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PSYC 2510 (64)
Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Consciousness.pdf

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York University
PSYC 2510
Agnieszka Kopinska

Chapter 5: Consciousness Monday, October 31, 2012:00 PM - Tononi's Integrated Information Theory (ITT) of Consciousness ○ 1) Conscious states are highly differentiated ○ 2) Conscious information is deeply integrated - Interactions in the brain create various states of consciousness ○ φ = extent to which brain is integrated - ITT explains why consciousness can occur without stimulation, as in REM sleep - Assumes that all beings can achieve some level of consciousness - Unanswered questions: ○ What's the evolutionary advantage of developing consciousness? ○ Why are so many human processes unconscious? - ITT provides a helpful step forward in study of consciousness States of Consciousness - Sleep and wakefulness - Altered states of consciousness: ○ Hypnosis ○ Dissociation ○ Substance-induced ○ Meditation - Beta Waves ○ Awake, normal alert conscious - Alpha Waves ○ Relaxed, calm, lucid, not thinking - Theta Waves ○ Deep relaxation and meditation, mental imagery - Delta Waves ○ Deep, dreamless sleep - Attention is important (but not essential) in controlled states of consciousness - Come cognitive processes are automatic instead ○ E.g., mind wandering/day dreaming Biological Rhythms and Sleep - Biological rhythms- periodic fluctuations in psychological function ○ Monitored by internal/biological clocks ○ Influence changes in consciousness - Circadian rhythms ○ Repeat once a day (cycle over ~24 hours) ○ Continue even in the absence of external cues ○ Can be adjusted to match time zone - E.g., sleep regulation, hunger, hormonal secretions - Circadian rhythms are regulated by multiple internal clocks ○ Central executive is suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) Sleep - Sleeping enough is important to ensure optimal cognitive functioning - Jet-lag, shift work, and ignoring one's own sleep pattern results in difficulty sleeping and less efficient functioning - Studied in laboratories overnight - Many instruments used (e.g., EEG, EOG, EMG) Stages of Sleep - Stage 1 ○ 4-5% Light sleep, muscle activity slows down, occasional muscle twitching - Stage 2 ○ 45-55% Breathing pattern and heart rate slows, slight decrease in body temperature - Stage 3 ○ 4-6% Deep sleep begins, Brain begins to generate slow delta waves - Stage 4 ○ 12-15% Very deep sleep, rhythmic breathing, limited muscle activity. Brain produced delta waves - Stage 5 ○ 20-25% REM, brainwaves speed up and dreaming occurs. Muscles relax and heart rate increases. Breathing is rapid and shallow. - Cycle is repeated ~4x per night - Each cycle lasts approximately 90 minutes - REM sleep tends to get longer as the night progresses
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