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Consciousness

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  1. Consciousness Chapter 5

  2. Consciousness • Awareness of things both inside out outside ourselves • Early psychologists said that consciousness shouldn’t be studied b/c it can’t be measured • Today study it linked with measurable behavior (talking, reading, walking) and brain waves • Psychological construct, like emotion & intelligence • Can’t be touched, seen, directly measured • Awareness: 3 types: sensory, direct inner awareness, sense of self

  3. Consciousness • Awareness: 3 types • 1. Sensory: sight, sound, smell, environemnt, aware of things outside of yourself • Selective Attention: focusing on a particular stimulus (ME TALKING! Music, TV, Etc.) • More conscious of sudden changes, unusual stimuli, intense stimuli • 2. Direct Inner Awareness: imagination of past experiences, emotions, feelings • You don’t have to actually be doing it b/c you remember it • 3. Sense of Self: unique individuals, separate from others & surroundings

  4. Consciousness • Levels of consciousness: • 1. Preconscious Level: not in your awareness now, but you can recall them • What did you do yesterday after school? • 2. Unconscious Level: sub conscious also, unavailable to awareness under most circumstances, hidden from conscious mind • Trouble getting ready for school, really don’t want to go… • Freud: Certain memories & painful, some impulses (aggression) are unacceptable, so we use defense mechanisms to push them out of our consciousness & avoid anxiety, guilt, shame

  5. Consciousness • Freud’s Iceberg Theory of Consciousness: • 1. Conscious level: perceptions & thoughts • 2. Preconscious level: memories & stored knowledge • 3.: Unconscious level: • A: Selfish Needs, Violent Motives • B. Immoral Urges, Fears • C. Irrational Wishes, Shameful Experiences, Unacceptable Desires


  6. Consciousness • 3. Nonconscious Level: finger nails & hair growing, pupils change sizes • 4. Altered States of Consciousness: sense of self or sense of world changes • Sleep, meditation, biofeedback, hypnosis, drugs

  7. Sleep & Dreams • Circadian Rhythms: biological clocks that govern living plants, animals & people • Babies will be sleepy about every 4 hours • Regulates body temperature, blood pressure, sleepiness, wakefulness • Why people going to night shift have a tough time • W/o clocks, tv, computers, etc. our rhythms are about 25 hours

  8. Sleep & Dreams • Sleep Stages: • EEG measures brainwaves and changes if we are awake, relaxed or sleeping • Beta Waves: awake & alert, short & quick • Drowsy: slow from beta to alpha, slower • Relaxed state: flashes of color, feeling of falling • Followed by sleep • Stage 1: lightest sleep • Brain waves change from alpha to theta waves, slower • Brief images like photographs • Awakened will not recall them or feel like we haven’t slept at all • 30-40 minute max, then move into stage 2, then 3, then 4 • Stage 4: deepest sleep • Great difficulty waking someone • Stay about ½ hour go back, 3, 2, 1, very fast!

  9. Sleep & Dreams • REM Sleep: Rapid Eye-Movement Sleep: our eyes move rapidly under our eye lids • Breathe irregularly, blood pressure rises, heart beat increases, brain waves similar to stage 1 sleep • The rest is NREM b/c eyes don’t move as much • Most people go through these stages 5x, each time is one cycle • As night goes on REM sleep b/c longer

  10. Sleep & Dreams • Importance of Sleep & Dreams: • Revive tired body • Built up resistance to infection • Recover from stress • Consolidate memory from previous day • Study: 11 days no sleep: irritable, couldn’t focus eyes, speech problems, memory lapses • Recovery: slept 6.5 hours extra 1st 3 days, 4th 2.5 extra • Study deprives of REM sleep: will catch up on it later, learn more slowly, forget more rapidly, help brain development & exercise brain cells

  11. Sleep & Dreams • Dreams: • REM Sleep is when most dreams occur • Black & white or in color • Realisticor disorganized & less real • During REM sleep dreams have clear imagery & plots that make sense • NREM vague plots & fleeting images • Most dreams are in real time • Often have trouble remembering details when moving to other stages of consciouness

  12. Sleep & Dreams • Freud’s View: “A dream is a wish your heart makes…” • Dreams reflect unconscious wishes & urges • Some may be unacceptable or painful • People dream in symbols • decoding the symbols help understand meaning • Symbols help hide painful material can’t deal with consciously • Biopsychological Approach: • Dreams begin with biological not psychological activity • Neurons fire in parts of the brain that control movement & vision • Random, brain tries to make sense, weaves story, dream • Explains why we dream about things that happened that day, concerns, problems we have • No real rule for interpreting

  13. Sleep Problems • Insomnia: the inability to sleep • Difficulty falling asleep, racing thoughts before bedtime • Gets worse with stress & anxiety • Can make it worse by trying to get to sleep, backfires & causes tension • Sleeping pills overrated • Psychologists recommend: • Tense muscles 1 at a time, then relax • Avoid worrying in bed, get up if it persists • Regular daily & nightly routine • Pleasant images • Only problem if continues for a while

  14. Sleep Problems • Nightmare vs. Night Terror: • Nightmare: originally thought to be work of demons, now know REM sleepdreams • Some studies show 2 nightmares a month • More common near upsetting events, when depressed or anxious • Night Terrors: sleep terrors, similar to but more severe than nightmares • Hearts racing, gasp for air, sit up, talk incoherently, thrash about, don’t fully wake, recall some in morning • More likely in stages 3,4 and nightmares usually REM • Night terrors 1st few sleep cycles, nightmares more toward end of sleep • Night terrors more common in young children, show immature nervous system

  15. Sleep Problems • Sleep walking: roam around in sleep, talk, seem awake, but not • Don’t remember • Can become violent or upset if awakened • More prone to accidents, so should be supervised • Usually outgrow it • Sleep Apnea: breathing interruption that occurs while sleeping • Don’t automatically start breathing till wake up or gasp for air, then fall asleep again • Usually don’t totally awaken, probably unaware • Feel tired during day b/c interrupts sleep cycle • Could be seen with snoring • About 10 million have it, more common if obese • Can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke

  16. Sleep Problems • Narcolepsy: rare sleep problem when people suddenly fall asleep, no matter where they are or what time it is • Enter directly into REM sleep • Drug therapy & frequent naps can treat it • Usually awaken refreshed • Can be dangerous • Unknown cause, likely an inherited genetic disorder

  17. Altered State of Consciousness • Hypnosis pg. 141 • Method for altering consciousness during which people respond to suggestions and behave as though they are in a trance • Some question it, if you don’t believe it won’t work • Some can occur w/o hypnosis, when comparing brain waves • Began w/ Franz Mesmer in 1700’s, universe connected by magnetism so passed magnets over body, went into trance, awoke feeling better, no scientific basis • Focus on something specific, arms & legs become warn, heavy relaxed, becoming sleepy or falling asleep • Hypnotic suggestibility : more easily to focus • Some of us have selected conscious issues

  18. Altered States of Consciousness • Freud: allowed unconscious to lose control, liked having hypnotist in control • Role Theory: people are playing a part as if they are in a play, feel like what they are doing is real • Thought to affect memory, pain, stopping habits, calm patients, anxiety, overcome fear • Jog memory of witness to crime, proven • Has more to do with memory of events than trance • Pain Prevention: dentists, surgery • Bad Habits: posthypnotic suggestion: give instructions during hypnosis that are to be carried out after the session has ended • Smoking or overeating • Link habit with something negative • Can make it positive, you have will power to resist

  19. Drugs & Consciousness • Addiction: drug means that a person uses it for a while the body craves it to feel normal • Depressants: slow down the nervous system • Alcohol • Intoxication: drunkeness, slurs speech, blurs vision, makes them clumsy, difficult to concentrate, affects judgement, hard time writing, less attention to consequences, takes away inhibitions • Withdrawl: trembling, tension, seizure • Problems: Liver, heart, cancer

  20. Drugs & Consciousness • Narcotics: • Addictive depressants that have been used to relieve pain, induce sleep, etc. • Morphine: Civil War, deaden pain from wounds, addiction was soldiers disease • Heroin: hero to cure addiction to morphine, made people feel heroic, now illegal, intense feeling of pleasure • Can cause depression, impair judgment & memory, drowsiness, stupor • Depresses respiratory system, leads to loss of consciousness, coma, death • Intravenously, injected in vein, AIDS risk • Withdrawls: tremors, cramps, chills, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea

  21. Drugs & Consciousness • Stimulants: increase activity of the nervous system, including heart rate and breathing rate • Nicotine: tobacco, smoke or chew • Releases adrenaline, causes heart rate to increase • May make people feel more alert & attentive, but does not help solve complex tasks • Reduces appetite, raises rate at which food converts to energy • Many quitters experience weight gain • As addictive as heroin • Withdrawls: nervousness, drowsiness, insomnia, dizziness, cramps heart palpitations, tremors, sweating • Health Risks: lung disease, cancer, low birth weight, miscarriage, premature birth • 2nd hand smoke: breathing problems & other illnesses • 3rd hand smoke: lingers on clothing & in upholstry

  22. Drugs & Consciousness • Stimulants Continued • Amphetamines: helps people stay awake, reduces appetite, colorless liquid • Used in WWII to keep them awake & alert during the night • Speed or uppers • Feelings of pleasure in high doses • Pill, injected in veins • Crash after long period of high, sleep or depression, even suicide • Too much: restlessness, insomnia, loss of appetite, irritability • Hallucinations: perception of object or sound that seems to be real but is not, bugs crawling on them is common • Delusions: false ideas that seem real, you can fly, being chased

  23. Drugs & Consciousness • Stimulants Continued • Methamphetamine, meth, crystal meth, ice?: smoked, injected or snorted • Euphoria, loss of appetite, increased alertness, hyperactivity, false sense of confidence, risky behavior • Health Issues: gum damage, tooth decay “meth mouth,” permanent brain, kidney, and liver damage, death • Extremely addictive, tolerance develops quickly • Labs are dangerous, poisonous gas, toxic chemicals, highly explosive • Cocaine: stimulant from leaves of the coca plant, in South America • Feelings of pleasure, reduction in hunger, deadens pain, boosts confidence • Raises blood pressure, decreases oxygen, speeds up heart, serious heart • Used as pain killer since 1800’s, Freud used it to overcome depression but knew dangerous & addictive • Overdoses: restlessness, insomnia, trembling, nausea, headaches, convulsions, hallucinations, delusions, death • Crack, more powerful & dangerous b/c impure, extra strain on heart

  24. Drugs & Consciousness • Hallucinogens: drugs that produce hallucinations • May also cause relaxation, feelings of pleasure, or feeling of panic • Marijuana: leaves of cannabis sativa plan, grows wild in many parts of world • Feelings of relaxation & mild hallucinations • Hashish or hash is from the sticky part of the plant and is stronger than marijuana • Apparently it burns differently, like oily? • Impairs perception & coordination, makes it difficult to operate machines, impairs memory & learning, can cause anxiety & confusion, can increase heart rate to 140-150 beats per minute, can raise blood pressure, visual hallucinations • Affects consciousness, people think time passes more slowly than usual, increased consciousness of bodily sensations • Some say it is frightening, confused, lose sense of self, rapid heart beat

  25. Drugs & Consciousness • Hallucinogens Continued: • LSD: lysergic acid diethylamide, acid • Much stronger than marijuana, intense hallucinations, some very bizarre • Some say it expands their consciousness & opens a new world • Effects are not predictable, frightening, panic, confusion, maybe accidentally hurt themselves, accidental suicide • Lasting side effects: memory loss, violent outbursts, nightmares, panic • Mushrooms: compound psilocybin, similar to LSD • Eaten raw or with food • Alters sight, sound, taste, smell & touch • Effects: confusion, anxiety, panic, flashbacks, death • Peyote: cactus plant native to Mexico, alkaloid mescaline in cactus • Religious rituals of Indian groups in southwest US & Mexico • Ecstasy: club drug or X • Popular at clubs or parties b/c pill & easy to take • Hallucinations, increased energy, loss of judgment • Side effects: nausea & high blood pressure

  26. Drugs & Consciousness • Treatment depends on type of drug • Detoxification: removal of harmful substance from body, weans addict off drug while restoring health • Common for alcohol & narcotics • Maintenance: narcotics addicts, • Controlled amounts of drug or less addictive substitute • Never completely free of drug, controversial • Counseling: individually or a group • Support Groups: people have shared common experiences, concerns or problems • Emotional & moral support • AA, Narcotics Anonymous