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Ch. 4: States of Consciousness

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1 Ch. 4: States of Consciousness

2 Altered States of Consciousness
Waking Consciousness Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions that occur when we are awake and alert Altered States of Consciousness A mental state that differs noticeably from normal waking consciousness, including sleep, dreaming, meditation, or drug-induced states

3 Explaining Waking Consciousness
Stream of information resulting from the activity of the thalamus--which analyzes and interprets information Consciousness may only be the “tip of the iceberg” that includes unconscious mental activities Consciousness is also viewed as an adaptation allowing us to get along with others in our group (humans)

4 Daydreaming and Fantasy
Spontaneous shifts if attention away from the here and now into a make-believe world Urge to daydream peaks about every 90 min. Daydreams may provide stress relief and encourage creativity

5 Circadian Cycles: The Biological Clock
Circadian cycles are those that last “about a day” Circadian rhythms are governed by an area of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) Controls body temperature, metabolism, blood pressure, hormone levels and hunger Jet lag is the result of desynchronization of the circadian rhythm

6 The Rhythms of Sleep Brain waves and sleep stages Stage 1 Stage 2
REM sleep

7 REM called paradoxical sleep
REM Sleep “Rapid Eye Movement” REM called paradoxical sleep Brain waves similar to waking state, but person is deeply asleep and unable to move Most dreaming takes place during REM

8 Sleep Patterns Across the Life Span

9 Changes In REM and NREM

10 Sleep Disorders Sleeptalking and Sleepwalking Night terrors
Usually occurs during Stage 4 sleep More common in children Sleepwalking more common in boys Night terrors Episodes of fright that occur during stages 3 or 4 of NREM sleep Person may sit up or scream, but likely will not recall the episode in the morning

11 Sleep Disorders Insomnia Difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep
Affects ~ 35 million Americans May be related to stress, depression, medication Can also be caused by noise, temperature, or trying to sleep in a new environment

12 Apnea Sleep Disorders Person stops breathing momentarily during sleep
Affects ~ million Americans

13 Sleep Disorders Narcolepsy
Suddenly falling asleep without warning during waking hours Narcoleptics often experience loss of muscle tone as well May also drop into REM sleep immediately, causing hallucinations Likely caused by a central nervous system defect

14 Dreams as unconscious wishes
Why Do We Dream? Dreams as unconscious wishes Freud thought dreams were the “royal road to the unconscious” Manifest content What the dreamer remembers about the dream Latent content The hidden, unconscious meaning of the dream

15 Why Do We Dream? Dreams and information processing
Information gathered during the day is reprocessed to strengthen memory Dreams and neural activity Activation-synthesis hypothesis Random outbursts of nerve-cell activity are interpreted as stories by higher brain centers Dreams and waking life Extension of concerns in daily life


17 Sleep & Aging The older we get, the more likely it is that we will suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. > 50 % of people over 64 years old suffer from some type of sleep disorder. While the hormonal and physical changes that occur as we age will likely affect sleep, especially in menopausal women, the increased presence of other medical conditions and disorders is also a factor that tends to upset the sleep of the elderly.

18 Menachem Begin, Former Israeli prime minister (1977-83)
SLEEP DEPRIVATION Menachem Begin, Former Israeli prime minister ( ) Mr. Begin described his sleep deprivation experience, while being held captive by the Russian KGB: "In the head of the interrogated prisoner, a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep... Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger and thirst are comparable with it."

Without adequate rest, the brain's ability to function quickly deteriorates. Concentration levels drop Memory impaired Problem solving greatly impaired Decision-making abilities compromised Brain falls into rigid thought patterns Hallucinations Depression Heart disease Hypertension Irritability Slower reaction times Slurred speech Tremors

Causes of sleep deprivation can be divided into four broad areas: lifestyle health complications medication side effects clinical disorders Caffeine &/or alcohol before bedtime is among the most common causes of sleep deprivation.

Weight Changes Dramatic weight changes, especially weight gain, are also common effects of sleep deprivation Because the amount and quality of the sleep we get affects our hormone levels, namely our levels of leptin and ghrelin

Sleep & Aging The older we get, the more likely it is that we will suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. Over 50 percent of people over 64 years old suffer from some type of sleep disorder. Hormonal and physical changes that occur as we age will likely affect sleep, especially in menopausal women.

23 MENOPAUSE Menopause is the time in a woman's life when the function of the ovaries ceases The ovaries are the main source of female hormones The average age of menopause onset is 51 years old. Symptoms, including fatigue, memory problems, irritability, and rapid changes in mood Hot flashes & night sweats

24 SLEEP DEPRIVATION & Sports Performance
Some recent studies have found that that sleep deprivation can slow glucose metabolism by as much as 30 to 40%. Eve Van Cauter, Ph.D., from the University of Chicago Medical School, studied the effects of three different durations of sleep in 11 men ages 18 to 27.

25 SLEEP DEPRIVATION & Sports Performance
For the first three nights of the study, the men slept eight hours per night; For the next six nights, they slept four hours per night; For the last seven nights, they slept 12 hours per night.

26 SLEEP DEPRIVATION & Sports Performance
Results showed that after four hours of sleep per night (the sleep deprivation period), they metabolized glucose least efficiently. Levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) were also higher during sleep deprivation periods, which has been linked to memory impairment, age-related insulin resistance, and impaired recovery in athletes.

27 Meditation and Hypnosis
Techniques which improve the ability to focus and relax Suppresses activity of the sympathetic nervous system

28 Meditation and Hypnosis
Trancelike state in which people can respond more easily to suggestion Hypnosis has been used in conjunction with psychotherapy and as an anesthetic in dentistry and surgery

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