Psych Chapter 3 09/26/2013
Chapter 3: Consciousness
Our awareness of ourselves and our surroundings
Cognitive Neurosciencethe interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with our mental processes,
Dual processingdistinction between conscious processing and unconscious processing
The “high road”conscious, deliberate processing, of which we are aware.
The “low road”unconscious, automatic processing of which we are unaware.
Sigmund Freud argued that much of our behavior is driven by unconscious drives.
Everyone knows what attention is…William James.
Selection attentiona mental spotlight that focuses conscious awareness on a very limited aspect of all that
Missed a few slides while on facebook read book about inattentional blindness
and other things before it.
Sleep and Dreams
Circadian Rhythmoccur on a 24hour cycle and include sleep and wakefulness. Termed our “biological
clock,” it can be altered by light. Light triggers the suprachiasmatic nucleus to decrease (morning) melatonin
from the pineal gland and increase (evening) it at nightfall.
Measuring Sleepabout every 90 minutes, we pass through a cycle of five distinct sleep stages, which
researchers identify by measuring brain activity, eye movements, and muscle tension (pg 96).
Awake but Relaxedwhen an individual closes his or her eyes but remains awake, brain activity slows down
to a large amplitude and slow, regular alpha waves.
Stages 12during early, light sleep the brain enters a highamplitude, slow, regular wave form called theta
waves. A person who is daydreaming shows theta activity.
Stages 34during deepest sleep, brain activity slows down. There are largeamplitude, slow delta waves.
Stage 5after reaching the deepest sleep stage (4), the sleep cycle starts moving backward towards stage
1. Although still asleep, the brain engages in lowamplitude, fast and regular beta waves, much like awake
Dreamscan occur in any sleep stage, but the most vivid dreams are reported in stage 5 (REM). During this
stage, you are essentially paralyzed. The brain stem blocks messages of the motor cortex.
Effects of sleep loss:
Depressed immune system