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CHAPTER 5 LEARNING OBJECTIVES When you have mastered the material in this chapter, you should be able to do the following: 1. Discuss the nature and evolution of consciousness, including its relation to brain activity. - Consciousness is the awareness of internal and external stimuli. Your consciousness includes: 1. Your awareness of external events. 2. Awareness of your internal sensations. 3. Awareness of yourself as a unique being having these experiences. -Freud argued that people’s feelings and bx are influenced by the unconscious. We now know that people continue to maintain some awareness during sleep and even anesthesia because some stimuli can still penetrate awareness. -Consciousness does not arise from any distinct structure in the brain, but is the result of activity in distributed networks of neural pathways. The electroencephalograph (EEG) is a device that monitors the electrical activity of the brain over time by means of recording electrodes attached to the surface of the scalp. Human brain wave activity is divided into 4 bands- beta, alpha, theta, and delta waves. Different patterns of EEG activity are associated with different states of consciousness. Beta waves tend to be for problem solving, alpha are relaxed and resting, delta are deep dreamless sleep. - Evolution of Consciousness : Consciousness must have evolved because it helped our ancestors survive and reproduce. One line of thinking is that consciousness allowed our ancestors to think through courses of action and their consequences and choose the best course without executing bad actions that may have damaging consequences. 2. Summarize what is known about the relationship of circadian rhythms to sleep. -Biological rhythms are periodic fluctuations in physiological functioning. - Circadian rhythms are the 24 hour biological cycles found in humans and many other species and are particularly influential in the regulation of sleep. Daily cycles also produce rhythmic variations in blood pressure, urine production, hormonal secretions, alertness, short term memory, etc. Research indicates that people generally fall asleep as their body temperature begins to drop and awaken as it begins to ascend once again. Circadian rhythms can leave individuals physiologically primed to fall asleep, optimal time varies from person to person depending on their schedules, each individual may have an ideal time to fall asleep. Ideal bedtime may promote better sleep quality which benefits health. When exposed to light some receptors in the retina send direct inputs to a small structure in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), this sends signals to the pineal gland that secretes melatonin which plays a role in adjusting biological clocks. Circadian rhythms are regulated by several internal clocks but is centralized in the SCN. 3. Discuss the significance of ignoring circadian rhythms and the value of
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course PSYC 401 taught by Professor Michaelmangan during the Spring '08 term at New Hampshire.

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