Topic 3--Consciousness and Its Variations

Topic 3--Consciousness and Its Variations - General...

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General Psychology Topic 3 Dr. LeVasseur Consciousness and Its Variations What is the experience of consciousness? 0. Answer: It is your immediate awareness of thoughts, sensations, memories, and the world around you. 1. Can vary considerably from moment to moment…. 2. But you don’t experience your personal consciousness as disjointed pieces. 3. Rather, you perceive it as continuous. “Consciousness, then, does not appear to itself chipped up in bits. . . . It is nothing jointed; it flows. A “river” or a “stream” are the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let us call it the stream of thought, or consciousness, of subjective life.” William James (1892) Circadian rhythms 4. The cyclical daily fluctuations in biological and psychological processes. 0. Ebb and flow over a 24 hour period 5. Many body functions including mental alertness and sleep are regulated by circadian rhythms. 6. Circadian rhythms are governed by the body’s master biological clock. What is the body’s clock? Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) 7. A tiny cluster of neurons found in your hypothalamus, which governs the timing of circadian rhythms. What assists this clock in doing its job? 8. Environmental time cues 1. Bright light (photoreceptors in eye to visual system to SCN) What is this sunlight/ SCN connection exactly? 9. Visual system lets SCN know that there is a decrease in available light. 10. Then, the SCN tells the pineal gland to release more melatonin. 11. When there’s more melatonin in your blood, it makes you sleepy and less active. 12. Lots of melatonin in your blood 1 am- 3 am. 13. Just before sunrise, pineal all but stops producing melatonin… you wake up. 14. So, sunlight sets the clock, so to speak. Ok, but what if the daylight/darkness cues were taken away? What would happen to your circadian rhythms without environmental cues like sunlight??? Under “free-running conditions”: 15. You’d experience a 25-hour day.
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General Psychology Topic 3 Dr. LeVasseur 16. Circadian rhythms lose their normal synchronization with one another. 0. Example: Sleep-wake, body temp, & melatonin circadian rhythms are no longer coordinated. Sleep The Dawn of Modern Sleep Research 1. Electroencephalograph 0. Invented by Berger in 1920s 1. Gave psychologists an important tool for measuring the rhythmic electrical activity of the brain (or brain waves). 2. Electroencephalographs produce a graphic record called an EEG (electroencephalogram). 3. By studying these, sleep researchers know that brain-wave activity systematically changes throughout sleep. Two Types of Sleep REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep 17. Active sleep b/c its associated with heightened body and brain activity. This is when dreaming consistently happens. NREM (Non-Rapid eye Movement)
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Topic 3--Consciousness and Its Variations - General...

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