring sleep stage during vivid dreams commonly occur (paradoxical sleep) as the muscles are relaxed but other body actions are active - Yawn in response to reduced brain metabolism – increases heart rate = increases your alertness - LOOK AT DIAGRAM PG 94 - Alpha waves: the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed awake state - Sleep: periodic, natural, easily reversible loss of consciousness as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, general anesthesia/hibernation - Hallucinations: false sensory experiences (seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus) - During brief NREM-1 sleep you may experience fantastic images resembling hallucinations o Ex. Experience sensation of falling (body may jerk) or floating weightlessly. These hypnagogic sensations may later be incorporated to memories - 20 mins of NREM-2 sleep is periodic sleep spindles – bursts of rapid rhythmic brain wave activity (you could be awakened without much difficulty still asleep) - NREM-3 deep sleep (30 mins) – emits large slow delta waves – hard to awaken o Children may wet bed - Delta waves: the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep - Return back to NREM-2 sleep half the night - REM sleep – during- heart rate increases, breathing becomes rapid, every half minute eyes dart around in momentary bursts of activity behind close lids (beginning of a dream) - Brains motor cortex activated in REM sleep but brainstem blocks it’s messages, therefore this leaves muscles relaxed to the point where you are essentially paralyzed (Sleep paralysis) - Paradoxical sleep: the body is internally aroused with waking like brain activity yet asleep and externally calm - Untrue: everyone needs 8 hours of sleep - Bright morning light tweaks the circadian clock by activating light sensitive retinal proteins. These proteins control the circadian clock by triggering signals to the brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus - Artificial light delays sleep Sleep theories - Sleep protects o Ancestors did not hunt at night – killed or hurt o Species sleep pattern tends to suit its ecological niche - Sleep helps us recuperate o Helps restore and repair brain tissue o Sleeping a lot gives resting neurons time to repair themselves, while pruning or weakening unused connections - Sleep helps restore and rebuild our fading memories of the day’s experience o Consolidates our memories it strengthens and stabilizes neural memory traces - Sleep feeds creative thinking o Dreams - Sleep supports growth o During deep sleep the pituitary gland releases a growth hormone - Sleep loss is a predictor of depression - Sleep deprivation has consequences such as difficult studying, diminished productivity, tendency to make mistakes and irritability, fatigue - Insomnia: reoccurring problem in falling or staying asleep o Not an occasional inability to sleep when anxious or excited, but persistent problems in falling or staying asleep o We may think we have very little sleep because it’s the waking part we remember - Narcolepsy: a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep often at inopportune times - Most common quick fixes for true insomnia – sleeping pills & alcohol (aggravate problem, reduce REM sleep) also lead to tolerance o Ideal sleep aid would mimic the natural chemicals that are abundant during sleep without side effect - Sleep apnea: a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated moments of awakenings o Associated with obesity o Loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, irritability, high blood pressure - Night terrors: a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified (unlike nightmares) night terrors occur during NREM-3 sleep seldom remembered o Mostly children – may sit up, walk around, experience double heart/breathing rates, appear terrified - Sleepwalking – another NREM-3 sleep disorder and sleep talking are usually childhood disorders (run in families) - Dreams: a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping persons mind. Dream are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities and incongruities and for the dreamers delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it - Our two tracked mind also monitors our environment - Anything that happens during the 5 minute just before we fall asleep is typically lost from memory - Manifest content: according to Freud the remembered story line of a dream (as distinct from its latent/hidden content) - Latent content: according to Freud the underlying meaning of a dream (as distinct from manifest content) Why we dream: o Freud wish fulfilment o information processing  Sift sort and fix the days experiences in memory o Physiological function  Regular bran stimulation help develop and preserve neural pathways o Neural activation  Evokes random visual memories, which weaves into stories o cognitive development  knowledge and understanding - REM rebound: the tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation - Biological and psychological explanations of behaviour are partners not competitors Modules 9-10 Hypnosis - Hypnosis: a social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts or behaviours will spontaneously occur o Postural sway o The ability to focus attention totally on a task to become imaginatively absorbed in it, to entertain fanciful possibilities o Can relieve pain – inhibits pain related brain activity - Posthypnotic suggestion: a suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized – used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviours - Dissociation: a split in consciousness which allows some thoughts and behaviours to occur simultaneously with others - Another form of dual processing – selective attention – play a role in hypnotic pain relief - PET scans show that
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