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States of Consciousness. What is consciousness? secret-you/ Start at 633 Who passes the mirror self recognition test?

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Presentation on theme: "States of Consciousness. What is consciousness? secret-you/ Start at 633 Who passes the mirror self recognition test?"— Presentation transcript:

1 States of Consciousness

2 What is consciousness?

3 secret-you/ Start at 633 Who passes the mirror self recognition test?

4 What are some states of consciousness that you’ve experienced?

5 Some Early Definitions of consciousness Consciousness: All the sensations, perceptions, memories, and feelings you are aware of in any instant. Your sense of yourself. –Waking Consciousness: Normal, clear, organized, alert awareness –Altered State of Consciousness (ASC): Awareness that is distinctly different in quality or pattern from waking consciousness Drug induced states, illness, sleep, hypnosis



8 Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas: g1vMyfUA g1vMyfUA Hypnotist getting out of a speeding ticket: What do both hypnoses in the videos have in common? Want to try safely altering your state of consciousness? Use headphones and iPAD:

9 Unit 4 Project: YOU, NEW AND IMPROVED? Driving question: How effectively can I manipulate my conscious experience to achieve a positive goal? 1.Set a personal goal 2.Decide on a method to achieve it 3.Determine a method to assess success – was goal achieved? 4.Summary piece – Art, Powerpoint, Paper. Will present to class.

10 1) Set a personal goal Goal must be: 1) 2) 3) –Set a goal that will improve your life. –Think of patterns you’d like to break or habits you’d like to acquire…. What would you like to start DOING? –This should be your SEED or FOCUS for self hypnosis, meditation or sleep processing.

11 2) Decide on a method to achieve it. Self hypnosis Sleep/dream processing power Meditation NLP Other (research!)

12 3) Determine a method to assess success. Was goal achieved? Test Journal Survey of others in your life Performance on task related to goal Many others methods…

13 4) Summary piece – Art, Powerpoint, Research paper, or other format Main project deliverable All students will do a surrealist in art (Bales) Start collecting sketches, writings, magazine cut outs, anything related to this project Exhibition piece! You will present to class, POL style You will be graded by class and me

14 Today… Define a PERSONAL GOAL (specific, positive, attainable) Think about and document your negative patterns associated with that goal and how you might change them Conduct preliminary research on methods to achieve your goal, write key points

15 Hypnosis Altered state of consciousness characterized by intense relaxation, narrowed attention and increased openness to suggestion –Mesmer: Believed he could cure diseases by passing magnets over body; true “animal magnetism” (“mesmerize” means to hypnotize) –Must cooperate to become hypnotized –You pass through hypnosis every time you fall asleep and return to waking state

16 Hypnosis Can Help people relax Reduce pain Get people to make better progress in therapy Allow people to achieve goals, such as not smoking, being more confident, losing weight, improving memory…

17 Hypnosis Cannot Produce acts of superhuman strength Force you to do things against your will

18 Goal of hypnosis Quiet the conscious mind Shut up the noise Get rid of mental clutter Stop judgment… in order to Access the vast processing potential of the SUBCONSCIOUS mind



21 3 phases to hypnotic process Induction Suggestion implanted in subconscious (while “under”) Return to waking state


23 Hypnosis starts with INDUCTION: subject listens and relaxes. Shuts off conscious mind. –Ex: listens to alphabet backwards –Ex: Imagines relaxing liquid flowing though body, part by part hypnotist guides you into deep trance by asking you to focus on relaxing your body and breathing Subject must realise that they are being hypnotised. It is a VOLUNTARY process. It is NOT possible for someone to be hypnotised against their will.

24 Once the subconscious is accessed, hypnotist implants SUGGESTIONS Ex: You will find cigarettes disgusting Ex: You will find that you want to smile and hold your posture confidently at parties Ex: You will remember an event that happened a long time ago and revisit associated emotions (ex abuse)

25 People differ in how susceptible they are to hypnotic suggestions. This can be measured by hypnotic susceptibility scales.

26 Sample test items from the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C ItemSuggested Behaviour Criterion for Passing Arm loweringRight arm will become heavy Arm lowered by at least 6 inches Moving hands apartForce is pushing hands apart Hands are 6 or more inches apart Mosquito hallucination Mosquito is buzzing nearby Any grimace or acknowledgement Posthypnotic amnesia Will not remember suggestions Three or fewer items recalled

27 Hypnotic Susceptibility According to Hilgard (1977), in an average testing session –10% of subjects will be completely nonresponsive, –10% will pass all or nearly all items, –and the rest will fall in between. Susceptibility can be enhanced by increasing people’s expectations (Spanos et al., 1991; Vickery & Kirsch, 1991).

28 Behavior under Hypnosis Hypnotised people are very suggestible and their behaviour will conform with what the hypnotist tells them. Typical behaviour that can be induced include: Acting out imaginary scenes. Pretending to be an animal. Believing a limb cannot move or is insensitive to pain. Positive and negative hallucinations – seeing things that are not really there, or not seeing objects that really are present.

29 Posthypnotic suggestibility – a subject is given instructions under hypnosis and follows them after returning to a non- hypnotised state. Posthypnotic amnesia – the subject is instructed to not remember any of the suggested behaviour after leaving the hypnotic state.

30 Hypnosis and changes in perception Does hypnosis really change a person’s perception during positive and negative hallucinations? Miller et al. (1973) tested this hypothesis using the Ponzo illusion.

31 The Ponzo Illusion

32 Hidden Observer Detached part of hypnotized person’s awareness that silently observes events

33 Stage Hypnosis Simulation of hypnotic effects

34 Tricks of the Trade Waking Suggestibility: People on stage do not want to spoil the act, so they will follow any instruction. Selection of Responsive Subjects: Any “volunteer” who does not get hypnotized in the stage group and does not follow instructions is “voted off.” The Hypnosis Label Disinhibits: On stage, once you are “in a hypnotic trance,” your responsibility for actions is removed; you can do whatever you want!

35 More Stage Hypnosis “Tricks of the Trade” Hypnotist as Director: Once they are in a trance, the “volunteers” are suddenly the show’s stars, and they will act like it. The hypnotists only need to direct them. Stage Hypnotists Use Tricks: Stage hypnosis is 50% deception and 50% taking advantage of the situation

36 More Hypnosis Concepts Hypnotic Susceptibility: How easily a person can be hypnotized Basic Suggestion Effect: Tendency of hypnotized people to carry out suggested actions as though they were involuntary

37 Meditation Mental exercise designed to produce relaxation or heightened awareness Concentrative Meditation: Attention is paid to a single focal point (i.e., object, thought, etc.) –Produces relaxation response and thus works to reduce stress Mindfulness Meditation: Based on widening attention span to become aware of everything experienced at a given moment Mantra: Word(s) or sound(s) repeated during concentrative meditation

38 Relaxation Response Occurs at time of relaxation; internal response that prevents activation of adrenal glands

39 Drugs and Altered States of Consciousness Psychoactive Drug: Substance capable of altering attention, judgment, memory, time sense, self-control, emotion, or perception Stimulant: Substance that increases activity in body and nervous system Depressant: Substance that decreases activity in body and nervous system


41 Physical Dependence Physical Addiction based on drug tolerance and withdrawal symptoms –Drug Tolerance: Reduction in body’s response to a drug –Withdrawal Symptoms: Physical illness following withdrawal of the drug

42 Psychological Dependence Drug dependence based on psychological or emotional needs –Usually crave drug –Can be as powerful as physiological addiction

43 Stimulants (Uppers) Amphetamines: Synthetic stimulants that excite the nervous system –Dexedrine and Methamphetamine are two types of stimulants Amphetamine Psychosis: Loss of contact with reality because of amphetamine use; user tends to have paranoid delusions

44 Cocaine Central Nervous System stimulant derived from leaves of coca plant; also used as local anesthetic –From 1886-1906, Coca-Cola did indeed have cocaine in it! –Highly addictive drug –Anhedonia (Inability to Feel Pleasure): Common after cocaine withdrawal

45 MDMA (Ecstasy) Chemically similar to amphetamine; created by small variations in a drug’s structure –Risks of using MDMA are unclear –May cause severe liver damage –Repeated use damages serotonergic brain cells

46 Caffeine Most frequently used psychoactive drug in North America; present in colas, chocolate, coffee, and tea Causes hand tremors, sweating, talkativeness, tinnitus, suppresses fatigue or sleepiness, increases alertness –May be hazardous to pregnant women if used excessively

47 Caffeinism Physiological dependence on caffeine –Symptoms: Insomnia, irritability, loss of appetite, chills, racing heart, elevated body temperature


49 Nicotine Natural stimulant found mainly in tobacco; known carcinogen May cause stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, tremors Addictive Sum: Don’t smoke; smoking kills (so does chewing tobacco)

50 Sedatives: Barbiturates Sedative drugs that depress brain activity –Seconal and Amytal are two types –Easy to overdose

51 GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate) Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant that relaxes and sedates; combination of degreasing solvent and drain cleaner –Sedative effects may result in nausea, loss of muscle control, and either sleep or a loss of consciousness –Inhibits gag reflex, so some choke to death on their own vomit –Addictive and deadly

52 Sedatives: Tranquilizers Lower anxiety and reduce tension –Valium, Xanax, and Librium are three types –Rohypnol: Related to Valium; lowers inhibitions and produces relaxation or intoxication. Larger doses can induce short-term amnesia and sleep Date rape drug because it’s odorless and tasteless Drug Interaction: One drug increases the effect of another

53 Alcohol Ethyl Alcohol: Intoxicating element in fermented and distilled liquors –Not a stimulant but does lower inhibitions –Depressant Binge Drinking: Consuming five or more drinks in a short time; four or more for women –Serious sign of alcohol abuse




57 Detoxification Withdrawal of the person from alcohol Occurs in a medical setting and is tightly controlled Often necessary before long-term treatment begins

58 Some Hallucinogens Hallucinogen: Substance that alters or distorts sensory impressions Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD): Hallucinogen that can produce hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms Mescaline (Peyote) and Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms) PCP (Angel Dust): Initially can have hallucinogenic effects; also an anesthetic and has stimulant and depressant effects

59 Marijuana Leaves and flowers of the hemp plant –Active chemical: THC –Effects: Relaxation, time distortion, perceptual distortions

60 Some Health Risks of Using Marijuana Increases risk of a variety of cancers, including prostate and cervical cancer Can suppress immune system, perhaps increasing risk of disease Activity levels in the cerebellum are lower than normal in pot users Pot may damage some of the brain’s memory centers


62 Sleep Innate, biological rhythm Microsleep: Brief shift in brain-wave patterns similar to those of sleep Sleep Deprivation: Sleep loss; being deprived of needed amounts of sleep Sleep-Deprivation Psychosis: Major disruption of mental and emotional functioning that occurs because of sleep loss Hypersomnia: Excessive daytime sleepiness


64 Measuring Sleep Changes Electroencephalograph (EEG): Brain-wave machine; amplifies and records electrical activity in the brain Beta Waves: Small fast waves associated with alertness and awakeness Alpha Waves: Large, slow waves associated with relaxation and falling asleep

65 Stages of Sleep Stage 1: Small, irregular waves produced in light sleep (people may or may not say they were asleep) –Hypnic Jerk: Reflex muscle twitch throughout body that may occur in Stage 1

66 Stage 2 Deeper sleep; sleep spindles (bursts of distinctive brain-wave activity) appear

67 Stage 3 Deeper sleep; Delta waves appear; very large and slow

68 Stage 4 Deepest level of normal sleep; almost purely Delta waves


70 Kinds of Sleep Rapid Eye Movements (REM): Associated with dreaming; sleep is very light –Body is very still during REM sleep –Lack of muscle paralysis during REM sleep is called “REM Behavioral Disorder” Non-REM (NREM) Sleep: Occurs during stages 1, 2, 3, and 4; no rapid eye movement occurs –Seems to help us recover from daily fatigue


72 Sleep Disturbances Insomnia: Difficulty in getting to sleep or staying asleep, or waking early –Sleeping pills exacerbate insomnia; cause decrease in REM and Stage 4 sleep and may cause dependency Drug-Dependency Insomnia: Sleeplessness that follows withdrawal from sleeping pills

73 Types and Causes of Insomnia Temporary Insomnia: Brief period of sleeplessness caused by worry, stress, and excitement. –Avoid fighting it and read a book, for example, until you’re struggling to stay awake. Chronic Insomnia: Exists if sleeping troubles last for more than three weeks. –Adopt regular schedule; go to bed at the same time each night, for example.

74 Sleep Disturbances Sleepwalking (Somnambulism): Occurs in NREM sleep during Stages 3 and 4 Sleeptalking: Speaking while asleep; occurs in NREM sleep

75 Nightmares Bad dreams that occur during REM sleep Imagery Rehearsal: Mentally rehearse the changed dream before you go to sleep again; may help to eliminate nightmares

76 Night Terrors Total panic and hallucinations may occur –Occurs during Stage 4 sleep –Most common in childhood; may occur in adults

77 Sleep Apnea Interrupted breathing during sleep; cause of very loud snoring –Hypersomnia: Extreme daytime sleepiness –Apnea can be treated by Surgery Weight loss Breathing mask

78 Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Also known as SIDS or Crib Death; Sudden, unexplained death of healthy infant (infants should sleep on back or on side to try to prevent) SIDS babies have a weak arousal reflex; prevents them from changing positions and resuming breathing after an apnea episode

79 REM Rebound Extra rapid eye movement sleep following REM sleep deprivation

80 Psychodynamic (Freudian) Theory of Dreaming Emphasizes internal conflicts, motives, and unconscious forces Wish Fulfillment: Freudian belief that many dreams are expressions of unconscious desires –Much evidence to refute this Dream Symbols: Images that have a deeper symbolic meaning

81 Activation-Synthesis Hypothesis Dream content may be affected by motor commands in the brain (that occur during sleep) that are not carried out

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