I. The nature of consciousness

A. Defining consciousness
1. An individual’s awareness of external events and internal sensations under the condition of arousal.
2. Awareness includes awareness of the self and thoughts about one’s experiences.
3. Metacognition is thinking about thinking.
4. Arousal is the physiological state of being engaged with the environment.
B. Consciousness and the brain
1. Awareness and Arousal are associated with different parts of the brain
a. Awareness occurs in a global brain workplace; a variety of brain areas working in parallel
i. The prefrontal cortex
ii. The anterior cingulate (associated with acts of will)
iii. The association areas
b. Arousal is activated by the reticular activating system
i. Brainstem
ii. Medulla
iii. thalamus
C. Levels of awareness
1. Higher level of consciousness
a. Controlled processes: The most alert state of consciousness, where individual actively focuses efforts toward a goal.
i. Require selective attention
ii. Require the ability to concentrate on a specific aspect while ignoring others
iii. Slower than automatic processes
iv. Involves the prefrontal cortex
2. Lower level of consciousness
a. Automatic processes: State of consciousness that requires little attention and do not interfere with other ongoing activities.
b. Daydreaming
1. Occur spontaneously while doing something that requires less than full attention
3. Altered state of consciousness
a. Mental states that are noticeably different from normal awareness
i. Such as hallucinations
ii. Caused by trauma, fever, fatigue, sensory deprovation, meditation, hypnosis, and psychological disorders
iii. Also caused by drugs
4. Subconscious awareness
a. Waking subconscious awareness
i. Incubation is the subconscious process that leads to a solution to a problem
ii. Can simultaneously process visual information parallel to conscious perception
b. Subconscious awareness during sleep and dreams
i. Sleep is a low level of consciousness, rather than the absence of consciousness
ii. Still aware of external stimuli to some degree
5. No awareness
a. Unconscious thought: Unacceptable whishes feelings and thoughts that are beyond conscious awareness
b. some thoughts (non-Freudian nonconscious) that occur outside of awareness
II. Sleep and dreams

A. Biological rhythms and sleep
1. Circadian rhythms: Daily behavioral or physiological cycles
a. Sleep/wake cycle, body temperature, blood pressure, and blood sugar
i. Body temperature can fluctuate by +/- 3 degrees farenheit
b. Monitored by the Suprachiasmatic nucleus: A small brain structure that uses input from the retina to synchronize its own rhythm with the daily cycle of light and dark (Segal & Amir, 2010).
i. Sends the information to the hypothalamus and pineal gland
ii. Regulates temperature, hunger, and release of hormones
iii. Communicates with the reticular formation to regulate the rhythms of sleep and wakefulness
iv. Most important of several biological clocks
c. People who are totally blind experience sleeping problems
i. Retinas cannot detect light and dark
ii. Circadian rhythms do not follow a 24 hour cycle
2. Desynchronizing the biological clock.
a. Jet travel
i. Body time is out of synchronization with actual time
b. Changing shifts
i. Most often affect night shift workers who never fully adjust to sleeping in the daytime
c. Insomnia
3. Resetting the biological clock.
a. Spend as much time in direct sunlight
b. Studies involving the hormone melatonin reduce jetlag in eastward rather than westward travel
B. Why we need sleep
1. Theories on the need for sleep
i. Evolutionary theory states that animals needed to protect themselves at night, so they avoid becoming prey and poor visibility.
ii. Sleep is a way to conserve energy, especially when it is dark and food is scarce and hard to find
iii. Sleep is restorative: restoring the body, and the brain
iv. Sleep plays an important role in maintaining plasticity in the brain
2. The effects of chronic sleep deprivation
a. When deprived of sleep, people have trouble paying attention to tasks and solving problems
b. Decreases brain activity in thalamus and prefrontal cortex
c. Brain has to compensate by making alternate pathways
d. Effects on moral judgment
e. Heart disease and gastrointestinal disorders
C. Stages of wakefulness and sleep
1. Wakefulness stages
a. beta waves reflect concentration; high in frequency, neither high nor low, and desynchronous
b. alpha waves are found in a relax state; slower frequency, higher amplitude, and synchronous
2. Sleep stages
a. Stage 1 sleep (drowsy sleep): characterized by theta waves: slower in frequency and greater in amplitude than alpha waves
b. Stage 2 sleep: characterized by theta waves interspersed with sleep spindles
c. Stage 3 sleep: associated with delta waves
d. Stage 4 (deep sleep): Delta waves are less frequent; associated with memory and learning, and during which most sleep behaviors occur
3. REM sleep (rapid eye movement): is an active stage of sleep during which dreaming occurs
a. Alpha and beta waves similar to relaxed wakefulness
b. REM sleep plays a role in memory and creativity
4. Sleep cycling through the night
a. Each cycle is believed to last 90-100 minutes
b. First half is mostly deep sleep (stages 3 & 4)
c. End of sleep is mostly REM
5. Sleep throughout the lifespan
a. Children require a lot of sleep to benefit physical growth and brain development
b. Teenagers go to sleep later, and sleep later in the morning
c. Sleep patterns continue to change as adults age (notably in 40s)
6. Sleep and the brain
a. Initiated in the reticular formation (the core of the brain stem)
b. Serotonin, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine are neurotransmitters involved in sleep
D. Sleep and disease
1. Stroke and asthma attacks are more common during the night and early morning
a. Because of hormone changes associated with sleep
b. Neurons that control sleep are closely associated with the immune system
c. Sleep problems afflict most people who have mental disorders such as depression
d. Also present in other disorders, such as stroke, alzheimers, and cancer
E. Sleep disorders
1. Insomnia
a. Inability to fall asleep, or stay asleep
b. Often can be reduced by good sleep habits
2. Sleepwalking and sleep talking (somnambulism and somniloquy)
a. Occur during stage 3 and stage 4 sleep
b. Can be triggered by interaction with certain medications
3. Nightmares and night terrors
a. Nightmares are frightening dreams that awaken a dreamer from REM sleep
b. Night terrors are characterized by sudden arousal from sleep and intense fear
4. Narcolepsy
a. The sudden overpowering urge to sleep
b. So strong that it can happen while a person is talking, or standing
c. Narcoleptics immediately enter REM sleep
d. Can be triggered by surprise, laughter, excitement, or anger
e. Often emerges in young adults, although signs are evident during childhood
5. Sleep apnea
a. Periodically stop breathing while asleep
b. Waking up intermittently to breathe
c. Caused by enlarged soft palate, adenoids, tonsils, deviated septum, obesity, individuals with large necks (lot of tissue around the windpipe), and recessed chins
d. Treated with a CPAP device (continuous positive air pressure)
e. Believed to be a factor in most SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) cases
F. Dreams
1. Freudian approach
a. Dreams are symbolic
b. Manifest content: A dream’s surface content, which contains dream symbols that disguise the dream’s true meaning
c. Latent content: A dream’s hidden content, and its unconscious meaning
d. Research has done much to disprove this theory
2. Cognitive theory of dreaming: propose that we can understand dreaming by applying the same cognitive concepts we use in studying the waking mind
a. Little or no search for hidden meanings
b. Criticized for its lack of attention to the roles of the brain structures or brain activity during dreaming
3. Activation-synthesis theory: dreaming occurs when the cerebral cortex synthesizes neural signals generated from activity in the lower part of the brain.
a. Conscious choice during dreaming is driven by internally generated stimuli, as opposed to conscious choice during waking being driven by external stimuli. (although external stimuli may still have an effect)
b. Neural networks in other areas of the forebrain play a role in dreaming
i. As levels of neurotransmitters rise and fall during sleep, some neural networks are activated while others shut down
c. Criticized as incomplete, due to the inability to explain the fact that damage to the brain stem does not necessarily reduce dreaming.
III. Psychoactive drugs: Drugs that act on the nervous system to alter consciousness, modify perception, and change mood

A. Uses of psychoactive drugs
1. A way to cope with life’s difficulties, reduce tension, relieve boredome and fatigue, or escape from the harsh realities of life
2. Can cause losing track of one’s responsibilities, problems in the workplace and relationships, dependence, and increased risk for serious, sometimes fatal disease
3. Continued drug use leads to Tolerance: The need to take increasing amounts of a drug to get the same effect.
4. Physical dependence: The physiological need for a drug that causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as physical pain and a craving for the drug when it is discontinued.
5. Psychological dependence: The strong desire to repeat the use of a drug for emotional reasons, such as a feeling of well-being and reduction of stress.
6. Addiction: Either a physical or psychological dependence, or both, on a drug
7. Drugs increase dopamine levels in the brain’s reward pathways
a. Located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA)
b. And the nucleus accumbens (NAc)
c. Located in the limbic and prefrontal areas of the brain
B. Types of psychoactive drugs
1. Depressants: Psychoactive drugs that slow down mental and physical activity.
a. Alcohol
i. Lessens inhibitions, impairs judgment, and slows reaction time
ii. Effects of alcohol vary from person to person
iii. Second most commonly used drug only to caffeine
iv. Can lead to Alcoholism: A disorder that involves long-term, repeated, uncontrolled, compulsive, and excessive use of alcoholic beverages and that impairs the drinker’s health and social relationships
b. Barbiturates: Depressant drugs that decrease central nervous system activity.
i. Nembutal and seconal
c. Tranquilizers: Depressant drugs that reduce anxiety and induce relaxation.
i. Valium and xanax
d. Opiates: Narcotic drugs that depress activity in the central nervous system and eliminate pain.
i. Heroine
2. Stimulants: Psychoactive drugs that increase the central nervous system’s activity.
a. Caffeine
i. Most widely used psychoactive drug
ii. Caffeinism refers to the overindulgence in caffeine
iii. Affects brain’s pleasure centers
b. Nicotine
i. Primary drug in tobacco products
ii. Tolerance develops over a lifetime, and on a daily basis: That is, tobacco use early in the morning has less effect than use during the evening
c. Amphetamines
i. Stimulant drugs that help boost energy, stay awake, or lose weight
ii. Ritalin and crystal meth
d. Cocaine
i. Comes from the coca plant
ii. Floods the bloodstream rapidly
iii. Extreme euphoric rush, depleting the brain’s supply of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, resulting in an extreme agitated state afterwards.
iv. Most difficult addiction to treat
e. MDMA (Ecstasy)
i. Empathogen, causing warm bonds with others
ii. Impairs memory and cognitive processing
iii. Destroys axons that release serotonin, leading to depression
3. Hallucinogens: Psychoactive drugs that modify a person’s perceptual experiences and produce visual images that are not real.
a. Marijuana
i. THC is the active agent
ii. Does not affect a specific transmitter, but rather disrupts the membranes of neurons, affecting the function of a variety of neurotransmitters and hormones.
iii. Can trigger spontaneous unrelated ideas; distorted perceptions of time and place; increased sensitivity to sound, taste, smell, and color; and erratic verbal behavior
iv. Can also impair attention and memory
b. LSD
i. Even in low doses can produce striking perceptual changes
ii. Objects fluoresce, colors become kaleidoscopic, and astonishing images unfold.
iii. Bad “trip” can cause anxiety, paranoia, suicide, or homicidal impulses
iv. Targets primarily serotonin, although it can affect dopamine
IV. Hypnosis: An altered state of consciousness or a psychological state of altered attention and expectation in which the individual is unusually receptive to suggestions.

A. The nature of hypnosis
1. The four steps in hypnosis
i. Minimize distraction
ii. Concentrate on something specific
iii. Inform the person what to expect in the hypnotic state
iv. Suggest certain events or feelings he or she knows will occur
2. Individual variations in hypnosis
i. Some people are more easily hypnotized than others, and some are more strongly influenced by hypnotic suggestion
ii. No way to know how hypnotizable one is until they try
B. Explaining hypnosis
1. Divided consciousness view of hypnosis: Hilgard’s view that hypnosis invoves a splitting of consciousness into two separate components; one of which follows the hypnotist’s commands, and the other which acts as a “hidden observer”
i. Ernest Hilgard put subjects’ hands into buckets of ice water, told them they would not feel pain, but a part of their mind would be aware what was going on
2. social cognitive behavior view of hypnosis: Theory that hypnosis is a normal state in which the hypnotized person behaves the way he or she believes that a hypnotized person should behave.
C. Uses of hypnosis
1. To dampen brain activity (to study the brain)
2. To treat addictions, somnambulism, anxiety, P.T.S.D., migraines, and diabetes
3. Can greatly reduce the experience of pain
V. Consciousness and health and wellness: Meditation

A. Mindfulness meditation
1. A peaceful state of mind in which thoughts are not occupied by worry
2. A method practiced by yoga enthusiasts and Buddhist monks
B. The meditative state of mind
1. Possesses the physiological qualities of both sleep and wakefulness, yet is distinct from both.
2. Involves initial increases in activation in the basal ganglia nd prefrontal cortex
3. Initial increases lead to decrease in the anterior cingulate
4. Research is still being conducted on the role of neurotransmitters in meditation
C. Getting started with meditation
1. Find a quiet and comfortable place
2. Sit upright, resting your chin on your chest, and placing your arms in your lap; close your eyes
3. Focus (fully) on breathing
4. After focusing on several breaths, begin to repeat silently a single word every time you breathe out.
5. If you find that thoughts are intruding, andy you are no longer attending to your breathing, refocus on your breathing and say your chosen word each time you exhale
6. Do this for 10-15 minutes, twice a day, for two weeks, then reduced to a shortened version


Vocabulary Terms:
Stream of consciousness: A continuous flow of changing sensations images thoughts and feelings.
Consciousness: An individual’s awareness of external events and internal sensations under the condition of arousal.
Controlled processes: The most alert state of consciousness, where individual actively focuses efforts toward a goal.
Automatic processes: State of consciousness that requires little attention and do not interfere with other ongoing activities.
Unconscious thought: Unacceptable wishes, feelings and thoughts that are beyond conscious awareness
Sleep: A natural state of rest for the body and mind that involves the reversible loss of consciousness
Biological rhythms: Periodic physiological fluctuations in the body.
Circadian rhythms: Daily behavioral or physiological cycles.
Suprachiasmatic nucleus: A small brain structure that uses input from the retina to synchronize its own rhythm with the daily cycle of light and dark.
REM sleep (rapid eye movement): The active stage of sleep during which dreaming occurs
Manifest content: A dream’s surface content, which contains dream symbols that disguise the dream’s true meaning
Latent content: A dream’s hidden content, and its unconscious meaning
Cognitive theory of dreaming: Proposes that we can understand dreaming by applying the same cognitive concepts we use in studying the waking mind
Activation-synthesis theory: States that dreaming occurs when the cerebral cortex synthesizes neural signals generated from activity in the lower part of the brain
Psychoactive drugs: Drugs that act on the nervous system to alter consciousness, modify perception, and change mood
Tolerance: The need to take increasing amounts of a drug to get the same effect.
Physical dependence: The physiological need for a drug that causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as physical pain and a craving for the drug when it is discontinued, coupled with a growing tolerance for the substance.
Psychological dependence: The strong desire to repeat the use of a drug for emotional reasons, such as a feeling of well-being and reduction of stress.
Addiction: Either a physical or psychological dependence, or both, on a drug
Depressants: Psychoactive drugs that slow down mental and physical activity
Alcoholism: A disorder that involves long-term, repeated, uncontrolled, compulsive, and excessive use of alcoholic beverages and that impairs the drinker’s health and social relationships.
Barbiturates: Depressant drugs that decrease central nervous system activity.
Tranquilizers: Depressant drugs that reduce anxiety and induce relaxation.
Opiates: Narcotic drugs that depress activity in the central nervous system and eliminate pain.
Stimulants: Psychoactive drugs that increase the central nervous system’s activity.
Hallucinogens: Psychoactive drugs that modify a person’s perceptual experiences and produce visual images that are not real.
Hypnosis: An altered state of consciousness or a psychological state of altered attention and expectation in which the individual is unusually receptive to suggestions.
Divided consciousness view of hypnosis: Hilgard’s view that hypnosis invoves a splitting of consciousness into two separate components; one of which follows the hypnotist’s commands, and the other which acts as a “hidden observer”
Social Cognitive Behavior view of Hypnosis: Theory that hypnosis is a normal state in which the hypnotized person behaves the way he or she believes that a hypnotized person should behave.

Take home portable version:

psych project.docx


REVIEW:
1) Dreams occur in which level of sleep?
..........A: REM sleep
2) Q: What two things together constitute a Substance Dependence?
..........A: Tolerance and Withdrawal
3) Q: Depressants depress the activity of what?
..........A: The Central Nervous System
4) Q: The "biological clock" created by a normal sleep schedule is called what?
..........A: Circadian Rythym
5) Q: Transcendental Meditation involves focusing your mind on what?
..........A: An image