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Ch. 4 States of Consciousness Consciousness - Our awareness of various cognitive processes, such as sleeping, dreaming, concentrating, and making decisions Altered state of consciousness (ASC) - mental state that differs noticeably from normal waking consciousness 1. Conscious Experience

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Ch. 4 States of Consciousness

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ch 4 states of consciousness
Ch. 4 States of Consciousness
  • Consciousness - Our awareness of various cognitive processes, such as sleeping, dreaming, concentrating, and making decisions
  • Altered state of consciousness (ASC) - mental state that differs noticeably from normal waking consciousness
1 conscious experience
1. Conscious Experience
  • A. What is Waking Consciousness?
    • Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions that arise when we are awake
  • B. Explaining Waking Consciousness
    • Stream of information resulting from the activity of the thalamus which analyzes and interprets information
  • C. Daydreaming and Fantasy
    • May provide stress relief and encourage creativity
2 sleep
2. Sleep
  • A. Circadian Cycles: The Biological Clock
    • Circadian = “about a day”
  • B. The Rhythms of Sleep
    • Brain waves and sleep stages
      • Sleep stages 1- 4
    • REM versus non-REM
      • REM more vivid dreams        
      • REM called paradoxical sleep

Research into sleep patterns shows that normal sleep consists of several stages. Following the initial "twilight" state, which is characterized by irregular, low-voltage alpha waves and a state of relaxed wakefulness, the sleeper enters Stage 1 of sleep…


REM sleep is also called paradoxical sleep because while brain activity and other physiological symptoms resemble those recorded during waking consciousness, the sleeper appears to be deeply asleep and is incapable of moving because of paralysis of the body's voluntary muscles

Non-REM, or NREM sleep, refers to the non-rapid-eye-movement stages of sleep that alternate with REM stages during the sleep cycle
C. Sleep Disorders
    • Sleeptalking, sleepwalking, and night terrors
      • More common in children
      • Usually Stage 4 sleep
    • Insomnia - Difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep
      • 35 million Americans
      • May be related to stress, depression, medication
    • Breathing stops momentarily during sleep
  • Narcolepsy
    • Suddenly falling asleep
3 dreams
3. Dreams
  • A. Why Do We Dream?
    • Dreams as unconscious wishes
      • Freud “royal road to the unconscious”
    • Dreams and neural activity
      • Random outbursts of nerve-cell activity
    • Dreams and waking life
      • “Housecleaning” of information
  • B. Do We Need to Dream?
    • Reprocessing of information
      • Can you learn while asleep?
4 drug altered consciousness
4. Drug-Altered Consciousness
  • A. Psychoactive Drugs
    • Chemicals that change mood and perceptions
    • Movie Clip #1
    • Movie Clip #2
  • B. Substance Use
    • Using a substance but it does not yet interfere with a person’s life
  • C. Substance Abuse
    • Using substances to the point that the person becomes less responsible
D. Substance Dependence
    • Dependence on substance leads to tolerance and withdrawal
    • Addiction Movie
  • E. Tolerance and Withdrawal
    • Tolerance
      • More substance is required to obtain the same effect
    • Withdrawal
      • Physical discomfort when the substance is stopped

Substance use may be essential for medical reasons and it may also be culturally approved and valued. By contrast, substance abuse is a pattern of drug use that diminishes the person's ability to fulfill responsibilities at home or at work or school, that results in repeated use of a drug in dangerous situations, or that leads to legal difficulties related to drug use

F. Depressants
      • Alcohol
        • 2/3 fatal crashes
        • Paradoxical stimulant
        • Alcohol myopia
  • Click here to view the Blood-Alcohol table
    • Downers
    • For insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy, arthritis, bedwetting
  • Opiates
    • Poppy seed or synthetic
    • Heroin
    • Opiates Movie
G. Stimulants
    • Caffeine
      • Alertness
      • Anxiety, headaches, heart palpitations, insomnia, diarrhea
    • Nicotine
      • Highly addictive
      • Brain craves
      • Nicotine Movie
Caffeine is considered to be a benign drug, but in large doses it can cause anxiety, insomnia, and other unpleasant conditions
      • Euphoria then crash, severe depression
      • Amphetamines Movie
    • Cocaine
      • In Coca-Cola originally
      • Euphoria (stim. Sympathetic NS)
      • Crash leads to anxiety, depression, and cravings
      • Cocaine Movie
  • Click here to view the Depressants, Stimulants, and Hallucinogens table
H. Hallucinogens and Marijuana
    • Distort visual and auditory perception
    • LSD
      • Produces hallucinations and delusions similar to a psychotic state
      • Can result in psychosis, memory loss, paranoia, panic attacks, nightmares and aggression
    • Mild hallucinations
    • Euphoria, sense of well-being, relaxation
    • Anxiety and paranoia
    • Marijuana Video
5 meditation and hypnosis
5. Meditation and Hypnosis
  • A. Meditation
    • A technique which improves the ability to focus and relax
  • B. Hypnosis
    • Hypnotic suggestions
    • Clinical application of hypnosis