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Altered States of Consciousness Chapter 7 Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Altered States of Consciousness Chapter 7 Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Altered States of Consciousness Chapter 7 Psychology

2 Sleep & Dreams Sleep – an essential Sleep – an essential state of consciousness - involves stages and periods of dreaming.  Consciousness is a state of awareness. There are different levels/stages of consciousness.

3  Why do we sleep?  We don’t really know.  Sleep involves being unresponsive to your surroundings with little physical movement.  Theories on Sleep  It’s time to recover from exhaustion and stress  It’s a type of primitive hibernation  It’s a conservation of energy  It’s an adaptation to our environment  It’s a time to cleanse our minds of useless information.


5  Stages of Sleep  Stage 1 – the lightest level  Pulse slows and muscles relax  Breathing becomes uneven and brain waves are irregular  Feeling of “just drifting”  Stage 2  Eyes roll slowly from side to side  Stage 3  Large amplitude delta waves sweep your brain every second or so

6  Stage 4 – the deepest sleep of all  Most difficult time to wake someone up  No memory of  Talking out loud  sleepwalking  bedwetting  Eyes begin to move rapidly  REM (Rapid Eye Movement)  Pulse and breathing become irregular  Some minor twitching may occur  Lasts for 15-45 minutes  Sleep retraces stages back to 1, and then goes through the stages to 4 again. This happens 5 times each night.

7  How much sleep?  Newborns need about 16 hours a day  Sixteen year olds – 10-11 hours a night???  Graduate students – about 8 hours a night  Circadian Rhythm  Biological Clock that regulates physiological responses within a time period of 24-25 hours  This does not control sleep cycles, environmental and 24 hour day controls the cycles

8  Sleep disorders  Insomnia - failure to get enough sleep at night to feel rested the next day  Sleep Apnea - a person has trouble breathing while sleeping – may happen while snoring.  Narcolepsy – sudden falling asleep or feeling sleepy during the day  Night Terrors – occurs during Stage 4, involves screaming, panic confusion  Sleep walking – walking or carrying out behaviors while asleep

9  Dreams  Everyone dreams, not everyone recalls their dreams  First dreams of the night are vague thoughts from the day  Dreams get longer as the night goes on  Last dream is usually the longest and is the one we remember

10  Content of Dreams  We recall and discuss the more coherent, sexier, and more “Interesting” dreams  Dreams usually occur in commonplace settings  Usually wake up in the middle of nightmares  Interpretation of dreams  Many cultures believe dreams have interpretive meanings  Some think they are predictions for the future  Some believe dreams are a way of cleaning out our memories  Francis Crick

11  Daydreams  Low level of awareness  Do it at times when we don’t have to pay a lot of attention  Prepares us for the events of the future  Generates thought processes

12 Hypnosis, Biofeedback, & Meditation Hypnosis, biofeedback, and meditation are altered states of consciousness that can occur when we are awake  What is hypnosis?  Hypnosis is a form of altered consciousness in which people became highly suggestible to changes in behavior and thought  Participants are NOT put to sleep  People are able to focus on one tiny aspect of life and ignore all other input  Mutual trust is vital for hypnosis to succeed

13  Theories of hypnosis  Theodore Barber - hypnosis is NOT a special state of consciousness, but the result of suggestibility  Ernest Hilgard - Neodisassociation Theory – consciousness becomes separated during hypnosis.  Use of hypnosis  Posthypnotic Suggestion  Memories can be erased after hypnosis  This has also been successful in treating people who want to stop eating or smoking.

14  Biofeedback  The process of learning to control bodily states with the help of machines monitoring the states to be controlled  Biofeedback  Uses heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and gland activity  By knowing how their body reacts to stressful situations, people can teach their bodies how to deal with, or learn to relax differently to avoid the stress

15  Meditation  The focusing of attention to clear one’s mind and produce relaxation.  Transcendental Meditation – repeating a mantra (saying)  Breath Meditation - breathing and focus to block out the environment around us to find peace

16 Drugs & Consciousness Psychoactive drugs interact with the central nervous system to alter consciousness  Psychoactive Drugs - chemicals that affect the nervous system and result in altered consciousness  Depressants  Tranquilizers  Opiates  Stimulants

17  How drugs work  Carried by the blood to target tissues in the body  Chemicals are absorbed into the blood  Drug molecules act like neurotransmitters  Hook onto the ends of nerve cells  Send out their own messages  Alcohol tells nerve cells not to fire  LSD increases firing all over the place and causes nerve confusion and hallucinations

18  Marijuana  Studies show that it is more harmful to the lungs than cigarette smoke  Holding the smoke in for 20-40 seconds adds to the drug’s potential for hindering lung function  Disrupts memory function  Makes it hard to carry out mental and physical tasks  Research also showed that adults using marijuana scored lower than equal-IQ users on a twelfth-grade academic achievement test (1993)

19  Hallucinogens  Drugs that produce hallucinations  LSD – a potent psychedelic drug that produces distortions of perception and thought  Hallucinations  Distortions of time  Impairs thinking  Panic reactions are the most common  Flashbacks years later may also occur

20  Opiates  A.k.a. narcotics  Opium  Morphine  Heroine  Cause  Pain reductions  Euphoria  Constipation  VERY ADDICTIVE  Overdose can easily lead to death.

21  Alcohol  The most used and abused mind-altering substance in the U.S.  Appears to be a stimulant, but is actually a depressant  Body chemistry and size/weight often control reactions to alcohol use  Can be highly addictive!

22  Drug Abuse and Treatment  Abuse involves excessive use and addiction  Treatment  1. the drug abuser must admit that he or she has a problem (big first step)  2. The drug abuser must enter a treatment program and/or get therapy (not easy)  3. The drug abuser must remain drug free (difficult if the environment lends itself to the addiction)

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