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Psychology in Action States of Consciousness. Lecture Overview Understanding Consciousness Sleep and Dreams Psychoactive Drugs Healthier Ways to Alter.

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Presentation on theme: "Psychology in Action States of Consciousness. Lecture Overview Understanding Consciousness Sleep and Dreams Psychoactive Drugs Healthier Ways to Alter."— Presentation transcript:

1 Psychology in Action States of Consciousness

2 Lecture Overview Understanding Consciousness Sleep and Dreams Psychoactive Drugs Healthier Ways to Alter Consciousness

3 Understanding Consciousness Consciousness: an organism’s awareness of its own self and surroundings

4 Mental Imaging We can use our conscious mind to “zoom in” on an image. Lets try it…. Close your eyes. Picture a cat.

5 The Non-conscious Process The non-conscious mind is great at multitasking.  -chewing gum and walking  -autonomic processes of body being in a coma

6 Conscious Mind Conscious: what we are aware of Preconscious memories:  Information that is not currently in consciousness, but can be recalled voluntarily. Unconscious: Cognition (thought) without awareness.  Can you be made aware of some thoughts that influence behavior  I am late for my blind date that my friend is making me go on

7 Understanding Consciousness Alternate States of Consciousness (ASCs): mental states, other than ordinary waking consciousness, found during sleep, dreaming, psychoactive drug use, hypnosis, etc. One Volunteer: Speak continuously for one minute about anything that comes to your mind. DO NOT think about a white bear, however.

8 Results This experiment was done with college students. The vast majority of them could not speak for a minute without talking about the white bear? Why? Trying to suppress a thought, or keep it out of your mind can result in an obsession over the very thought you seek to escape. Yet, when you do not try to sensor your thoughts, but let them wonder, unwanted and unpleasant thoughts often become less prominent.

9 Sleep and Dreams: Circadian Rhythms Circadian Rhythms: biological changes occurring on a 24-hour cycle  Our energy level, mood, learning, and alertness all vary throughout the day.  Sections of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and the pineal gland regulate these changes.  Melatonin- hormone released when we sleep

10 Sleep and Dreams: Circadian Rhythms (Continued) Disrupted circadian rhythms from shift work, jet lag, and sleep deprivation may cause alterations in mood, concentration, motivation, attention, and motor skills.

11 Pause and Reflect: Critical Thinking What happens to humans and other animals while we sleep and dream?

12 Sleep and Dreams: Stages of Sleep NREM (Non-Rapid-Eye-Movement) Sleep: Stage 1 (lightest sleep) Stage 2 (deeper sleep) Stages 3 and 4 (deepest sleep) REM (Rapid-Eye-Movement) Sleep: Light sleep (also called paradoxical sleep) Originally psychologists thought we slept because our neurons disconnected from each other causing us to simply “drift off.” In reality, we do not have complete answers as to what causes us to sleep.

13 Sleep and Dreams: Stages of Sleep (Continued) NREM (non-REM) sleep:  includes Stages 1 through 4  involves lower-frequency brain waves, decreased pulse and breathing, and occasional, simple dreams  serves a biological need (NREM needs met before REM needs)

14 Sleep and Dreams: Stages of Sleep (Continued) REM (Rapid-Eye-Movement) sleep:  also known as paradoxical sleep.  involves high-frequency brain waves, increased pulse and breathing, large muscle.  serves a biological need.  may play a role in learning and consolidating new memories.

15 Sleep and Dreams: Stages of Sleep in a Typical Night

16 Sleep and Dreams: Research The EEG, EOG, and EMG are common tools for sleep research.

17 Sleep and Dreams: Stages of Sleep & Brain Waves

18 Pause and Reflect: Check & Review Judging by the cat’s posture, can you identify the photo showing REM sleep?

19 Sleep and Dreams: Over the Life Span

20 Sleep and Dreams: Average Daily Hours of Sleep for Different Mammals

21 Sleep and Dreams: Why Do We Sleep? Repair/Restoration Theory: sleep helps us recuperate from daily activities Evolutionary/Circadian Theory: sleep evolved to conserve energy and as protection from predators Cognitive Theory: dreams improve information processing

22 Sleep Deprivation Effects of Sleep Loss Fatigue Impaired concentration Depressed immune system Greater vulnerability to accidents Sleep-Deprivation Psychosis: Confusion, disorientation, delusions, and hallucinations that occur because of sleep loss

23 Epworth Sleepiness Scale 0= would never doze 1= slight chance of dozing 2= moderate chance of dozing 3= high chance of dozing 1. Sitting and reading 2. Watching TV 3. Sitting inactive in a public place, ex: class 4. As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break 5. Lying down to rest in afternoon 6. Sitting and talking to someone 7. Sitting quietly after lunch 8. In a car, while stopped in traffic

24 Sleep and Dreams: Sleep Disorders Two major categories: 1. Dyssomnias: problems in amount, timing, and quality of sleep 2. Parasomnias: abnormal disturbances during sleep

25 Sleep and Dreams: Three Forms of Dyssomnias Insomnia: persistent problems in falling asleep, staying asleep, or awakening too early Sleep Apnea: repeated interruption of breathing during sleep Narcolepsy: sudden and irresistible onsets of sleep during normal waking hours

26 Sleep and Dreams: Narcolepsy in Dogs

27 Sleep and Dreams: Sleepwalking/Somnambulism:  The sleepwalker can walk, talk and see, but will have little or no memory of the event when they wake up. (REM) sleep behavior disorder  Is manifested by vivid, often frightening dreams associated with simple or complex motor behavior during REM sleep.  Patients appear to “act out their dreams,” in which the exhibited behaviors mirror the content of the dreams, and the dream content often involves a chasing or attacking theme.

28 Sleep and Dreams: Two Forms of Parasomnias Nightmares: anxiety-arousing dreams occurring near the end of sleep, during REM sleep Night Terrors: abrupt awakenings from NREM sleep accompanied by intense physiological arousal and feelings of panic


30 Sleep and Dreams: Why Do We Dream? Psychoanalytic Theory: dreams are disguised symbols (manifest versus latent content) of repressed desires and anxieties Biological Theory (activation-synthesis hypothesis): dreams are simple by- products of random stimulation of brain cells Why we don’t remember our dreams:  For us to remember something it needs to be repeated over and over to enter our long term memory store and yet we do remember snippets of our dreams which is usually enough for us to get the gist of what the dream was about The manifest content is the actual literal subject-matter of the dream, while the latent content is the underlying meaning of these symbols.

31 Dreams Why do you have dreams that seem random? Typically the first dream connects with events from the previous day. Later dreams tend to build on a theme in the previous dream. Often times, the final dream is remembered most vividly, but has very little to do with the previous days events, or events that lay ahead. Lucid Dreams  Person feels fully awake within the dream and feels capable of normal thought and action Activation-synthesis: Our brain’s attempt to make sense of random neural firings in various parts of our brain.

32 Truth About Dreams Despite his theories there is no solid evidence to support Freud’s interpretations of latent dream content. Dreams, do however, vary by age, gender and culture. Children are more likely to dream about animals that are large and threatening, while adults dream more about pets. Women are more likely to dream about men and women; men are more likely to dream about men.

33 Psychoactive Drugs Psychoactive Drugs:  chemicals that change conscious awareness, mood, or perception

34 Psychoactive Drugs: Important Terms Addiction: compulsion to use a specific drug or to engage in a certain activity Drug Abuse: drug taking that causes emotional or physical harm to the individual or others

35 Psychoactive Drugs: Important Terms (Continued) Tolerance: decreased sensitivity to a drug brought about by its continuous use Withdrawal: discomfort and distress experienced after stopping the use of addictive drugs

36 Psychoactive Drugs: Four Categories 1. Depressants: 1. Depressant drugs reduce neural activity and slow body functions.  Common depressants are – Alcohol – Barbiturates – Opiates

37 ALCOHOL Most used psychoactive drug in Western societies Although used in moderation, about 14 million Americans have problems with alcohol Men are three times more likely to be problem drinkers Highly addictive

38 ALCOHOL Even moderate amounts can affect – Perception – Motor processes – Memory – Judgment – Visual acuity – Depth perception – Cognitive functioning Overall effect is to calm the nervous system Sometimes perceived as a stimulant because it relaxes inhibitions

39 Psychoactive Drugs: Depressants (Continued)

40 Psychoactive Drugs: Stimulants 2. Stimulants: – excite the CNS to increase bodily processes (e.g., caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, methamphetamines

41 You’ll know how methamphetamine destroys the teeth and gums of chronic users.

42 Psychoactive Drugs: Opiates 3. Opiates: 1. act as an analgesic or pain reliever (e.g., morphine, heroin)

43 Psychoactive Drugs: Hallucinogens 4. Hallucinogens: produce sensory or perceptual distortions called hallucinations (e.g., LSD, marijuana)

44 Club Drug Alert! Popular “Club Drugs”:  Date Rape Drug (Rohypnol)  MDMA (Ecstasy)  GHB (Gamma- Hydroxybutyrate)

45 Psychoactive Drugs: How They Work Step 1). Alter the production or synthesis of neurotransmitters. Step 2). Change the storage or release of neurotransmitters. Step 3). Alter the reception of neurotransmitters. Step 4). Change the deactivation (block the reuptake or break-down) of excess neurotransmitters.

46 Healthier Ways to Alter Consciousness Meditation: group of techniques designed to refocus attention, block out all distractions, and produce an ASC


48 Hypnosis Hypnosis is a social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another person (the subject) that certain perceptions, cognitions or behaviors will spontaneously occur. Does it work?  To a degree everyone is suggestible  20% are highly suggestible  The real power of hypnosis is not in the hypnotist, but in the subject’s own openness to suggestion.

49 Healthier Ways to Alter Consciousness Hypnosis is used to treat chronic pain, severe burns, dentistry, childbirth, psychotherapy.

50 Pause and Reflect: Why Study Psychology? You’ll recognize the following myths about hypnosis: 1. Forced hypnosis 2. Unethical behavior 3. Exceptional memory 4. Superhuman strength 5. Fakery

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