Unit V: States of Consciousness


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5. 1. 1 Biological Rhythms and Sleep:
  • Circadian Rhythm:
    • o circadian rhythm:the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms that occur within a (roughly) 24 hour cycle
      • § rhythms include cycles in blood pressure, pulse rate, body temperature, blood sugar level, hormone levels, and metabolism
      • § circadian rhythm regulated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus
        • light-sensitive portion of the hypothalamus that produces melatonin, a hormone that regulates biological clock and induces sleep
  • o circadian rhythm sensitive to external cues of dark and light and also cultural cues to time (e.g. clocks)
    • § jet lag is more disruptive going west à east (lose an hour, shorten our 24 hour cycle)
    • § east à west adds an hour, caters to our “natural” 24.9 hour circadian rhythm
    • § shift workers adapt better to progressively later shifts than to progressively earlier ones
    • Sleep Stages:
      • o REM Sleep:rapid eye movement sleep; a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur. Also known as paradoxical sleep, because the muscles are relaxed (except for minor twitches) but other body systems are active.
        • § marked by rapid & irregular breathing and heart rate, quick bursts of eye movements behind closed lids
  • o alpha waves: relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state
  • o sleep:naturally recurrent experience during which normal consciousness is suspended
    • § Stage 1:
      • may “see” flashing lights or geometric patterns, experience a falling or floating sensation, or feel body jerk violently and suddenly (hypnic jerk)
      • Hallucinations: false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus.
    • § Stage 2:
      • lasts for about 20 minutes
      • marked by sleep spindles (brief bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain activity) and K-complex (single high-amplitude waves)
      • relatively easily awakened, but would now most likely report that you were asleep
    • § Stage 3 &4:
      • stages 3 & 4 marked by production of delta waves: slow, high-amplitude waves associated with deep sleep
      • REM Sleep:
        • o NREM sleep:non-rapid eye movement sleep; encompasses all sleep stages except for REM sleep.
          • § Paradoxical sleep: body internally aroused and externally calm
5. 1. 2. Why Do We Sleep?
  • Sleeping patterns may be genetically influenced
  • Sleeping patterns may also be culturally influenced
  • Allowed to sleep unhindered, most adults will sleep at least 9 hours a nighty
    • o Awake, refreshed, sustain better moods, and perform more efficient and accurate work
    • Sleep commands 1/3 of our life
    • The Effects of Sleep Loss:
      • o 40% of adults are so sleepy during the day that their daily activities are affected
      • o sleep deprivation studies
        • § cognitive, emotional, and physical difficulties after 3 nights of inadequate sleep
        • § responding quickly to visual cues more difficult after 2 nights of sleep deprivation
          • sleepy drivers account for at least 100,000 accidents per year (20% of American traffic accidents)
    • § less than 6 hours per night = increased impatience and aggravation at minor frustrations, greater dissatisfaction with life as a whole
  • o Functions:
    • § Sleep protects.
    • § Sleep helps us recuperate.
    • § Sleep is for making memories.
    • § Sleep also feeds creative thinking.
    • § Sleep may play a role in the growth process.




Unit V: States of Consciousness (Continued) p. 185-197
5. 1. 3: Sleep Disorders
  • insomnia: repeated difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early
    • o more than the occasional difficult sleeping due to stress, anxiety, or excitement
    • o sleeping pills can sometimes be a problematic solution
      • § suppress REM sleep, addictive and tolerance develops
      • Treating insomnia:
        • o Exercise regularly but not in the late evening. (Late afternoon is best.)
        • o Avoid all caffeine after early afternoon, and avoid rich foods before bedtime. Instead, try a glass of milk, which provides raw materials for the manufacture of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that facilitates sleep.
        • o Relax before bedtime, using dimmer light.
        • o Sleep on a regular schedule (rise at the same time even after a restless night) and avoid naps. Sticking to a schedule boosts daytime alertness, too, as shown in an experiment in which University of Arizona students averaged 7.5 hours of sleep a night on either a varying or consistent schedule
        • o Hide the clock face so you aren’t tempted to check it repeatedly.
        • o Reassure yourself that a temporary loss of sleep causes no great harm.
        • o Realize that for any stressed organism, being vigilant is natural and adaptive. A personal conflict during the day often means a fitful sleep that night. Managing your stress levels will enable more restful sleeping.
        • o If all else fails, settle for less sleep, either going to bed later or getting up earlier.
        • narcolepsy: uncontrollable overwhelming sleep attacks that last 5-20 minutes
          • o possibly due to deficit in hypocretin, a neurotransmitter that keeps us alert
          • o usually treated with stimulants akin to amphetamines
          • sleep apnea: temporary cessation of breathing during sleep, accompanied by loud snoring
            • o decreased blood oxygen wakes sleeper, sometimes up to 400 times per night
            • o person typically doesn’t remember waking or having trouble breathing
            • night terrors: vivid and frightening experiences while sleeping
              • o distinct from nightmares: dreams with strong negative emotion
                • § nightmares typically during morning REM; night terrors in stages 3-4, during first third of a night’s sleep
  • o cause person to suddenly sit up, sweat and breathe heavily, can be impossible to wake (episodes usually forgotten by morning)
  • o most common among boys 3-7 years old
5. 1. 4. Dreams:
  • What we dream:
    • o sequences of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person’s mind can dream during any stage of sleep
    • o REM dreams: hallucinations of the sleeping mind” (Loftus & Ketcham,1994, p. 67)—are vivid, emotional, and bizarre. They are unlike daydreams, which tend to involve the familiar details of our life
    • o To satisfy our own wishes.
      • § dreams allow us to express and fulfill unconscious desires
        • Manifest content: according to Freud, the remembered story line of a dream (as distinct from its latent, or hidden, content).
        • Latent content: according to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (as distinct from its manifest content)
  • o To file away memories.
  • o To develop and preserve neural pathways.
  • o To make sense of neural static.
  • o To reflect cognitive development.


  • REM rebound: the tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation (created by repeated awakenings during REM sleep).




Unit 5: States of Consciousness (Continued) p. 192-207
Hypnosis:
hypnosis: a social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur.
  • Facts and Falsehoods:
    • o Can anyone experience hypnosis? :
      • § To some extent, we are all open to suggestion.
        • Postural Sway: people who respond to such suggestions without hypnosis are the same people who respond with hypnosis.
        • Hypnotic ability: the ability to focus attention totally on a task, to become imaginatively absorbed in it, to entertain fanciful possibilities
    • o Can hypnosis enhance recall of forgotten events?
      • § “Hypnotically refreshed” memories combine fact with fiction.
    • o Can hypnosis force people to act against their will?
      • § An authoritative person in a legitimate context can induce people—hypnotized or not—to perform some unlikely acts. Hypnosis researcher Nicholas Spanos (1982) put it directly: “The overt behaviors of hypnotic subjects are well within normal limits.”
    • o Can hypnosis be therapeutic? :
      • § Hypnotherapists try to help patients harness their own healing powers
      • § posthypnotic suggestion: a suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized; used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors
    • o Can hypnosis alleviate pain? :
      • § Yes, hypnosis can relieve pain (Druckman & Bjork, 1994; Patterson,2004).
        • When unhypnotized people put their arm in an ice bath, they feel intense pain within 25 seconds.
        • When hypnotized people do the same after being given suggestions to feel no pain, they indeed report feeling little pain. As some dentists know, even light hypnosis can reduce fear, thus reducing hypersensitivity to pain.
Explaining the Hypnotized State:
  • Hypnosis as a Social Phenomenon:
    • o advocates of the social influence theory contend that hypnotic phenomena—like the behaviors associated with other supposed altered states, such as dissociative identity disorder and spirit or demon possession—are an extension of everyday social behavior, not something unique to hypnosis (Spanos, 1994, 1996).

  • Hypnosis as Divided Consciousness
    • o dissociation: a split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others.
    • o Selective attention
    • o In hypnosis as in life, much of our behavior occurs on autopilot. We have two-track minds.
Drugs and Consciousness:
  • Psychoactive drugs: a chemical substance that alters perceptions and moods.
  • Dependence and Addiction:
    • o tolerance: the diminishing effect with regular use of the same dose of a drug, requiring the user to take larger and larger doses before experiencing the drug’s effect.
    • o withdrawal: the discomfort and distress that follow discontinuing the use of an addictive drug.
    • o physical dependence: a physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued.
    • o psychological dependence: a psychological need to use a drug, such as to relieve negative emotions.
    • Misconceptions about Addiction:
      • o addiction: compulsive drug craving and use, despite adverse consequences.
      • o Myth 1. Addictive drugs quickly corrupt; for example, morphine taken to control pain is powerfully addictive and often leads to heroin abuse.
      • o Myth 2. Addictions cannot be overcome voluntarily; therapy is required.
      • o Myth 3. We can extend the concept of addiction to cover not just drug dependencies, but a whole spectrum of repetitive, pleasure-seeking behaviors
Psychoactive Drugs:
  • Depressants:
    • o Depressants are drugs such as alcohol, barbiturates (tranquilizers), and opiates that calm neural activity and slow body functions.
    • o Alcohol lowers our inhibitions,slows neural processing, disrupts memory formation, and reduces self-awareness.
    • o Disinhibition Alcohol is an equal-opportunity drug: It increases harmful tendencies—as when angered people become aggressive after drinking.And it increases helpful tendencies. The urges you would feel if sober are the ones you will more likely act upon when intoxicated.
    • o Slowed Neural Processing Low doses of alcohol relax the drinker by slowing sympathetic nervous system activity. In larger doses, alcohol can become a staggering problem: Reactions slow, speech slurs, skilled performance deteriorates.
    • o Memory Disruption Alcohol also disrupts the processing of recent experiences into long-term memories.
    • o Reduced Self-Awareness and Self-Control Alcohol not only impairs judgment and memory, it also reduces self-awareness.
    • o Expectancy Effects As with other psychoactive drugs, alcohol’s behavioral effects stem not only from its alteration of brain chemistry but also from the user’s expectations. When people believe that alcohol affects social behavior in certain ways, and believe, rightly or wrongly, that they have been drinking alcohol, they will behave accordingly.
    • o Alcohol + Sex = The Perfect Storm Alcohol’s effects on self-control and social expectations often converge in sexual situations.
    • o Barbiturates: drugs that depress the activity of the central nervous system, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgment.
      • § mimic the effects of alcohol.
      • § Because they depress nervous system activity, barbiturates such as Nembutal, Seconal, and Amytal are sometimes prescribed to induce sleep or reduce anxiety
      • o Opiates: opium and its derivatives, such as morphine and heroin; they depress neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety
        • § When abusing the opiates, which include heroin, a user’s pupils constrict, breathing slows, and lethargy sets in, as blissful pleasure replaces pain and anxiety
Stimulants:
  • Stimulants: drugs (such as caffeine, nicotine, and the more powerful amphetamines, cocaine, and Ecstasy) that excite neural activity and speed up body functions
  • Amphetamines: drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes.
  • Methamphetamine: a powerfully addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system, with speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes; over time, appears to reduce baseline dopamine levels.
    • o Methamphetamine has even greater effects:
      • § can include eight hours or so of heightened energy and euphoria.
      • § The drug triggers the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells that enhance energy and mood.
      • Caffeine: Like other drugs, caffeine used regularly and in heavy doses produces tolerance: Its stimulating effects lessen. And discontinuing heavy caffeine intake often produces withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue and headache.
      • Nicotine:Nicotine, like other addictive drugs, is not only compulsive and mood-altering, it is also reinforcing.
        • o Smoking delivers its hit of nicotine within 7 seconds, triggering the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, which in turn diminish appetite and boost alertness and mental efficiency
        • o At the same time, nicotine stimulates the central nervous system to release neurotransmitters that calm anxiety and reduce sensitivity to pain.