Ch. 4: Consciousness and Its Variations

Your immediate awareness of thoughts, sensations, memories, and the world around you. Also refers to your immediate awareness of mental activity, internal sensations, and external stimuli.

William James
American psychologist who described consciousness as a “stream” or “river”

Capcity to selectively focus senses and awareness on particular stimuli or aspects of the environment

Limited, selective nature of attention with this strategy

Inattentional Blindness
Occurs when we simply don’t notice some significant object or event that is in our field of vision

Inattentional Deafness
Occurs when we simply don’t notice some significant sound

Change Blindness
Not noticing when something changes, such as when a friend gets a haircut or shaves his beard, very common

Paying attention to

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two or more sources of stimuli at once–such as doing homework while watching television, or talking on the phone while cooking dinner

Division of Attention
When attention is divided among different tasks, each task receives less attention than it would normally

Circadian Rhythm
A cycle or rhythm that is roughly 24 hours long; the cyclical daily fluctuations in biological and psychological processes

Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN)
A cluster of neurons in the hypothalamus in the brain that governs the timing of circadian rhythms, the internal pacemaker that governs the timing of circadian rhythms, including the sleep-wake cycle

Hormone manufactured by the pineal gland, an endocrine gland located in the brain, that produces sleepiness

An instrument that uses electrodes placed on the scalp to measure and record the brain’s electrical activity. Invented by German psychiatrist Hans Berger in 1920s

Electroencephalogram (EEG)
The graphic record of brain activity produced by an electroencephalograph; with this, sleep researchers firmly established that brain-wave activity systematically changes throughout sleep

REM Sleep
Type of sleep during which rapid eye movements (REM) and dreaming usually occur and voluntary muscle activity is suppressed; also called active sleep or paradoxical sleep because it is associated with heightened body and brain activity during which dreaming consistently occurs
-Brain becomes more active, generating smaller and faster brain waves
-Visual and motor neurons in the brain activate repeatedly, just as they do during wakefulness
-Dreams occur during REM sleep
-Voluntary muscle activity suppressed, which prevents dreaming sleeper from acting out her dreams
-Accompanied by considerable physiological arousal
-Sleeper’s eyes dart back and forth behind closed eyelids–rapid eye movements
-Heart rate, blood pressure, and respirations can fluctuate
-Muscle twitches
-Sexual arousal
-First REM episode tends to be brief, about 5 to 15 minutes
-Beginning of stage 1 NREM–> first episode of REM sleep=90 minutes

NREM Sleep
Non-rapid-eye-movement sleep (NREM) are quiet, typically dreamless sleep in which rapid eye movements are absent; divided into four stages; also called quiet sleep because body’s physiological functions and brain activity slow down during this period of slumber

Beta Brain Waves
Brain-wave pattern associated with alert wakefulness; small, fast

Alpha Brain Waves
Brain-wave pattern associated with relaxed wakefulness and drowsiness; slightly larger and slower

Hypnagogic Hallucinations
Vivid sensory phenomena that occur during the onset of sleep; occasionally occur during transition to light sleep

Myoclonic Jerk
An involuntary muscle spasm of the whole body that jolts the person completely awake; also known as sleep starts

Theta Brain Waves
Even slower than alpha brain waves

Stage 1 NREM
-Lasts only a few minutes
-Transitional stage during which you gradually disengage from the sensations of the surrounding world
-Can quickly regain conscious alertness if needed
-Hypnagogic hallucinations can occur, but less vivid mental imagery is common

Stage 2 NREM
-Represents onset of true sleep
-Defined by appearance of sleep spindles and K complexes
-Brain activity continues to slow down considerably
-Breathing becomes rhythmical
-Slight muscle twitches
-Theta waves are predominant, but delta brain waves also begin to emerge
-During the 15 to 20 minutes initially spent in stage 2, delta brain-wave activity gradually increases

Sleep Spindles
Short bursts of brain activity that characterize stage 2 NREM sleep

K Complex
Single but large high-voltage spike of brain activity that characterizes stage 2 NREM sleep

Stage 3&4 NREM
-Often referred to as slow-wave sleep (SWS)
-Both defined by amount of delta brain-wave activity
-When delta brain waves represent more than 20% of total brain activity, sleep is said to be in stage 3 NREM
-Delta brain waves exceed 50% of total brain activity, sleeper is said to be in stage 4 NREM
-First 20-40 minutes in first episode of stage 4 NREM, delta waves come to represent 100% brain activity, where heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate drop to lowest levels
-Sleeper is almost oblivious to the world
-Noises as loud as 90 decibels may fail to wake him
-Muscles are still capable of movement (sleep walking usually occurs during stage 4 NREM)
-Can take 15+ minutes to regain full waking consciousness form stage 4
-Can carry out a simple task during stage 4 and never even leave it, won’t remember it the next day
-Now, the sleeper is probably 70 minutes into a typical night’s sleep and immersed in deeply relaxed stage 4 NREM sleep
-At this point, sequence reverses. In a matter of minutes, sleeper cycles back from stage 4 to stage 3 to stage 2, and enters a dramatic new phase: first episode of REM sleep
-Sleeptalking occurs in stage 3&4 NREM

Sleep Paralysis
A temporary condition in which a person is unable to move upon awakening in the morning or during the night
-REM sleep, so you don’t act out dreams

REM Rebound
The amount of time spent in REM sleep increases by as much as 50%after being deprived of REM sleep

Sleep Thinking
Vague, bland, thoughtlike ruminations about real-life events that typically occur during NREM sleep; also called sleep mentation

An unfolding sequence of thoughts, perceptions, and emotions that typically occurs during REM sleep and is experienced as a series of real-life events

Episodic Memories
Memories of personally experienced events that NREM slow-wave contributes to

Procedural Memories
Involves learning a new skill or task until it can be performed automatically, which REM sleep and NREM stage 2 sleep help to consolidate

A vivid and frightening or unpleasant anxiety dream that occurs during REM sleep

Sigmund Freud
Founder of psychoanalysis, interpreted dreams, believed that because psychological defenses are reduced during sleeping, frustrated sexual and aggressive wishes are expressed symbolically in dreams

Manifest Content
In Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, the elements of a dream are consciously experienced and remembered by the dreamer

Latent Content
In Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, the unconscious wishes, thoughts, and urges that are concealed in the manifest content of a dream

Phallic Symbols
What Freud believed represented the penis e.g., sticks, swords, brooms, and other elongated objects. Dream images of cupboards, boxes, and overs supposedly symbolized the vagina

Lucid Dreams
Dreams in which you become aware that you are dreaming while you are still asleep, possible to control dream

J. Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley
Proposed a new model of dreaming called the activation-synthesis model of dreaming, believes that dreams are the by-products of physiological processes in the brain

Activation-Synthesis Model of Dreaming
Model maintains that dreaming is our subjective awareness of the brain’s internally generated signals during sleep; theory that brain activity during sleep produces dream images (activation), which are combined by the brain into a dream story (synthesis)

Neurocognitive Model of Dreaming
Model of dreaming that emphasizes the continuity of waking and dreaming cognition, and states that dreaming is like thinking under conditions of reduced sensory input and the absence of voluntary control; continuity between waking and dreaming cognition

Sleep Disorder
Serious and consistent sleep disturbances that interfere with the daytime functioning and cause subjective distress

Sleep disorders involving disruptions in the amount, quality, or timing of sleep
Ex: Insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and narcolepsy

Sleep disorders involving involving undesirable physical arousal, behaviors, or events during sleep or sleep transitions; sometimes sleep and waking states overlap or “bleed” into one another

Condition in which a person regularly experiences an inability to fall asleep, to stay asleep, or to feel adequately rested by sleep

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
A sleep disorder in which the person repeatedly stops breathing during sleep

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Can be used to treat moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea; device that increases air pressure in the throat so that the airway remains open

A sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and brief lapses into sleep throughout the day, also known as sleep attacks or microsleeps, typically last from a few seconds to several minutes

A sudden loss of voluntary muscle strength and control that is usually triggered by an intense emotion

Recent scientific discovery of a special class of neurotransmitters, also called orexins, and are produced exclusively by the neurons in the hypothalamus

Sleep Terrors
A sleep disturbance characterized by an episode of increased physiological arousal, intense fear and panic, frightening hallucinations, and no recall of the episode the next morning; typically occurs during stage 3 or 4 NREM sleep; also called night terrors

A sleep disorder involving abnormal sexual behaviors and experiences during sleep; also called sexsomnia

A sleep disturbance characterized by an episode of walking or performing other actions during stage 3 or stage 4 NREM sleep; also called somnambulism

Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (SRED)
A sleep disorder in which the sleeper will sleepwalk and eat compulsively

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD)
A sleep disorder characterized by the brain’s failure to suppress voluntary actions during REM sleep, resulting in the sleeper verbally and physically responding to the dream story

A cooperative social interaction in which the hypnotized person responds to the hypnotist’s suggestions with changes in perception, memory, and behavior

Post-Hypnotic Suggestion
A suggestion made during hypnosis that the person should carry out a specific instruction following the hypnotic session

Post-Hypnotic Amnesia
The inability to recall specific information because of a hypnotic suggestion

The supposed enhancement of a person’s memory for past events through a hypnotic suggestion

Ernest R. Hilgard
Psychologist who believed that the hypnotized person experiences dissociation

The splitting of consciousness into two or more simultaneous streams of mental activity

Neodissociation Theory of Hypnosis
Theory proposed by Ernest Hilgard that explains hypnotic effects as being due to the splitting of consciousness into two simultaneous streams of mental activity, only one of which the hypnotic participant is consciously aware of during hypnosis

Hidden Observer
Hilgard’s term for the hidden, or dissociated, stream of mental activity that continues during hypnosis

Any one of a number of sustained concentration techniques that focus attention and heighten awareness

Focused Attention Techniques
Focusing awareness on a visual image or an object; the sensation of breathing; or a sound, word, or phrase, or mantra

A religious phrase repeated mentally during meditation

Open Monitoring Techniques
Monitoring the content of experience from moment to moment.

Transcendental Meditation (TM)
A focused attention technique that involved mentally repeating a mantra given to the practitioner by a teacher

Primary Somatosensory Cortex
Processes sensations of pain, touch, and pressure

A condition in which a person feels psychologically and physically compelled to take a specific drug

Physical Dependence
A condition in which a person has physically adapted to a drug so that he or she must take the drug regularly in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms

Drug Tolerance
A condition in which increasing amounts of physically a addictive drug are needed to produce the original, desired effect

Withdrawal Symptoms
Unpleasant physical reactions, combined with intense drug cravings, that occur when a person abstains from a drug on which he or she is physically dependent

Drug Rebound Effect
Withdrawal symptoms that are the opposite of a physically addictive drug’s action

Drug Abuse
Formally called substance abuse disorder; Recurrent substance use that involves impaired control, disruption of social, occupational, and interpersonal functioning, and the development of craving, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms

A category of psychoactive drugs that depress or inhibit brain activity; in general, produce drowsiness, sedation, sleep, relieve anxiety, and lower inhibitions

Binge Drinking
Five or more drinks in a row for men, or four or more drinks in a row for women

Delirium Tremens (DTs)
Severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on level of physical dependence. Low level of dependence=disrupted sleep, anxiety, and mild tremors. Higher levels of dependence=confusion, hallucinations, and severe tremors or seizures

Chemical substances that are inhaled to produce an alteration in consciousness

A category of depressant drugs that reduce anxiety and produce sleepiness

Depressants that relieve anxiety

A category of psychoactive drugs that are chemically similar to morphine and have strong pain-relieving properties; also called opioids or narcotics; feeling of euphoria

A category of psychoactive drugs that increase brain activity, arouse behavior, and increase mental alertness; vary in legal status, the strength of their effects, and the manner in which they are taken

A stimulant drug found in coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and many over-the-counter medications; most widely used psychoactive drug in the world

A stimulant drug found in tobacco products

A class of stimulant drugs that arouse the central nervous system and suppress appetite; sometimes called “speed” or “uppers”

A stimulant drug derived from the coca tree

Stimulant-Induced Psychosis
Schizophrenia-like symptoms that can occur as the result of prolonged amphetamine or cocaine use, including auditory hallucinations of voices and bizarrely paranoid ideas; also called amphetamine-induced psychosis or cocaine-induced psychosis

Psychedelic Drug
A category of psychoactive drugs that create sensory and perceptual distortions, alter mood, and affect thinking; psychedelic means “mind manifesting”

A psychedelic drug derived from the peyote cactus

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
A synthetic psychedelic drug; far more potent than mescaline or psilocybin

A psychoactive drug derived from the hemp plant; one of the most widely used illegal drugs

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
Marijuana’s active ingredient

MDMA or Ecstasy
Synthetic club drug that combines stimulant and mild psychedelic effects; initials stand for the long chemical name of the quintessential club drug better known as ecstasy

Dissociative Anesthetics
Class of drugs that reduce sensitivity to pain and produce feelings of detachment and dissociation; includes the club drugs phencyclidine (PCP) and ketamine

Stimulus Control Therapy
Insomnia treatment involving specific guidelines to create a strict association between the bedroom and rapid sleep onset

An external or environmental cue that entrains, or synchronizes, an organism’s biological rhythms to the Earth’s 24-hour light/dark cycle and 12 month cycle; zeit=time, geber=giver; an example would be temperature

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