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Presentation on theme: "Consciousness."— Presentation transcript:

1 Consciousness

2 What is Consciousness? It is the awareness of things inside and outside ourselves It cannot be seen, touched, or looked at directly There are different ways of looking at consciousness There are different levels of consciousness

3 Meanings of Consciousness
Sensory awareness – you are aware of the sights, sounds, noises, and smells around you Selective attention – being able to screen out some stimuli to focus on a particular stimulus (paying attention in class) Direct inner awareness – you are aware of thoughts, emotions, images, and memories without using your senses – they are inside of you Sense of self – you are aware of yourself and your existence as a unique individual

4 Levels of Consciousness
Preconscious Unconscious Non-conscious

5 Conscious People are aware of themselves, their thoughts, and perceptions You are conscious when you are aware of your awareness

6 Preconscious Your preconscious is where all of the information goes that you can recall if necessary This is where you store memories, experiences, random bits of information, etc. They are not always in your awareness, but you can become aware of them by focusing your attention on them

7 Unconscious Sometimes called the subconscious
This is where information gets stored that you are not able to become aware of You may repress painful memories here, or socially unacceptable urges and impulses Freud believed your actions were heavily influenced by the information you store in your unconscious

8 Non-Conscious Most of your biological functions happen at this level – you do not have to think about them for your body to continue doing them You may not even be aware they are happening Heartbeat, pupils dilating, your fingernails growing, breathing

9 Altered States of Consciousness
Occurs when a person’s sense of self or sense of the world changes You may no longer be aware of what is going on around you Sleep, hypnosis, drug-induced state

10 Sleep and Dreams

11 Some Background Information
Humans spend about 1/3 of their lives asleep The amount of time we spend asleep depends on our circadian rhythms, or biological clocks Body temperature, brain activity, and blood pressure change significantly when we are sleeping



14 The Stages of Sleep Every stage of sleep has a different brain wave pattern When we are alert, the brain emits beta waves (short and quick) When we are relaxed, the brain emits alpha waves (a little longer and slower) Stage 1 (light sleep) – brain waves slow down more to theta waves People might see vivid images that they can recall if they are awakened Lasts about minutes

15 The Stages of Sleep (cont.)
Stage 2 (moderate sleep) – brain waves continue to slow more, becomes harder to wake people up Stage 3 (deep sleep) – brain waves slow down to delta waves, pretty hard to wake someone up Stage 4 (deepest sleep) – brain waves are at their slowest, it is very hard to wake someone up at this level After about 30 minutes at stage 4, people begin to move back up the stages to 3, then 2 and 1 People will return to stage 1 about 90 minutes after they fall asleep

16 REM Sleep REM – Rapid Eye Movement
Occurs after people complete a sleep stage cycle, brain produces waves similar to those made in stage 1 Blood pressure goes up, breathing becomes irregular, heart beats faster, and eyes move quickly from side to side People complete about 5 sleep cycles when they sleep for 8 hours – REM sleep becomes longer with each cycle

17 Why Do We Sleep? Sleep helps the body recover physically by reviving tired muscles and organs as well as boosting resistance to infection Sleep also helps people deal with psychological health, like stress People sleep more when they are under more stress

18 Randy Gardner 17 year old who stayed up for almost 11 days without any sleep Became very irritable Could not focus his eyes and had difficulty speaking Had memory lapses, hallucinations, and delusions Took Gardner several days to return to normal circadian rhythm

19 Dreams EVERYONE dreams, but some people have more difficulty remembering their dreams than others We have the most vivid dreams during REM sleep People can dream in black & white or in color Many dreams have plots and vivid images and often involve people we know Scientists and psychologists are not sure why we dream and they disagree about the meaning of dreams

20 What Do Dreams Mean? Freud thought that dreams reflected your unconscious urges and desires – because some of the things in our unconscious are painful or undesirable, we symbolize them in our dreams Biological psychologists believe we dream because our neurons fire at random during sleep and our brain tries to make sense of this jumble of messages There is no agreed-upon set of rules for interpreting dreams

21 Insomnia This is the inability to sleep, people tend to experience it when going through periods of anxiety or tension It can worsen if you try too hard to fall asleep Occasional insomnia is pretty common and usually goes away on its own

22 Nightmares and Night Terrors
Most people have had nightmares, and certain themes in nightmares are fairly common People who are anxious or depressed tend to have more nightmares – they occur during REM sleep Night terrors are more severe than nightmares and occur during stage 3 & 4 sleep – people usually do not fully wake up during night terrors They usually occur in young children whose nervous system has not developed

23 Sleepwalking Many children walk during stages 3 and 4 of the sleep cycle They may hold conversations with people, but if awakened they will not remember what they said or did Most people outgrow sleepwalking

24 Sleep Apnea Occurs when people stop breathing temporarily during sleep because their air passages are blocked Causes the body to jolt out of deep sleep, though people may not wake up Can lead to tiredness throughout the day, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes

25 Narcolepsy Is very rare, occurs when people fall asleep any time, anywhere Can be extremely dangerous and is usually treatable with drug therapy and frequent naps

26 Drugs and Consciousness


28 How Do Drugs Affect the Body?
Different types of drugs affect the body in different ways All drugs cause the nervous system to function abnormally Some drugs are addictive, causing the body to crave them just to feel normal Some drugs are connected to the development and progression of serious diseases

29 Depressants - Alcohol Depressants slow the activity of the nervous system and generally make people feel relaxed Alcohol and narcotics are depressants Alcohol causes intoxication, which can include slurred speech, blurry vision, balance problems, and lack of concentration Causes a lack of judgment and impaired coordination Long-term alcohol addiction can lead to liver failure, cancer, and heart problems

30 Depressants - Narcotics
Used to relieve pain and induce sleep – decrease the activity of the CNS while stimulating pleasure receptors, are very addictive Morphine, heroin, and codeine are narcotics Withdrawal symptoms from narcotics often include, nausea, chills, vomiting, tremors, rapid heartbeat, and physical pain

31 Stimulants - Nicotine Stimulants speed up nervous system activity
Nicotine is a very common stimulant that reduces appetite and boosts metabolism Nicotine is as addictive as heroin but its effects and withdrawal symptoms are not as severe Cigarettes are responsible for more deaths per year in America than suicide, homicide, alcoholism, car accidents, drug overdoses, and AIDS combined

32 Stimulants - Amphetamines
Amphetamines help people stay awake and cause a reduction in appetite by making the body produce more neurotransmitters and slowing their absorption High doses can have effects that last for several days, after which a person crashes both physically and psychologically Some people experience terrifying hallucinations and delusions while taking amphetamines

33 Stimulants - Cocaine Cocaine produces feelings of pleasure and reduces hunger – it deadens pain and makes people feel more self-confident It also causes insomnia, headaches, body tremors, nausea, hallucinations, convulsions, and delusions Puts a major strain on the heart

34 Hallucinogens - Marijuana
Hallucinogen is a drug that produces hallucinations Marijuana produces mild hallucinations and feelings of relaxation by slowing the CNS It also decreases coordination, impairs judgment and memory, and can cause anxiety and confusion Often raises blood pressure and heart rate greatly


36 Hallucinogens - LSD Much stronger than marijuana and produces more intense hallucinations – causes neurons in brain to send messages to the wrong destination, overloads the brain with messages Hard to predict the effects LSD will have when someone takes it Side effects include violent outbursts, self injury, panic attacks, and flashbacks that occur sometimes years after use Can permanently change the chemistry of the brain

37 Drug Abuse Treatments Detoxification – removal of the drug from the body, helps to wean addicts off of the drug while restoring health to the body Maintenance programs – people are given a less dangerous substance to substitute the more harmful drug (methadone clinics) Counseling – can be conducted individually or in a group setting Support groups – people meet in groups for emotional and moral support (AA, NA, etc.)

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