Consciousness

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An overview of Consciousness studies for a General Psychology class.

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Consciousness

  1. 2. States of Consciousness
  2. 3. What is Consciousness? <ul><li>Awareness of internal or external events or states </li></ul><ul><li>More than a simple state of awareness. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to define. </li></ul><ul><li>Processes involved in Consciousness </li></ul><ul><li>1. Attention </li></ul><ul><li>2. Intentionality </li></ul><ul><li>3. Subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>4. Perception </li></ul><ul><li>5. Learning & Memory </li></ul><ul><li>6. Emotions </li></ul><ul><li>7. Associations </li></ul><ul><li>8. Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>9. Arousal of the Nervous System </li></ul>
  3. 4. The Brain’s Job <ul><li>Consciousness is a process going on in the brain. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the brain’s functioning is for survival. </li></ul><ul><li>Very little of the functioning of the brain is devoted to consciousness. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Altered States of Consciousness <ul><li>A Fundamental & Qualitative Shift in Mental Functioning which brings about a Distinctly Different Organizational Pattern of Subjective Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness is constantly shifting </li></ul><ul><li>Altered States </li></ul><ul><li>Drugs, alcohol, sleep, daydreaming, hypnosis, meditation, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Daydreaming & fantasy </li></ul><ul><li>Not sure of the value. </li></ul><ul><li>There is an escape value. </li></ul><ul><li>The problem occurs when daydreaming takes over your life. </li></ul>
  5. 6. Physical Rhythms <ul><li>Circadian Rhythms </li></ul><ul><li>Most studied biological rhythm due to its 24-hour cycle. </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep/wakefulness cycle is the easiest to detect because of its connection to the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus . </li></ul><ul><li>Human Physiological Rhythms </li></ul><ul><li>Ultradian Rhythms ( Repeats Several Times/Day) </li></ul><ul><li>Multiseconds: Muscular Action </li></ul><ul><li>Cellular Division </li></ul><ul><li>Seconds: EEG </li></ul><ul><li>Heartbeat </li></ul><ul><li>Respiration </li></ul><ul><li>Minutes: Blood Pressure </li></ul><ul><li>90-Minute Cycle: Urination </li></ul><ul><li>Hemisphere Dominance </li></ul><ul><li>Circadian Rhythms (Repeats Daily) </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep-wake Cycle, Hormone Balance, Short- & Long-term Memory, Mental Performances, Muscle Strength, Activity-rest Patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Infradian Rhythms ( Longer than a Day) </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly: Blood Pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Monthly: Sexual Cycles, Moods, Fertility </li></ul><ul><li>Annual: Depression, Birth/Death Rates, </li></ul><ul><li>Disease Susceptibility </li></ul><ul><li>Centennial: Human Life Cycle </li></ul>
  6. 7. Rhythms of Sleep <ul><li>4 Stages of Sleep </li></ul><ul><li>Stages 1 through 4 constitute NREM sleep. </li></ul><ul><li>We cycle through the stages about every 90 minutes. </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep requirements change as we age. </li></ul>
  7. 8. REM Sleep & Dreams <ul><li>REM sleep is called “Paradoxical Sleep” </li></ul><ul><li>Brain activity, heart rate, & blood pressure resemble being awake. </li></ul><ul><li>80% relationship between REM & dreams. </li></ul><ul><li>Cycling through the stages </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 1 is light sleep with slow brain waves. </li></ul><ul><li>Stages 2 & 3 are more relaxed with slower brain waves and no dreams. </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 4 is deep sleep. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Sleep Deprivation <ul><li>Problems encountered </li></ul><ul><li>30% - 50% of students fall asleep in class at least 1 time a week. </li></ul><ul><li>Losing 1-2 hours of sleep each night produces attention problems, slows reaction time, produces unpredictable behavior, judgmental errors, & lowers productivity & decision-making ability . </li></ul><ul><li>How do you know if you’re getting enough sleep? </li></ul><ul><li>Being put in a darkened room & you immediately fall asleep is the main symptom of chronic sleep loss. </li></ul><ul><li>You can reduce sleep loss by taking short naps during the day. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Sleep Disorders <ul><li>Sleep talking </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep walking </li></ul><ul><li>Takes place mainly during Stage 4 sleep. </li></ul><ul><li>More common among children than adults. </li></ul><ul><li>Night terrors </li></ul><ul><li>Suddenly sits up in bed screaming. </li></ul><ul><li>Not due to any nightmare. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally can’t be awakened. </li></ul><ul><li>Refuses comforting. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually occurs between the ages of 4 through 12. </li></ul><ul><li>If it goes into adulthood it is seen in those with personality disorders or drug or alcohol problems. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Sleep Disorders <ul><li>Insomnia </li></ul><ul><li>The inability to fall or remain asleep. </li></ul><ul><li>Often it is temporary due to stress. </li></ul><ul><li>If it is chronic, medication is needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Other causes can include depression, worry, or fear, bad sleeping habits, & worrying about not sleeping. </li></ul>
  11. 12. Sleep Disorders <ul><li>Sleep Apnea </li></ul><ul><li>An inherited condition where breathing becomes difficult while sleeping . </li></ul><ul><li>In severe cases , breathing completely stops . </li></ul><ul><li>This typically happens hundreds of time each night. Next day , you will feel exhausted and sleepy , generally falling asleep during the day . </li></ul><ul><li>Narcolepsy </li></ul><ul><li>An inherited condition where you will nod off to sleep in the middle of a conversation . </li></ul><ul><li>There is a sudden loss of muscle tone at the expression of any emotion . </li></ul><ul><li>It appears to be connected to a CNS defect . </li></ul>
  12. 13. Theories of Dreams <ul><li>Freud </li></ul><ul><li>Dreams represent unfulfilled wishes & reflect manifest & latent motives. </li></ul><ul><li>They are expressions of primitive, amoral desires. </li></ul><ul><li>Jung </li></ul><ul><li>Dreams are one way that the unconscious expresses itself. </li></ul><ul><li>In dreams, this expression is archetypal and analogical. </li></ul><ul><li>They can give you guidance toward individuation. </li></ul><ul><li>What is the difference in how Freud and Jung would interpret this dream symbol ? </li></ul>
  13. 14. Are your dreams in Color or Black & White?
  14. 15. Theories of Dreams <ul><li>Information Processing Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Dreams are a “time-out” to decide which information dealt with during the day should be filed in LTM. </li></ul><ul><li>Support comes from brain scans & through interfering with REM sleep. </li></ul><ul><li>Disrupting REM sleep disrupts the memory & newly learned material. </li></ul><ul><li>Scans show that specific areas active during learning are also active during dreams. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Theories of Dreams <ul><li>Activation-Synthesis Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Dreams are the by-products of the mind’s attempt to make sense of the spontaneous changes in the physiological activity generated by the pons during REM sleep. </li></ul><ul><li>The cerebral cortex is trying to make sense out of the random electrical discharges coming from the brain stem during REM sleep. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Theories of Dreams <ul><li>Emotional Processing Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Dreams integrate emotionally significant material into previous experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>We work through emotional problems during dreaming. </li></ul><ul><li>Dreams are an extension of our waking life & deal with conscious concerns. </li></ul><ul><li>The limbic system is highly active during dreaming. </li></ul><ul><li>Comparing Dream Theories </li></ul>
  17. 19. The Depressants <ul><li>Alcohol </li></ul><ul><li># 1 Drug problem in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Binge drinking on campus is a “tradition”. </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy, chronic use harms every organ in the body. </li></ul><ul><li>The leading cause of liver & kidney disease. </li></ul><ul><li>Leads to cardiovascular disease and sexual dysfunction. </li></ul><ul><li>Destroys neurons and can lead to Korsakoff’s Syndrome. </li></ul><ul><li>There are social problems associated with use. </li></ul><ul><li>A complex syndrome combining social, personal, psychological and genetic mechanisms. </li></ul>
  18. 20. The Depressants <ul><li>Barbiturates </li></ul><ul><li>“ Downers” “Sleeping Pills” </li></ul><ul><li>General effects are similar to alcohol. </li></ul><ul><li>Causes dependence. </li></ul><ul><li>Opiates </li></ul><ul><li>Chemically, they resemble the endorphins. </li></ul><ul><li>Regular use leads to tolerance & can create physical dependence. </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawals include severe cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, & convulsive kicking. </li></ul>
  19. 21. The Stimulants <ul><li>Caffeine </li></ul><ul><li>It is natural in coffee, tea, & cocoa, & used in many beverages & OTC medications. </li></ul><ul><li>Maintains wakefulness & alertness but its effects are illusory. </li></ul><ul><li>It interferes with many prescribed medications & aggravates side effects of many psychiatric drugs. </li></ul>
  20. 22. The Stimulants <ul><li>Nicotine </li></ul><ul><li>The most dangerous & addictive drug in use. </li></ul><ul><li>4 ½ times more addicting than heroin. </li></ul><ul><li>Chemical properties similar to cocaine, amphetamines, & morphine . </li></ul><ul><li>Affects the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine, epinephrine & serotonin. </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawals can continue for weeks & cravings can occur for months & years. </li></ul>
  21. 23. The Stimulants <ul><li>Amphetamines </li></ul><ul><li>“ Uppers” </li></ul><ul><li>Resemble epinephrine. </li></ul><ul><li>Relieves fatigue (“pep pill”). </li></ul><ul><li>Suppresses the appetite. </li></ul><ul><li>Increases alertness & gives feelings of competence & well-being. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Crash” produces exhaustion & depression. </li></ul><ul><li>They are habit forming. </li></ul><ul><li>High doses produce personality change, paranoia, homicidal & suicidal thoughts, & violent behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Amphetamine psychosis resembles paranoid schizophrenia. </li></ul>
  22. 24. The Stimulants <ul><li>Methamphetamine is a powerful form of amphetamine. </li></ul><ul><li>Short-term recreational use of methamphetamine destroys dopamine receptors in the brain. </li></ul><ul><li>High doses of methamphetamine damages axon terminals with dopamine & serotonin neurons. </li></ul>
  23. 25. The Stimulants <ul><li>Cocaine </li></ul><ul><li>Popular at the turn of the 20 th century in many OTC drugs. </li></ul><ul><li>Was cheap & became expensive in the 1970s. </li></ul><ul><li>Blocks the reabsorption of dopamine making the high longer & more intense. </li></ul>
  24. 26. P s y c h e d e l i c s <ul><li>LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, peyote, & PCP </li></ul><ul><li>Causes shifts in perception. </li></ul><ul><li>Used by shamans in natural forms. </li></ul><ul><li>LSD was synthesized in 1943 from psilocybin. </li></ul><ul><li>Predrug personality is important as to the outcome. </li></ul><ul><li>There are no withdrawals, but a tolerance is built up. </li></ul>
  25. 27. Marijuana <ul><li>Generally classified as an hallucinogen </li></ul><ul><li>Most frequently used illegal drug in the U.S. & 4 th most popular with students. </li></ul><ul><li>Slightly hallucinogenic. </li></ul><ul><li>Taken mainly for its relaxing qualities. </li></ul><ul><li>Has physiological effects & does damage to the respiratory & cardiovascular system. </li></ul><ul><li>It is 16 X more carcinogenic than tobacco . </li></ul>
  26. 28. E c s t a s y (MDMA) <ul><li>Main Effects: </li></ul><ul><li>Inhibits serotonin reuptake thus </li></ul><ul><li>inducing release of serotonin & </li></ul><ul><li>induces release of dopamine </li></ul><ul><li>Early studies indicated Ecstasy destroyed dopamine receptors. </li></ul><ul><li>Ecstasy actually affects serotonin receptors. </li></ul><ul><li>Not known if the affect is permanent. </li></ul><ul><li>Studies Retracted </li></ul><ul><li>Accidentally, methamphetamine was injected instead of MDMA. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of those who died while on MDMA were also taking other drugs. </li></ul>
  27. 29. Explaining Abuse & Addiction <ul><li>3 Main Factors </li></ul><ul><li>1. Biological Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic predispositions </li></ul><ul><li>Inheritance of personality factors & the body’s ability to tolerate the drug. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Psychological Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Learning processes in the family (e.g. handling of stressful situations). </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations of feeling better. </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes & beliefs about drugs, alcohol, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Socio-culture Factors </li></ul><ul><li>The social & cultural setting itself. </li></ul><ul><li>The culture’s view of certain drugs. </li></ul>
  28. 30. Meditation <ul><li>What is meditation? </li></ul><ul><li>Directed concentration </li></ul><ul><li>It’s focusing the mind around a single thought, object, or activity producing a state of deep peacefulness combined with a heightened sense of awareness. </li></ul>
  29. 31. Basic Meditation Procedures <ul><li>Structured Meditations </li></ul><ul><li>Carefully defined in all its inner activities & what you’re working toward. </li></ul><ul><li>Lotus Meditation & Breath Counting are examples. </li></ul><ul><li>Unstructured Meditations </li></ul><ul><li>There are different purposes in these meditations. </li></ul><ul><li>You must think about a subject & stay with it & your feelings about it. The purpose is to loosen & free your personality structure in a particular area for growth in that area. </li></ul>
  30. 32. Types of Meditations <ul><li>Path through the Intellect </li></ul><ul><li>You must first reach an intellectual understanding of the Physical & Metaphysical Realities & the ways these Realities perceive & relate to the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Then, through a series of meditations, this understanding is deepened & your personality structure is strengthened. </li></ul><ul><li>Jnana Yoga & Chabad Chasidism </li></ul>
  31. 33. Types of Meditations <ul><li>Path through the Emotions </li></ul><ul><li>The most widely used. </li></ul><ul><li>Structured meditations loosen your feelings & expand your ability to relate to others, to care, & to love. </li></ul><ul><li>The basic theory: the more free, untroubled, & complete you are, the more you have overcome the cultural processes that stunt growth & the better able you are in relating to others. </li></ul><ul><li>You eventually learn there is no separation between yourself and the rest of the universe. </li></ul><ul><li>Christian Monasticism & Bhakti Yoga </li></ul>
  32. 34. Types of Meditations <ul><li>The Path through the Body </li></ul><ul><li>You become aware of your body & bodily movements & heighten this awareness through practice until during the period of meditation, this awareness completely fills your field of consciousness excluding all else. </li></ul><ul><li>Hatha Yoga, T’ai Ch’i, & the Dervish dances of the Sufi </li></ul>
  33. 35. Types of Meditations <ul><li>The Path of Action </li></ul><ul><li>You learn how to “be” & to perceive & to relate to the world during the performance of a particular type of skill. </li></ul><ul><li>The long, hard practices of the discipline strengthens the personality. </li></ul><ul><li>The concentration is on the performance & nothing else. </li></ul><ul><li>The real goal is your growth as a person. </li></ul><ul><li>Zen Archery, Aikido, Karate, & Kung fu </li></ul>
  34. 36. Hypnosis <ul><li>What is hypnosis? </li></ul><ul><li>An altered state of consciousness with heightened suggestibility. </li></ul><ul><li>It is NOT a state of sleep. </li></ul><ul><li>The EEG pattern is the same as being awake. </li></ul><ul><li>The body is relaxed & the mind is alert. </li></ul><ul><li>The traditional view of hypnosis </li></ul>
  35. 37. Misconceptions about Hypnosis <ul><li>You can be made to do anything the hypnotist wants. </li></ul><ul><li>You’re totally unconscious. </li></ul><ul><li>You’ll fall over because you’re so relaxed. </li></ul><ul><li>You have to be in a really deep state for suggestion to work. </li></ul><ul><li>You can be made to go as deep as the hypnotist wants. </li></ul><ul><li>The hypnotist is in control of you. </li></ul><ul><li>You can be made to act like a chicken. </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re left alone in hypnosis, you’ll be stuck there for the rest of your life. </li></ul><ul><li>The hypnotist basically bores you into hypnosis. </li></ul><ul><li>People who aren’t very bright make the best subject. </li></ul>
  36. 38. Hypnotic Induction Procedures <ul><li>Authoritarian </li></ul><ul><li>The hypnotist orders the hypnosis. </li></ul><ul><li>Personality variables are important here. </li></ul><ul><li>Permissive </li></ul><ul><li>Hypnotist lets the subject do what s/he wants to do. </li></ul><ul><li>Wording is very important because the subject takes what is said literally. </li></ul>

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