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States of consciousness - Part 1 Goals of the day waking consciousness sleep dreams.

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Presentation on theme: "States of consciousness - Part 1 Goals of the day waking consciousness sleep dreams."— Presentation transcript:

1 States of consciousness - Part 1 Goals of the day waking consciousness sleep dreams

2 What is consciousness? zConsciousness is the awareness of ourselves and our environments yAttentional spotlight: what are you focusing on (foot, breathing)

3 Studying consciousness zIn the early days of psychology, consciousness was considered the main substance of psychology (just like life to biology, matter and energy to physics) zBecause it could not be observed, psychology focused on behavior yMental concepts began to reenter psychology in 60s and 70s with renewed emphasis on cognitive psychology and neuroscience (also access to computers to model mental processes)

4 Subconsciousness zMuch brain activity occurs outside of our awareness yparallel processing xFor example we are not conscious of brain processing color, depth, motion, and form all at the same time zWell-learned tasks require little conscious attention, we can do them automatically (riding a bike)

5 Conscious awareness zMental activity that we are aware of ySerial Processing: Attend to one thing at a time zenables us to exert voluntary control and communicate our mental states to others zkeeps us from doing and thinking everything at once znovel tasks require conscious attention

6 Daydreams and fantasies znearly everyone has daydreams or fantasies every day ydaydream (re-live, embellish previous experiences) yfantasy (imagine novel experiences) zyoung adults spend more time daydreaming than older adults

7 Functions of daydreams zHelp young people explore and develop identities; feeds social and cognitive development yTV, video games, fast-food jobs reduce opportunities to daydream & fantasies zEnhance creativity yScientists, artists, writers xthe shape of the double helix of DNA occurred to Crick during a daydream while he was sick in bed with a cold zSubstitute for impulsive behavior ydelinquents have fewer daydreams

8 Fantasy-prone personality zspend half of their time daydreaming zhave trouble distinguishing memories of imagined events from those of actual experience

9 Circadian rhythms zOur bodies synchronize with the 24-hour cycle of the day and night through a biological clock called circadian rhythm zBody temp. rises in morning, peaks during day, dips in early afternoon zThinking sharpest and memory most accurate when people are at their daily peak in circadian arousal yfor adults, usually in morning; for young adults, usually in evening yresults of study on circadian rhythms and problem solving

10 Stages of sleep zawake, relaxed (meditating)--alpha waves zstage 1 (2 minutes) ylight sleep ysensation of falling or floating (hypnogogic sensations), sudden jerk zstage 2 (next 20 minutes) ysleep spindles (bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain wave activity) zstage 3 transitional stage to deep sleep (several minutes) ybeginning of delta waves

11 zstage 4 (about 30 minutes) ydeep sleep,very hard to awaken (except to name, baby's cry) yat end of deep sleep is when children tend to wet the bed or sleepwalk y“sleep like a baby"--infants and children zREM sleep yafter an hour of sleep, you pass back through stage 3 and 2 sleep and enter REM sleep for about 10 minutes.

12 Characteristics of REM sleep zParadoxical sleep: internally, body is aroused, but externally appears calm (brainstem blocks messages from active motor cortex, leaving muscles relaxed) x increased heart rate x rapid breathing x genital arousal x beginning of dreams x muscle twitches (watch dogs dreaming) x relaxed muscles

13 D reams and REM sleep zIf people are awakened during REM sleep 80% of the time, they will recall dream yeven people who say the "never dream" yREM dreams are emotional and story like zEye movement, why does it occur? ywatching dream "movies” yoverflow of dreamer's active nervous system

14 The sleep cycle zsleep cycle repeats itself about every 90 minutes zstage 4 sleep gets briefer and disappears z20-25% of night's sleep is in REM sleep

15 Why do we sleep? zWe spend about one third of our life sleeping y1. to rest: so we will not feel tired the next day xlowered body temp. conserves energy for daytime hours y2. ecological niche (stay immobile during night, out of harm's way) xParadox with children (why they do not want to go to bed?) (most vulnerable to harm) xSymon's theory: dreams are visual, not vocal or olfactory--thus, we could sill be awakened by creatures with harmful intent or who needed help

16 z3. Helps us recuperate yrestores body tissues ("beauty rest"); esp. brain tissues ybrain actively repairing and reorganizing itself, consolidating memories (like defrag program on personal computers) z4. Aids in growth yduring sleep, pituitary gland releases a growth hormone (may help to explain why children sleep so much more than adults)

17 Sleep disorders zSleep deprivation ymost adults need 8-10 hrs. sleep per day (children, more) xvaries with age xgenetic dispositions ywith less than 7 hours, most people show signs of sleep deprivation

18 zcauses of sleep deprivation xmodern life (TV, lights, shift work) zeffects of sleep loss and deprivation xsleepiness and general malaise xirritability x poor judgments xincreased accidents (rest requirements for pilots) xloss of creativity and lack of concentration x(expert performers sleep most, take most naps; also practice the most) xsuppression of disease fighting immune system xslowed performance (however, not highly motivating tasks)

19 zInsomnia: problems falling asleep y10-15% of adults complain of insomnia ydue to excitement or anxiety (for stressed organism, alertness is normal) ybest cures: exercise regularly (late afternoon, not late evening, regular sleeping schedule, relax before bedtime

20 zNarcolepsy: periodic overwhelming sleepiness y1 in 2,000 people suffer from this ylive with extra caution (e.g., traffic menace) zSleep apnea: people intermittently stop breathing during sleep xmostly overweight men xafter an airless minute or so decreased blood oxygen arouses the sleeper to awaken and snort in air for few seconds xcan occur as much as 400 times a night, depriving person of stage 4 sleep

21 znight terrors ysit up talk, appear terrified (but rarely remember it the next day yoccur during stage 4 sleep ymost common with children znot nightmares ywhich occur during REM sleep

22 Why do we dream? zdreams help us to process information ythey help sift, sort, and fix into memory our day's experiences xas we sleep, our bodies are consolidating the days important memories following stressful experiences or intense learning periods, REM sleep increases memory experiments: if awakened during REM sleep, people remembered less the next morning what they had learned the previous day studies of expert violinists (sleep more (60 [8.6 hrs. day] vs 54 [717] hr.s per week than violin teachers and they nap more 2.8 hrs. per week vs 0.9 hours)

23 zphysiological function yby providing brain with periodic stimulation, they help to develop and preserve the brains neural pathways xinfants, whose neural networks are just developing, spend a great deal of time in REM sleep xstudies of experts (nap more)

24 zdreams spring from the mind's effort to make sense of unrelated, random bursts of neural activity xthey are triggered by random bursts of neural activity zall 3 theories may have some validity; may not be mutually exclusive

25 Need for dreams zAlthough disagreement on exact function of dreams, scientists agree that we need REM sleep yif deprived of REM sleep, we return more quickly to the REM stages after falling asleep x"REM rebound"

26 Do cats and fish dream? zCats, yes; fish, no zOther mammals experience REM sleep and REM rebound ythis suggests that its causes and functions are deeply biological ythat mammals (whose behavior involves more learning than instinct) experience REM and not fish, supports information processing theory of dreams


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