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psych exam 2 review - CHAPTER 4 Consciousness...

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CHAPTER 4 Consciousness : moment-by-moment subjective experiences, such as reflecting on one’s current thoughts or paying attention to one’s immediate surroundings Consciousness is a subjective experience: o Qualia: describes properties of our subjective experience (perceptions) o Brain imaging identifies commonalities in thinking, which may give rise to subjective experience o Level of consciousness varies naturally o Limit to how many things one can be conscious of at once Habitual activities become automatic while unfamiliar ones are considered controlled processing, and are thus slower Unresponsive to surroundings = persistent vegetative state Between vegetative and full consciousness = minimally conscious state (can make deliberate movements and may try to communicate) Stimulating the thalamus often increases awareness and brain imaging allows us to see this Splitting the Brain Splits the Conscious Mind Cut corpus callosum to reduce effects of seizures without damaging gray matter Split brain : two hemispheres no longer receive information from one another Introduce images to left side, spatial relationship-based right hemisphere can pick out objects, but when images are introduces to the right side, the verbal left brain can say what the object was Interpreter : left hemisphere process that attempts to make sense of events o Explains away the actions of the right hemisphere that it doesn’t understand (ie: guesses what the right hemisphere is drawing when an image has been flashed to the left eye) o The interpreter speculates and attempts to establish patterns that are often not there Unconscious processing influences behavior: o No direct access to the neural or cognitive processes that lead to your thoughts and behavior o Subliminal perception : Information processed without conscious awareness o Subconscious influences are often explained away by the left brain o Freudian slip o Unconscious mind makes better decisions Weighing the pros and cons or having to describe perceptual experiences often alters how we perceive them Brain activity produces consciousness o Subliminal stimuli are processed in the brain despite the perceiver’s lack of conscious awareness, brain imaging demonstrates
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Blindsight : A condition in which people who are blind have some spared visual capacities in the absence of any visual awareness Amygdala processes some visual information such as emotional expressions Global workspace model : consciousness arises as a function of what brain circuits are active No single area of the brain is responsible for general awareness, each part is responsible for the consciousness its information produces Consciousness is the mechanism that is actively aware of information and prioritizes that information we need or want to deal with at any moment What is sleep?
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