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PSYCHOLOGY: CONSCIOUSNESS Subconscious. Consciousness is the awareness of or the possibility of knowing what is happening inside or outside the organism.

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Presentation on theme: "PSYCHOLOGY: CONSCIOUSNESS Subconscious. Consciousness is the awareness of or the possibility of knowing what is happening inside or outside the organism."— Presentation transcript:


2 Consciousness is the awareness of or the possibility of knowing what is happening inside or outside the organism. Consciousness is a Construct – a concept that requires a belief in something

3 Consciousness is believed to come from our making a map of where we are in space and then seeing ourselves in the map. Notice that when you think about something you did a while back, you actually seem to be watching yourself from the outside.

4 We are not always conscious of everything that we do. Sometimes our brain circuits will start doing something before we are actually aware that we are doing it. At this level we are said to be at our subconscious level. Subconscious is the level of consciousness just below our present awareness. Subconscious

5 Unconscious contains thoughts, information, or desires that we have no direct knowledge of. Subconscious

6 All creatures are controlled by forces that none of us can see, or feel. This is called Chronobiology which is the study of forces that control the body at different times of the day, month, or year. The most obvious of these is the day/night cycle There also appears to be a monthly cycle in both men and women. The cycle in women is more obvious.

7 There also appears to be a yearly cycle where people tend to slow down and lose energy toward summer. Example of a yearly cycle - Migration of birds

8 Circadian rhythm is a sequence of behavioral changes that occur about every 24 hours. Ex. plants that open up and close during a day

9 Within our entrained 24-hour cycle we have a high point and a low point. For most people the lowest point (low blood pressure, low temperature, etc.) is between 3:00 and 5:00 AM. That is why you wake up on a hot summer’s night, you will still feel cold.

10 Internal control of these circadian rhythm’s reside in biological clocks, or internal chemical units that control parts of the body all by themselves and are programmed and are regulated by nature

11 Your body temperature, kidneys, etc. all run on biological clocks that ignore the outside world. These types of clocks are called free-running. Free- running cycles are cycles that run under their own control. FREE +

12 Some clock systems can be changed. An example of this would be the sleep-wake cycle. Humans are free-running at birth, but after a few weeks will be trained to follow their parents sleep cycle. This process of training a cycle is called entrainment.

13 Entrainment is the process of altering the free- running cycle to fit a different rhythm.

14 Sleep: there are different stages of sleep that we go through. Each are represented by the amount of brain waves that are occurring at that particular time. Only the first hour of sleep is considered a time of peacefulness and relaxation. After that many things occur.


16 When we first lie down our brain’s electrical activity begins to slow. This is called the twilight state. During this time images and thoughts drift in front of us and we can totally relax and let our mind wander. sleep helps to restore the body. The making of new cells is at its maximum Chemicals used up by the brain are restored Functions of sleep

17 REM sleep, which stands for rapid eye movement is one type of sleep. During this time our eyes move very rapidly in all directions inside the eye sockets. This is the time when we will dream. This occurs every 90 minutes or so. This will occur from the time that you fall asleep until you wake up. Your body is literally paralyzed. There are two (2) major types of sleep

18 Very vivid dreams can occur. The actual dream will last as long as it seems to take. Each REM will last longer than the previous one, and each period will increase in length as the night progresses. Dreams that you remember are those that occurred closest to the morning because they are the longest and come at a time when you are almost awake.

19 Dreams that occur early in the sleep cycle tend to reflect those events of the preceding day. Later dreams are usually more surreal.

20 NREM sleep. This stands for non-rapid eye movement and is the other type of sleep. During this time the brain is still active, providing partial thoughts, images or stories. Do not have the organization of stories during REM. The brain seems to go into idle. Decreases in length as nights’ sleep progresses. Incubus attacks which are night terrors occur Sleepwalking and talking occur.


22 What happens if humans decide to give up sleep? People will begin to hallucinate It is not the lack of rest that will bring this out of people, but rather the lack of dreaming. Dreaming is an integral part of all animals.

23 There are 3 major hypotheses about why we dream. Dreams are used to get the brain reorganized. Brain chemicals are used up during the day, while the brain replenishes these chemicals, dreams organize the past day or week or more. Dreams keep the brain busy while it is being replenished because the brain cannot be inactive.

24 Dreams are designed to help work out unsolved problems left over from the day. Sometimes when we have a problem that we can’t seem to solve, when we wakeup the next day the problem seems to be solved. It is also proven that when we are depressed or under stress, we will sleep longer and that the amount of time we spend in REM is longer.

25 While we sleep the brain will get rid of the information that we don’t need from our day. The brain is trying to make sense of the bits and pieces of information that are appearing wile we are cleaning out the material, so it makes up a story to fit them.

26 What actually causes dreams since there is no external stimulation? All memories, thoughts, and actions are controlled by electrical impulses within the brain. Electrical impulses occur in cycles throughout the night from deep within the brain about approx. every 90 minutes, with special cells that turn them on and off. The impulses move upward through the brain firing many different memory circuits.

27 The result of this is what we call dreams. These impulses also cause eye movements.

28 There are two frightening experiences that can occur during sleep. The first occurs during REM and is called a nightmare. These are very infrequent in nature, but remember that dreams are caused by memories, and we all carry around ad memories with us all of the time.

29 The second frightening attack is called an incubus attack. These are horrible and realistic dreams. These occur during NREM sleep and as a result are extremely frightening because these occur at a time when your body is not prepared for dreams.

30 Sleep patterns will change as people age. Infants need a great deal of sleep because of the need to replace brain chemicals. As people get older there is less of a need for deep. The amount of sleep will vary from individual to individual. This will range anywhere from 5 to 8 hours in length. The brain will have difficulty functioning with too much sleep as well as too little sleep

31 Sleepwalking or talking occurs because on a side of the brain where these functions are controlled, electrical impulses during sleep trigger movement. It is impossible to communicate with people during this time, but it is not dangerous to wake them unless they are not sitting or lying down. There are 3 forms of sleep disturbance that people may encounter.

32 Insomnia which is the ability to not get enough sleep. The most common reasons for this are getting out of the normal cycle or drugs and alcohol. These drugs will tend to block REM sleep and therefore we will tend to feel more depressed and the more depressed we feel the more we need REM sleep and etc. If this occurs over a long enough period, REM rebound will occur during the time that a person is awake. This could lead to hallucinations (drug addiction).

33 Narcolepsy is an infrequent disorder in which a person will be able to fall into an “instant” REM anywhere, anytime, even while driving or in the middle of talking to someone.

34 Another problem is sleep apnea. In this disorder the person will literally stop breathing hundreds of time during sleep and will keep waking up. Sleep Apnea Video

35 There are various states of consciousness other than the normal biological rhythms that we all go through. These are states that do not occur naturally, but rather they require effort or training to attain. Hypnosis is a state of consciousness that involves being in a relaxed state with a heightened ability to focus on specific things, while ignoring usual distractions.

36 Suggestion is a basic part of hypnosis. Hypnosis is a state that helps a person focus attention on certain objects, acts, or feelings. Hypnosis is an intense form of relaxation with the person fully conscious.

37 Meditation is a form of self-control in which a person can cut off the outside world. They will then focus on some steady rhythm or sound trying to put the brain into neutral in order to feel peaceful and at ease.

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