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Chapter7Transparencies - CHAPTER 7 CONSCIOUSNESS I WHAT IS...

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CHAPTER 7 – CONSCIOUSNESS I – WHAT IS CONSCIOUSNESS? Consciousness : Our awareness of ourselves and our environment; enables voluntary control and communication of mental states to others. Levels of Information Processing : Serial processing of consciously attended to information (executive function) while parallel processing of subconscious information (e.g., routine tasks). Daydreams and Fantasies : Everyone, anytime, anywhere; men have more sexual fantasies than women (and these are normal and healthy); relieve boredom, escape and adaptive - prepare for future events, increase creativity, further cognitive and social development in children; reduce impulsivity (delinquents, violent and drug users have fewer vivid fantasies). II – SLEEP and DREAMS Biological rhythms : Periodic physiological fluctuations; include annual cycles (SADS), 28-day cycles (menstrual), 24-hour (alertness, body temperature, and growth hormone secretion), 90-minute cycles (sleep stages). PMS? May be based on our tendency to notice and remember instances that confirm our beliefs and not to notice and remember disconfirming instances; day-to-day self-reports reveal little emotional fluctuation across the menstrual cycle (though “perceived” mood may be worse premenstrually); culturally variability; placebos work. The Rhythm of Sleep : Circadian rhythms : the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms (e.g., temperature, wakefulness) that occur on a 24-hour cycle; Light influences circadian rhythm by activating light-sensitive retinal proteins, triggering signals to a brain region that controls the circadian clock (a center in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus) to alter the production of biologically active substances, such as sleep-inducing melatonin (less melatonin released in AM and more released in PM). Artificial light delays sleep (pushes to 25-hour rhythm); morning and evening types; older people more likely to be AM and teens/young adults to be PM. Sleep : Periodic, natural, reversible loss of consciousness—as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, general anesthesia, or hibernation Sleep Stages : 1
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A biological rhythm during sleep; about every 90 or 100 minutes we pass through a cycle of five distinct sleep stages based on brain-wave activity, eye movements, and muscle tension by electrodes that pick up weak electrical signals from the brain, eye, and facial muscles. Awake, relaxed : Alpha wave activity. Stage 1: Waves become more irregular, slower; lasts up to 5 minutes; hallucinations - sensory experiences without sensory stimuli; sense of falling (body jerks) or floating (“ hypnogogic ” sensations). Stage 2: Periodic appearance of sleep spindles —bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain- wave activity; about 20 minutes; sleep talking here or during any other stage of sleep.
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