Chap 3. - Consciousness and The Two Track Mind Quizlet Set: Consciousness- our subjective awareness of ourselves and our environment.-allows us toassemble informationfrom many sources as we reflect on our past, adapt to our present, and plan for our future.-focuses our attentionwhen we learn a complex concept or behavior. For example, when learning to drive we focus on the car and the traffic, but with practice it becomes semi automatic, which leaves us to focus our attention on other things. -over time we flit through different stagesof consciousness. This includes normal waking awareness and various altered states •Some states occur spontaneously: Daydreaming, Drowsiness, Dreaming•Some states are physiologically induced: Hallucinations, Orgasm, Food or oxygen starvation•Some states are psychologically induced: Sensory deprivation, Hypnosis, Meditation-consciousness helps us cope with novel situations, and act in our long term interests, rather than merely seeking short term pleasure and avoiding pain. Consciousness promotes our survival. (For example “He looks angry, I better run”. We can predict emotions and behavior with our consciousness) Studying ConsciousnessCognitive Neuroscience- the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition. (Includes perception, thinking, memory, and language)-Even in a motionless body, researchers concluded that the brain and mind may still be active. -An analysis showed that out of 42 behaviorally unresponsive patients, 13 showed meaningful, though diminished, brain responses (Stender 2014) -Many cognitive neuroscientists are exploring and mapping the conscious functions of the cortex. -Conscious experience arises from synchronized activity across the brain. -If a stimulus activates enough brain-wide coordinated neural activity-as strong signals in the brain area trigger activity elsewhere-it crosses a threshold for consciousness. -A weaker stimulus- perhaps a word flashed too briefly to be consciously perceived- may trigger localized cortex activity that quickly fades.
-A stronger stimulus will engage other brain areas, such as those involved with language, attention, and memory. Such activity is a telltale sign of conscious awareness. Awareness of your body requires communication between several brain areas.Selective Attention Selective Attention- the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus -our consciousness usually focuses on one thing at a time-By one estimate, our five senses take in about 11,000,000 bits of information per second of which we consciously process about 40 (Wilson, 2002). -Our minds unconscious track intuitively makes great use of the other 10,999,960 bits. -What captures our limited attention? The things we deem important. -The Cocktail Party Effect: your ability to attend to one voice among a sea of other voices. But what happens when another person speaks your name? Your cognitive radar, operating on your mind’s other track (and in your right frontal cortex) instantly brings that unattended voice into consciousness.