States of Consciousness. (2-4% of the AP Exam). What is Consciousness?. Consciousness is our awareness of ourselves and our environment . Your conscious includes: 1. Your awareness of external events. 2. Your awareness of internal sensations.
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States of Consciousness
(2-4% of the AP Exam)
Consciousness is our awareness of ourselves and our environment.
Your conscious includes:
1. Your awareness of external events.
2. Your awareness of internal sensations.
3. Your awareness of your self as the unique being having these experiences.
4. Your awareness of your thoughts about these experiences.
The contents of your consciousness are continually changing.
It moves, flows, fluctuates, wanders…
Recognizing that consciousness is in constant flux, William James (1902) named this flow the “stream of consciousness”.
When exposed to light, receptors in the retina send direct inputs to a small structure in the hypothalamus called the suprachiastmatic nucleus.
The SCN then send signals to the nearby pineal gland, whose secretion of the hormone melatonin plays a key role in the sleep/wake cycle.
EEG – machine that records cortical activity in the brain in terms of line tracings called brain waves.
There are four distinct “patterns” of brain waves:
1. beta waves: normal, waking thought
2. alpha waves: deep relaxation, meditation
3. theta waves: light sleep
4. delta waves: deep sleep
Stage one and two are brief transitional stages of light sleep that lasts only 10-25 minutes each.
During Stage one and two, breathing and heart rate slow as muscle tension and body temperature decline.
The alpha waves of the relaxed state transition to the slower theta waves.
During Stage two, brief bursts of higher-frequency brain waves, called sleep spindles, appear against a backdrop of mixed EEG activity.
Gradually brain waves become higher in amplitude and slower in frequency (delta waves) as the body moves into the deep sleep of stages three and four.
Deep sleep is typically reached in about a half an hour and remains there for another half an hour.
Then the cycle reverses itself and the sleep moves back upward into lighter stages of sleep.
When sleepers reach what should be stage one again, they usually go into the fifth stage, called REM sleep.
REM is an abbreviation for rapid-eye movement, which is a distinct characteristic of the stage itself.
During REM bodily movements are minimal and the sleeper is virtually paralyzed.
Although REM is a relatively deep stage of sleep, EEG activity is dominated by beta waves, those observed when people are awake and alert.
Thus REM sleep is sometimes referred to as paradoxical sleep: your body is internally aroused but externally calm.
Although some dreaming does occur in non-REM sleep (stages 1-4), dreaming is most frequent, vivid and memorable during REM sleep.
Age alters the sleep cycle.
Newborns will sleep roughly 16 hours a day.
REM sleep accounts for about 50% of infants total sleep but only 20% in adults.
As we age, time spent in deep sleep lessens as the average amount of total sleep also declines.
It seems that the older we get, the less sleep we actually need.
Studies have shown that older adults tolerate sleep deprivation with less impairment that younger adults.
Why Do We Sleep?
Sleep protects – evolutionary explanation; dangers of the dark
Sleep restores and repairs (RestorativeTheory) - resting neurons need time to repair themselves
Sleep helps us remember – reorganizes and rebuilds fading memories from the day
Sleep helps our bodies grow – during sleep the pituitary gland releases growth hormones
Insomnia – problems falling or staying asleep
Sometimes caused by intense anxiety and tension that prevents relaxation thus keeping people awake.
Frequently a side effect of emotional problems such as depression or of significant stress.
Most people who suffer from insomnia pursue no professional treatment.
Those who do are usually prescribed newer forms of sleeping pills called nonbenzodiazepines.
Nonbenzodiazepines are sedatives designed primarily to relieve anxiety and help people fall asleep more quickly.
Brand names like Ambien and Lunesta are popular and often successful in treating patients with insomnia.
Sleep apnea involves frequent, reflexive gasping for air that awakens a person and disrupts sleep.
Usually treated via lifestyle modifications (weight loss, reduced alcohol use), drug therapy or special masks that improve airflow to the lungs while asleep.
Sufferers of narcolepsy drop suddenly and involuntarily into sleep.
Usually prescribed some form of stimulant or amphetamine to speed up the body and combat the likelihood of sudden collapse into sleep.
Night terrors: abrupt awakenings from NREM sleep (stage four) accompanied by intense autonomic arousal and feelings of panic
Somnambulism: sleep walking
In 1899, Sigmund Freud publishes “The Interpretation of Dreams”.
Freud called the actual storyline of a dream the “manifest content”.
The underlying meaning of those dreams Freud referred to as its “latent content”.
Information-processing – dreams help us sort out the day’s events and consolidate our memories
Credit for the popularity of hypnosis goes to Franz Anton Mesmer, a physician, who mistakenly thought he discovered “animal magnetism.”
Some of his patients experienced a trancelike state and felt better upon waking up.
Mesmer was simply using the power of suggestion to “treat” his patients.
Ernest Hilgard – famous researcher in the field of hypnotics
Proposed the divided consciousness theory – idea that hypnosis causes a separate, simultaneous “split” in awareness
Hilgard called this “split” in awareness dissociation.
One stream is in communication with the hypnotist and the external world while the other stream is a difficult-to-detect “hidden observer”.
Psychoactive drug – chemical substance that alters perceptions, mood or behavior.
These substances can induce an altered state of consciousness.
Include everything from caffeine to crack cocaine and LSD.
Withdrawal- discomfort and distress that follows when a dependent person discontinues the use of drug.
Tolerance – reduced responsiveness to a drug, promoting user to increase dosage to achieve desired effect.
Either alone or in pairs, you are to complete a brochure discussing the 5 classes of drugs.
Please also elaborate on specific types of drugs that comprise each class and other relevant information you acquire from your text.
Make the brochure informative and interesting.
Avoid including insignificant details and put brochure IN YOUR OWN WORDS!
What Happens to Us When We Die?
What happens after we die?
Monist – mind and body inseparable; death is final or belief in bodily resurrection (reincarnation)
Dualist – mind and body are two distinct entities that interact; death is mind’s liberation from body (Socrates, Plato, Descartes)