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Dreams, Hypnosis and Meditation States of Consciousness.

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Presentation on theme: "Dreams, Hypnosis and Meditation States of Consciousness."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dreams, Hypnosis and Meditation States of Consciousness

2 What are dreams?  The concept of dreaming is currently undergoing revision in scientific circles.  Not all in REM sleep  Not as bizarre as originally thought  People more aware that they are dreaming than originally thought  Mental processes during dreams are much like they are when awake

3 Theories of Dreaming  Freud –  Dreams as wish fulfillment  May be in symbolic rather than literal terms

4  Rosalind Cartwright – cognitive problem solving view  Dreams as problem solving  Dreams allow more creative thinking and less censorship therefore people can solve complex problems in their dreams  Limited support for this view – just because you are dreaming about something doesn’t mean you are solving the problem.

5  Activation-Synthesis Model – Hobson and McCarley  Dreams are simply byproducts of random subcortical electrical impulses  The cortex then attempts to weave these impulses into a story that makes some sense.

6  There are many other theories of the function of dreams….. But they are all only theories.

7 Hypnosis  First? Practiced by Anton Mesmer in the 18 th century  Claimed to heal people but really only used the power of suggestion  Proven a charlatan and discredited

8  The word “hypnotism” was coined in 1843 by James Braid  He used hypnotism as an anesthesia for surgery  But it could not compete with new more powerful medications for anesthesia

9 Hypnotic susceptibility  Hypnosis typically produces a heightened state of suggestibility  Not everyone is equally hypnotizable  About 10% of the population can’t be hypnotized. About 10% of the population is highly hypnotizable.

10 Effects of Hypnosis  Anesthesia  Sensory distortions and hallucinations  May report seeing hearing things that no one else does  Disinhibition  Generally can’t get someone to do something under hypnosis that they would consider unacceptable. However, hypnosis can lower inhibitions.

11  Posthypnotic suggestions and amnesia  Suggestions made during hypnosis can impact on future behavior  This is how hypnosis can be used successfully to treat smoking, overeating, and other behavioral problems.

12 Is Hypnosis Real?  Who knows????  Some say it’s a separate state of consciousness – hypnotic trance  Others say its all role playing  Dissociative state? Two levels of consciousness simultaneously?

13  Some plausibility for the dissociative state  Highway hypnosis  Everyday experiences – don’t remember if you did something or not because you were thinking about something else

14 Meditation  Group of practices that train people to heighten their awareness and bring their mental processes under greater control

15 Types  Yoga  Zen  Transcendental meditation  Most originally had a religious significance

16 What happens during meditation?  Alpha and theta waves predominate (like in drowsiness and stage 1 sleep)  Heart rate and respiration rate drop  High level of activity in prefrontal cortex  Low level of activity in parietal lobe (information processing and sensation)

17 Benefits of meditation  Stress reduction  Improved mental health  Lessened anxiety  Lower blood pressure  Increased creativity  Improved mood

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