Altered States of Consciousness
Definition <ul><li>Occurs when there is a distinct change in the  quality  and  pattern  of a person’s mental activity. </...
Conditions for ASC <ul><li>Endless number of conditions under which ASC may arise! </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. sensory overload...
Sensory deprivation <ul><li>Refers to any major reduction in external stimulation. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited or monotonous...
1950s - Donald O. Hebb <ul><li>Hebb paid volunteers $20 to undergo sensory deprivation under controlled conditioned. </li>...
DURING <ul><li>Many slept for a while </li></ul><ul><li>After a few hours of sensory-deprived wakefulness, most felt bored...
AFTER <ul><li>After two-three days, most subjects pushed the panic button, unable to tolerate this sensory deprivation any...
Sensory Restriction <ul><li>Although most people find prolonged sensory deprivation stressful and uncomfortable, brief per...
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Q3L09 - Altered states

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Q3L09 - Altered states

  1. 1. Altered States of Consciousness
  2. 2. Definition <ul><li>Occurs when there is a distinct change in the quality and pattern of a person’s mental activity. </li></ul><ul><li>In a state of ASC, changes develop in our perceptions, emotions, memory, sense of time, thought processes, feelings of self-control and suggestibility. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Conditions for ASC <ul><li>Endless number of conditions under which ASC may arise! </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. sensory overload/ deprivation, illness, sleep deprivation, meditation, hypnosis, drugs, etc. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sensory deprivation <ul><li>Refers to any major reduction in external stimulation. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited or monotonous stimulation occurs when prisoners are placed in solitary confinement, experienced by arctic explorers, single-handed ocean yachtsmen and long-distance truck drivers. </li></ul><ul><li>Effects: dangerous lapses in awareness and wildly distorted perceptions </li></ul>Jose Padilla, held in a solitary confinement for three and a half years on suspected terrorist charge
  5. 5. 1950s - Donald O. Hebb <ul><li>Hebb paid volunteers $20 to undergo sensory deprivation under controlled conditioned. </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects spent days lying on their backs in a small cubicle. </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects wore darkened goggles to restrict vision and gloves and cardboard cuffs to restrict touch. </li></ul><ul><li>Background noise was masked by a hissing noise. </li></ul>
  6. 6. DURING <ul><li>Many slept for a while </li></ul><ul><li>After a few hours of sensory-deprived wakefulness, most felt bored and irritable </li></ul><ul><li>Many grew more uncomfortable </li></ul><ul><li>Some reported hallucinations of dots and geometric shapes </li></ul>
  7. 7. AFTER <ul><li>After two-three days, most subjects pushed the panic button, unable to tolerate this sensory deprivation any longer. </li></ul><ul><li>When released, some experienced colour distortions, heightened visual illusions and slower reactions. </li></ul><ul><li>Vision, hearing, touch and taste appear to be temporarily more sensitive. </li></ul><ul><li>As a result, some report its usefulness in facilitating creativity </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sensory Restriction <ul><li>Although most people find prolonged sensory deprivation stressful and uncomfortable, brief periods of restricted input of sensations appear to be beneficial. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. In a floatation take, subjects float in darkness and silence. The shallow water is at body temperature and contains large quantities of Epsom salts so that the subject floats near the surface. An hour or two in a floatation tank can cause a significant drop in blood pressure, muscle tension and other signs of stress. </li></ul><ul><li>Research suggests that brief sensory deprivation is one of the most effective ways to induce deep relaxation. </li></ul>

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