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States of Consciousness. Does consciousness exist? Think about it…. Are you aware of yourself? Are you aware of the world around you? Are you conscious.

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Presentation on theme: "States of Consciousness. Does consciousness exist? Think about it…. Are you aware of yourself? Are you aware of the world around you? Are you conscious."— Presentation transcript:

1 States of Consciousness

2 Does consciousness exist? Think about it…. Are you aware of yourself? Are you aware of the world around you? Are you conscious of your thoughts and feelings? Do you have a conscious?

3 Is consciousness a part of psychology? John Watson “father of modern behaviorism” – only observable, measurable can be part of psychology Cognitive psychologists – must refer to consciousness when discussing behavior

4 Meanings of Consciousness (1) Sensory Awareness Knowledge of the environment through perception of sensory stimulation - example: sense of vision permits you to see this Selective attention – focusing your consciousness on a particular stimulus; Enhances perceptual abilities - example: allows you to single out person’s voice in a crowded room

5 Selective Attention Task Selective attention task: "find all the complete cats and dogs"

6 Sensory Awareness - various stimuli can interrupt you selective attention Sudden changes (ex. temperature) Novel stimuli (ex. something unusual) Intense stimuli (ex. bright colors, loud noises) Repetitive stimuli ( ex. same song played over & over again)

7 Meanings of Consciousness (2) Direct Inner Awareness Knowledge of one’s own thoughts, feelings, memories without use of sensory organs Preconscious –not currently in awareness but readily available Example: What did you eat for dinner yesterday? Unconscious – unavailable to our awareness Example: repress painful memories


9 Direct Inner Awareness cont. Suppression – deliberate placing of certain ideas, impulses, images out of awareness Example: Suppress thoughts of chocolate cake when one is trying to lose weight Nonconscious – incapable of being experienced through senses or d.i.a. Example: the growing of hair – no sense receptors providing sensations related to the process

10 Meanings of Consciousness (3) Personal Unity The sense of self as a person/individual - consciousness is self Self – totality of impressions, thoughts, feelings

11 Meanings of Consciousness (4) The Waking State As opposed to sleep Altered states of consciousness – states other than the normal waking state including sleep, meditation, the hypnotic trance, and distorted perceptions produced by some drugs

12 Thoughts Memories Immoral urges Shameful experiences Unacceptable sexual desires Selfish needsFears Irrational WishesViolent motives Perceptions Stored Knowledge preconscious

13 Warm-up Copy & fill in the blanks as they pertain to the last few hours. 1. I tasted _______. 2. I smelled ______. 3. I saw _________. 4. I touched ______. 5. I heard ________. 6. I remembered ___. 7. I felt ___________. 8. I thought ________.

14 Explanation These sensations, feelings, and perceptions are processed and sometimes stored and accumulated to form our consciousness. Our consciousness is different each moment.

15 Sleep – Altered State of Consciousness True or False 1. Everyone has a biological clock. TRUE. The timing for sleep in humans is regulated by our internal biological clock

16 True or False 2. Drinking coffee cures drowsiness. FALSE. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. Coffee and other caffeine- containing drinks and over-the-counter medicines can be helpful, temporary remedies for sleepiness, but their effects last only a short time.

17 True or False 3. Safe drivers don’t have to worry about being sleepy. FALSE. Sleepiness is associated with decreased alertness, and decreased alertness is not compatible with safe driving under any circumstances.

18 True or False 4. Nearly everyone gets enough sleep. FALSE. According to recent surveys, over half of the American population reports occasional sleeping difficulties. A frequent complaint is not feeling rested upon waking. The average person requires eight hours of sleep per night (adolescents need nine or more hours of sleep per night), and this is often not achieved.

19 True or False 5. Being sleepy makes it hard to think straight. TRUE. A drowsy individual does not process information as quickly or as accurately as one who is alert. The ability to split attention between multiple tasks and inputs is lost. Reaction times are decreased, and one’s field of vision narrows with sleepiness.

20 True or False 6. Most teenagers need at least nine hours of sleep each night. TRUE. Teens and young adults actually need more sleep than older adults. However, changing behaviors, attitudes, and responsibilities may cause teens and young adults to sleep less than they need to. Being able to stay up late is not the same as requiring less total sleep.

21 True or False 7. Driving makes you sleepy. FALSE. Driving does not make you sleepy but only makes your actual level of sleepiness apparent. Consequently, it is better to drive during those times when you are normally alert and to avoid driving when your functioning is normally at a low level.

22 True or False 8. Sleep is time for the body and brain to shut down for rest. FALSE. Sleep is an active process involving specific cues for onset and regulation. Although there are modest decreases in metabolic rates, there is no evidence that any major organ or regulatory system in the body shuts down during sleep. In fact, some brain activities increase dramatically. During sleep, the endocrine system increases the secretion of certain hormones, such as growth hormone and prolactin. Sleep is a very dynamic process.

23 True or False 9. The body quickly adjusts to different sleep schedules. FALSE. The circadian clock attempts to function according to a normal day/night schedule, even when people try to change it. People who work night shifts naturally feel sleepy when nighttime comes. This conflict with the natural biological rhythm leads to a decrease in cognitive and motor skills.

24 True or False 10. Getting one hour less sleep per night than I need will not have any effect on my daytime performance. FALSE. Even this seemingly small decrease in nightly sleep, if it occurs regularly, can have a significant effect on daytime performance. Many people try to correct sleep deprivation through sleep compensation. For example, many individuals will sleep later on the weekends than they do on weekdays. Sleep compensation may be qualitatively different from normal sleep, and thus not true compensation for lost sleep.

25 Now that we’ve learned a little bit about sleep, let’s learn some more! In-class assignment: Read p.161 -164 Write definitions down for terms.

26 Objective  Describe the stages of sleep. If you could completely give up sleep without many physical side effects, would you do it? Why or why not? Remember, no sleep means no dreaming.


28 Losing awareness and failing to respond to a stimulus that would produce a response in the waking state

29 Sleep We spend about 1/3 of our adult life asleep! Electroencephalograph (EEG) – measures brain waves (major tool of sleep researchers)

30 During various stages of sleep our brains emit different strengths or energies of brain waves that are expressed in electric volts.

31 5 Stages of Sleep Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) – 1 st 4 stages Rapid Eye Movement (REM) linked to dreaming, 5 th stage When we close our eyes to go to sleep our brains emit many alpha waves – low-amplitude brain waves of about 8-13 cycles per second

32 Stage 1 Sleep Brain waves slow and enter a pattern of Theta waves - 6-8 cycles per second accompanied by slow, rolling eye movements Hypnagogic state – drowsy interval between waking and sleeping, characterized by brief, hallucinatory, dream-like experiences.

33 Stage 2 Sleep (after 30-40 min. of stage 1) Brain waves are medium amplitude, 4-7 cycles per second Sleep spindles - brief bursts of brain activity, 12-16 cycles per second K complex - brain activity in response to external stimulation

34 Stage 3 & 4 Sleep Deep Sleep Brain produces slower delta waves - strong, slow brain waves Stage 4 – deepest stage of sleep

35 Stage 5: REM (rapid eye movement) Paradoxical Sleep – level of arousal similar to waking state but there are chemical differences When dreams are most likely to occur Body is paralyzed About 5 periods of REM sleep during an 8- hour night

36 Long Sleepers v. Short Sleepers Long = 10 hours or more Short = 6 hours or less Research found that short sleepers tend to be more happy-go-lucky Long sleepers tend to be more concerned with personal achievement and social causes but also more anxious and depressed

37 Review 1. What happens during various stages of sleep? 2. When does the hypnagogic state occur and what is it? 3. What is the K complex? 4. What is the deepest stage of sleep? 5. Describe the 5 th stage of sleep. Complete terms worksheet by reading p.161 -164

38 Warm-up: If you could automatically remember and control all of your dreams, would you want the ability? Why or why not? Don’t forget to record your dreams! You MUST have this for class on Monday. Today’s Objective: Describe various theories on why we dream

39 The stages of sleep are not always orderly…. If sleep deprived, we may drift into a deep sleep right away. If deprived of REM for several nights, we may spend more time in REM as soon as we fall asleep.

40 Dreams A dream is a sequence of images or thoughts that occur during sleep. Dreams may be … - vague and loosely plotted - vivid and intricate Strange dreams do not mean that something is wrong with you!

41 Dreams continued…. Most occur during REM (if you have 8 hours of sleep, you may have up to 5 dreams per night) Dreams can be in black & white or color

42 Theories about why we dream… 1. To reorganize the brain 2. To work out unsolved problems 3. To make sense of random stimulation to the brain – the result from all revising, updating going on in the brain

43 Causes of Dreams Memories, thoughts, actions are controlled by electrical impulses in the brain. Electrical impulses cause the firing of our own memory circuits.

44 Dream Content Dream content can range from fantastic adventures to extension of everyday tasks. If preoccupied with moral dilemmas, death, or sexual urges, we are more likely to dream about them.

45 Can people gain insight into their inner-most feelings and fears by interpreting their dreams?

46 Freudian view of Dream Content Dreams reflect unconscious wishes and urges or things we censor during the day Symbolic of unconscious fantasized objects Dreams keep disturbing, repressed thoughts out of awareness Highly criticized theory

47 Activation-Synthesis Model of Dream Content Dreams reflect biological, not psychological activity. (Explains why we tend to dream about our day.)

48 Nightmares: Medieval times During the Middle Ages they were thought of as works of the demons, Incubus – would lie on sleeping people, especially women, for sexual purposes Succubus – female demon thought to have sexual intercourse with sleeping men

49 Nightmares Today Usually form from traumatic events Those suffering from frequent nightmares are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and other forms of psychological discomfort.

50 Lucid Dreaming A dream in which we seem to be awake and aware that we are dreaming Possible reasons – fostering creativity or personal growth, reshaping monsters in nightmares

51 Review 1. Are the stages of sleep always orderly? 2. What are dreams? 3. Why do we dream? What are some theories? 4. Describe Freud’s view on dreams. 5. Describe the activation synthesis model on dream content. Tomorrow: Sleep Disorders Thursday: Quiz

52 Sleep Disorders – Insomnia difficulty falling asleep, remaining asleep, and/or waking early About 1/3 of population suffers More women than men Likely with high anxiety or muscle tension “Trying” to sleep heightens tension which further offsets sleep

53 Sleep Disorders – Narcolepsy Uncontrollable seizures of sleep during waking state Afflicts about 10,000 in U.S. “Sleep Attacks” last about 15 minutes Stimulants & antidepressants

54 Sleep Disorders – Apnea Temporary stopping of breathing 1 million overweight men Up to 500 times a night per individual Tranquilizers or surgery

55 Sleep Disorders – Night Terrors more severe than nightmares, occurs during deep sleep Example – Surge in heart respiration rates, the dreamer suddenly sits up, talks incoherently, and moves about wildly. Dreamer is never fully awake – returns to being asleep and sees images of someone pressing on his/her chest.

56 Other Disorders Bedwetting – may be child “punishing” parents, underdeveloped nervous system Behavior-therapy methods or antidepressants Talking in sleep – 15% of children Walking in sleep – most sleepers can answer questions, do not remember excursions – mild tranquilizers For more info:


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