6B Making Sense of the Environment Flashcards Preview

KA Notes > 6B Making Sense of the Environment > Flashcards

Flashcards in 6B Making Sense of the Environment Deck (49):

Levels of Consciousness

  • Alertness – you’re awake
  • Daydreaming- feel more relaxed, not as focussed. Can also be light meditation (self-induced)
  • Drowsiness - just before falling asleep/after waking up. Can also be self-induced in deep meditation.
  • Sleep – not aware of world around you. EEGs can measure brainwaves. 4 main types – alpha, beta, delta, theta.


Types of Waves for Each State of Consciousness 

  • Beta (13-30Hz) – associated with awake/concentration. Increased stress, anxiety, restlessness. Constant alertness.
  • Alpha waves (8-13 Hz) – in daydreaming. Disappear in drowsiness but reappear in deep sleep. During relaxation.
  • Theta waves (7 Hz) – Drowsiness, right after you fall asleep.
  • Delta waves (0.5-3 Hz) - Deep sleep or coma.


Categories of Psychoactive Druges 







lower your body’s basic functions and neural activity, ex. Heart rate, reaction time, etc.


Examples of Depressants

  • The most popular depressant is alcohol.
    • Think more slowly, disrupt REM sleep (and form memories), removes your inhibitions
  • Barbiturates – used to induce sleep or reduce anxiety. Depress your CNS.
    • Side effects are reduced memory, judgement and concentration, with alcohol can lead to death (most drugs w/ alcohol are bad)
  • Benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed suppressant. Sleep aids or anti-anxiety
    • Enhance your brain’s response to GABA. They open up GABA-activated chloride channels in your neurons, and make neurons more negatively charged.
    • 3 types: short, intermediate, and long-acting. Short and intermediate are usually for sleep, while long acting are for anxiety.



used to treat pain and anxiety


How do opiates work?

  • Used to treat pain because they act at body’s receptor sites for endorphins.
  • Different class than depressants, even though overlapping for anxiety, rest act on GABA receptors while opiates act on endorphin Rs.
  • Lead to euphoria, why taken recreationally



Stimulate or intensify neural activity/bodily functions


Examples of Stimulants

caffeine to cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, and ecstasy. In between is nicotine.



inhibits adenosine receptors

physiologically addicting so can cause withdrawal symptoms 



  • disrupts sleep and can suppress appetite.
    • At high levels, nicotine can cause muscles to relax and release stress-reducing neurotransmitters (to counteract hyper alertness).
    • Both physiologically addicting
    • Withdrawal symptoms may occur when it is no longer used 



– releases so much dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine that it depletes your brain’s supply


Amphetamines and methamphetamines

  • trigger release of dopamine, euphoria for up to 8 hours
  • Highly addictive



drugs cause hallucinations, altered perception


Types of Hallucinogens 

  • Ecstasy – synthetic drug both a stimulant and hallucinogen.
    • Increases dopamine and serotonin and euphoria. Also stimulates the body’s NS. Can damage neurons that produce serotonin, which has several functions including moderating mood.
    • Causes hallucinations and heightened sensations, ex. artificial feeling of social connectedness.
  • LSD – interferes with serotonin, which causes people to experience hallucinations.
    • Hallucinations are visual instead of auditory
  • Marijuana is also a mild hallucinogen. Main active chemical is THC, which heightens sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells.
    • Like alcohol, reduces inhibition, impairs motor and coordination skills.
    • Disrupt memory formation and short-term recall.
    • Stays in body up to a week.
    • Used as medicine to relieve pain and nausea


PTSD treatment and Hallucinogens

Allow people to access painful memories from past that’s detached from strong emotions


Amphetamines and Homeostasis 

  • If you take amphetamines, body quickly tries to lower HR and get back to normal. Brain is smart about this.
    • If regular drug user, might take it at same time of day.
    • If you’re cocaine addict, your brain starts to recognize external cues like room, needles, etc. and knows it’s about to get big dose of drug. Brain tells body to get head start – lowers HR before you take drugs. Why you need higher dose over time.


Difference between Crash and Overdose 

Crash - you get those cues and don’t get the drug

Overdose - Not all of the cues but get the normal amount of drugs 


Routes of Entry for Drug Use 

  • Oral is ingesting something, one of slowest routes because goes through GI tract – half hour.
  • Inhalation is breathing or smoking, because once you inhale goes straight to brain – 10 seconds.
  • Injection- most direct, intravenous means goes right to vein. Takes effects within seconds. Can be very dangerous.


Transdermal Entry 

drug is absorbed through skin, ex. Nicotine patch


Intramuscular Entry 

stuck into muscle. Can deliver drugs to your system slowly or quickly. Quick for example is epipen. Or vaccines, slowly.


How does method of drug use influence addictivity 

  • Faster route of entry = more addictive potential.


Reward Pathway in the Brain

  • VTA (ventral tegmental area) releases dopamine and receptors uptake dopamine – amygdala says this was enjoyable, hippocampus remembers and says let’s do it again, and nucleus accumbens says let’s take another bite. Prefrontal cortex focuses attention to it.



you get used to a drug so you need more of it to achieve the same effect


Withdrawal symptoms

go through period of not having the drug


Drug strength and withdrawal

The weaker the drug, the weaker the effect of withdrawal --> in the case of cocaine, if you can't supply your body with it, weaker things will not be able to replace dopamine so the dopamine levels will stay low causing depression 


2 Processes of when a drug enters the body




Two Types of Substance Abuse Disorders

Substance induced - A event occurs when there is a disorders in person's mood (mania/depression), anxiety, sleep, sexual function, psychosis

substance use disorders -  drug use causing real degree of impairment in life, at work, school, or home.


3 Factors in Substance Use Disorders

1. Usages - Is individual using large amounts that are interfering with daily life

2. Withdrawal 

3. Tolerace - has the body adapted to the drug levels


Treatment for Drug Dependence 

Detox - involves treating physiological and psychological symptoms 



Used for opoid addics to activates opiate receptors, but acts more slowly, so it dampens the high. Reduces cravings, eases withdrawal, and can’t experience the high because receptors are already filled


Cognitive behavioural therapy

  • Cognitive and behavioural components of addiction. Recognize problematic situations and develop more positive thought patterns and coping strategies, and monitor cravings.


Two types of attention 

divided attention - doing 2x at once you end up switching between tasks rather than doing them simultaneously

selective attention – like a flashlight on your attention. At any given moment illuminating one area of interest


Two Cues that Direct Attention 

Exogenous - don’t have to tell ourselves to look for them, ex. Bright colors, loud noises, “pop-out effect

Endogenous - require internal knowledge to understand the cue and the intention to follow it, ex. A mouse arrow



Cocktail party effect

ability to concentrate on one voice amongst a crowd. Or when someone calls your name.


Two Types of Attention Blindness

Inattentional blindness – we aren’t aware of things not in our visual field when our attention is directed elsewhere in that field.

Change blindness – fail to notice changes in environment


Method of Testing Attention 

Shadowing task – left ear hear one thing, right ear another thing. Told to repeat everything said in one ear and ignore the other.


3 Theories of Selective Attention 

Broadbent’s Early Selection Theory

Deutch & Deutch’s Late Selection Theory

Treisman’s Attenuation Theory


Broadbent’s Early Selection Theory

  • All info in environment goes into sensory register, then gets transferred to selective filter right away which filters out stuff in unattended ear and what you don’t need to understand it (accents etc.), and finally perceptual processes identifies friend’s voice and assigns meaning to words. Then you can engage in other cognitive processes.
  • Some problems – if you completely filter out unattended info, shouldn’t identify your own name in unidentified ear. Cocktail party effect.


Deutch & Deutch’s Late Selection Theory

  • Places broadband selective filter after perceptual processes. Selective filter decides what you pass on to conscious awareness.
  • But given limited resources and attention, seems wasteful to spend all that time assigning meaning to things first.


Treisman’s Attenuation Theory

  • Instead of complete selective filter, have an attenuator – weakens but doesn’t eliminate input from unattended ear. Then some gets to perceptual processes, so still assign meaning to stuff in unattended ear, just not high priority. Then switch if something important.



  • where exposure to one stimulus affects response to another stimulus, even if we haven’t been paying attention to it.

We’re primed to respond to our name. Why it’s a strong prime for pulling our attention


Resource model of attention

we have limited resources in attention


Spotlight model of attention

Selective attention – takes info from 5 senses, but don’t pay attention to everything.


What determines the ability to multitask?

  • Task similarity – ex. Listening to radio while writing a paper. Better to listen to classical music, because harder to multitask with similar tasks.
  • Task difficulty – harder tasks require more focus.
  • Practice – activities well practiced become automatic, or things that occur without need for attention. Whether task is automatic or controlled (harder).


Information processing model in the information processing model

proposes our brains are similar to computers. We get input from environment, process it, and output decisions


Two Types of Processing Memory in the information processing model

  • iconic (what you see, lasts half a second) and echoic (what you hear, lasts 3-4 seconds) memory


Two types of memory 

Working Memory 

Long Term Memory