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Chapter 5 - Outline - Consciousness-Body Rhythms and Mental States - 10-15-07

Chapter 5 - Outline - Consciousness-Body Rhythms and Mental States - 10-15-07

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Psychology – Chapter 5 Outline – 10/14/07 CONSCIOUNESS: BODY RHYTHMS AND MENTAL STATES Biological rhythm – A periodic, more or less regular fluctuation in a biological system; it may or may not have psychological implications. Endogenous – Generated from with rather than by external cues Circadian rhythm – A biological rhythm with a period (from peak to peak or trough to trough) of about 24 hours. o Rhythms: Temperature Physiological changes during sleep 90 minute intervals Female menstrual cycle o Rhythms influence everything from the effectiveness of medicines taken at different times of the day to alertness and performance on the job. o Exist in many living things and reflect the evolutionary adaptation to the many environmental changes (including changes in light, air pressure, and temperature) o Cues in time are important (clocks, sunlight, sounds, etc.) - Circadian rhythms can affected by: Illness, stress, fatigue, excitement, exercise, drugs, mealtimes, and ordinary daily experiences. The Body’s Clock: o Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) – An area of the brain containing a biological clock that governs circadian rhythms (teardrop-shaped cluster of cells in the hypothalamus) Is the master pacemaker o Melatonin – A hormone secreted by the pineal gland; it is involved in the regulation of circadian rhythms. Secreted by the pineal gland Melatonin treatments are not proven in sighted people, but can be beneficial to blind people. When the Clock is out of Sync: o Internal desynchronization – A state in which biological rhythms are not in phase (synchronized) with one another Often occurs when people take airplane flights across several time zones. Occurs when workers adjust to a new shift. Many swing- and night-shift assignments are made on a rotating basis, so circadian rhythms never have a chance to resynchronize.
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Moods and Long-Term Rhythms Seasonal Effects on Mood o Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – A controversial disorder in which a person experiences depression during the winter and an improvement of mood in the spring. Treatments: Exposure to fluorescent lights at specific times of the day. Conclusion : SAD patients must have some deficiency in the way they produce or respond to melatonin Menstrual Cycle Affects Moods Are the physical changes associated with the menstrual cycle correlated with emotional or intellectual changes? Premenstrual syndrome (“PMS”) – Fatigue, headache, irritability, and depression (came to be thought of as an illness. o These physical symptoms associated with menstruation, including…: Cramps Breast tenderness Water retention …can make some women feel grumpy or unhappy, just as normal pain can make men feel grumpy or unhappy.
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