Chapter 4 (135-158)

Chapter 4 (135-158) - Consciousness and Its Variations...

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Consciousness and Its Variations Prologue: A Scream in the Night A couple, Mike and Nina are newlywed and beginning to adjust to a new nightly-routine. Nina had recently switched from working night shifts to day shifts so that her schedule meshed better with Mike’s. One night, she repeatedly kicked Mike in her sleep and then began to scream about someone being in their apartment. Mike is becoming curious about why reacts this way in her sleep and the chapter will go more in depth about consciousness and how it changes over the course of the day. Introduction: Consciousness – Experiencing the “Private I” Key Theme - Consciousness refers to your immediate awareness of internal and external stimuli. Key Questions - What did William James mean by the phrase “stream of consciousness?” - How has research on consciousness evolved over the past century? CONSCIOUSNESS: Personal awareness of mental activities, internal sensations, and the external environment. - The subjective experience of consciousness has a sense of continuity. One stream of conscious mental activity seems to blend into another, effortlessly and seamlessly. - William James described consciousness as a “stream” or “river.” Although always changing, consciousness is perceived as unified and unbroken, much like a stream. - Scientists are now studying overt behavior instead of using introspection to determine the nature of the human mind because it can be directly observed, measured and verified. Biological and Environmental “Clocks” That Regulate Consciousness Key Theme - Many body functions, including mental alertness, are regulated by circadian rhythms, which systematically vary over a 24-hour period. Key Questions - How do sunlight, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, and melatonin regulate the sleep-wake cycle? - How do free-running conditions affect circadian rhythms? - What is jet lag, and how is it produced? - There are certain periods of the day where people experience distinct peaks of mental alertness: one in the morning around 9:00am/10:00am and one in the evening around 8:00pm/9:00pm. In between the peaks are slumps in mental alertness like around 3:00pm, and the lowest point, at 3:00am.
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CIRCADIAN RHYTHM: A cycle or rhythm that is roughly 24 hours long; the cyclical daily fluctuations in biological and psychological processes. The Suprachiasmatic Nucleus: The Body’s Clock SUPRACHIASMATIC NUCLEUS: (SCN) A cluster of neurons in the hypothalamus in the brain that governs the timing of circadian rhythms. An internal pacemaker. - Keeping the circadian rhythms synchronized to one another and on a 24-hour schedule also involves environmental time cues. The most important one of these cues is bright light, especially sunlight. -
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Chapter 4 (135-158) - Consciousness and Its Variations...

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