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Flashcards in Ch. 3 Deck (68):

define consciousness

our awareness of ourselves and our environment


define cognitive neuroscience

the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language)


Those working in the interdisciplinary field called ______________ ______________ study the brain activity associated with perception, thinking, memory, and language.

cognitive neuroscience


define dual processing

the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks


define blindsight

a condition in which a person can respond to a visual stimulus without consciously experiencing it


What are the mind’s two tracks, and what is “dual processing”?

Our mind has separate conscious and unconscious tracks that perform dual processing—organizing and interpreting information simultaneously.


define parallel processing

the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain’s natural mode of information processing for many functions


define selective attention

the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus


define inattentional blindness

failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere


define change blindness

failing to notice changes in the environment


What is the place of consciousness in psychology’s history?

Since 1960, under the influence of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive neuroscience, our awareness of ourselves and our environment—our consciousness—has reclaimed its place as an important area of research. After initially claiming consciousness as its area of study in the nineteenth century, psychologists had abandoned it in the first half of the twentieth century, turning instead to the study of observable behavior because they believed consciousness was too difficult to study scientifically.


What is the “dual processing” being revealed by today’s cognitive neuroscience?

Scientists studying the brain mechanisms underlying consciousness and cognition have discovered that the mind processes information on two separate tracks, one operating at an explicit, conscious level (conscious sequential processing) and the other at an implicit, unconscious level (unconscious parallel processing). This dual processing affects our perception, memory, attitudes, and other cognitions.


How does selective attention direct our perceptions?

We selectively attend to, and process, a very limited portion of incoming information, blocking out much and often shifting the spotlight of our attention from one thing to another. Parallel processing takes care of the routine business, while sequential processing is best for solving new problems that require our attention. Focused intently on one task, we often display inattentional blindness to other events and change blindness to changes around us.


define sleep

periodic, natural loss of consciousness—as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, general anesthesia, or hibernation.


define circadian rhythm

the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms (for example, of temperature and wakefulness) that occur on a 24-hour cycle


define REM sleep

rapid eye movement sleep; a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur. Also known as paradoxical sleep, because the muscles are relaxed (except for minor twitches) but other body systems are active


define alpha waves

the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state.


define hallucinations

false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus.


define delta waves

the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep.


What are the four sleep stages, and in what order do we normally travel through those stages?

REM, NREM-1, NREM-2, NREM-3; normally we move through NREM-1, then NREM-2, then NREM-3, then back up through NREM-2 before we experience REM sleep.


what is the cognitive experience one has during REM sleep?

story-like dreams


what is the cognitive experience one has during NREM-1 sleep?

fleeting images


what is the cognitive experience one has during NREM-3 sleep?

minimal awareness


The ______________ nucleus helps monitor the brain’s release of melatonin, which affects our ______________ rhythm.



what are the five basic functions of sleep?

1. it protects us
2. it helps us recuperate
3. it helps restore and rebuild our fading memories of the day’s experiences.
4. it feeds creative thinking
5. it supports growthh


how long does our body keep sleep debt?

2 weeks


define insomnia

recurring problems in falling or staying asleep


how many adults complain of insomnia?

1 in 10


how many seniors complain of insomnia?

1 in 4


define narcolepsy

a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inopportune times.


define sleep apnea

a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated momentary awakenings


how many people have sleep apnea?

1 in 20


define night terrors

a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, night terrors occur during NREM-3 sleep, within two or three hours of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered


A well-rested person would be more likely to have ______________ (trouble concentrating/quick reaction times) and a sleep-deprived person would be more likely to ______________ (gain weight/fight off a cold).

quick reaction
gain weight


define dreams

a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person’s mind. Dreams are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities and incongruities, and for the dreamer’s delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it


define manifest content

according to Freud, the remembered story line of a dream (as distinct from its latent, or hidden, content).


define latent content

according to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (as distinct from its manifest content).


What five theories propose explanations for why we dream?

(1) Freud’s wish-fulfillment (dreams as a psychic safety valve),
(2) information-processing (dreams sort the day’s events and form memories),
(3) physiological function (dreams pave neural pathways),
(4) neural activation (REM sleep triggers random neural activity that the mind weaves into stories),
(5) cognitive development (dreams reflect the dreamer’s developmental stage)


How do our biological rhythms influence our daily functioning?

Our bodies have an internal biological clock, roughly synchronized with the 24-hour cycle of night and day. This circadian rhythm appears in our daily patterns of body temperature, arousal, sleeping, and waking. Age and experiences can alter these patterns, resetting our biological clock.


How do biology and environment interact in our sleep patterns?

Our biology—our circadian rhythm as well as our age and our body’s production of melatonin (influenced by the brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus)—interacts with cultural expectations and individual behaviors to determine our sleeping and waking patterns.


How does sleep loss affect us?

Sleep deprivation causes fatigue and irritability, and it impairs concentration, productivity, and memory consolidation. It can also lead to depression, obesity, joint pain, a suppressed immune system, and slowed performance (with greater vulnerability to accidents).


What are the major sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders include insomnia (recurring wakefulness); narcolepsy (sudden uncontrollable sleepiness or lapsing into REM sleep); sleep apnea (the stopping of breathing while asleep; associated with obesity, especially in men); night terrors (high arousal and the appearance of being terrified; NREM-3 disorder found mainly in children); sleepwalking (NREM-3 disorder also found mainly in children); and sleeptalking.


what do we dream?

We usually dream of ordinary events and everyday experiences, most involving some anxiety or misfortune. Fewer than 10 percent of dreams among men (and less among women) have any sexual content. Most dreams occur during REM sleep.


define REM rebound

the tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation (created by repeated awakenings during REM sleep)


define substance use disorder

continued substance craving and use despite significant life disruption and/or physical risk.


define psychoactive drugs

a chemical substance that alters perceptions and moods


define tolerance

he diminishing effect with regular use of the same dose of a drug, requiring the user to take larger and larger doses before experiencing the drug’s effect


define addiction

compulsive craving of drugs or certain behaviors (such as gambling) despite known adverse consequences


define withdrawal

the discomfort and distress that follow discontinuing an addictive drug or behavior


define depressants

drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions


what are the four main effects of alcohol?

1. slowed neural processing
2. disruptions in memory (blacking out or more long term memory issues due to nerve cells dying and not being remade)
3. reduced self-awareness and self-control
4. the effect you were expecting it to have (psychologically made up feelings)


define alcohol use disorder

(popularly known as alcoholism) alcohol use marked by tolerance, withdrawal, and a drive to continue problematic use


define barbiturates or tranquilizers

drugs that depress central nervous system activity, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgment.


define opiates

opium and its derivatives, such as morphine and heroin; depress neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety


Alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates are all in a class of drugs called ______________.



define stimulants

drugs (such as caffeine, nicotine, and the more powerful amphetamines, cocaine, Ecstasy, and methamphetamine) that excite neural activity and speed up body functions


define amphetamines

drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes


define nicotine

a stimulating and highly addictive psychoactive drug in tobacco


What withdrawal symptoms should your friend expect when she finally decides to quit smoking?

Your friend will likely experience strong craving, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and distractibility. She’ll probably find it harder to concentrate. However, if she sticks with it, the craving and withdrawal symptoms will gradually dissipate over about six months.


define cocaine

a powerful and addictive stimulant derived from the coca plant; produces temporarily increased alertness and euphoria.


define ecstasy

a synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen. Produces euphoria and social intimacy, but with short-term health risks and longer-term harm to serotonin-producing neurons and to mood and cognition


define methamphetamine

a powerfully addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system, with speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes; over time, appears to reduce baseline dopamine levels


define hallucinogens

psychedelic (“mind-manifesting”) drugs, such as LSD, that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input


define LSD

a powerful hallucinogenic drug; also known as acid (lysergic acid diethylamide)


define THC

the major active ingredient in marijuana; triggers a variety of effects, including mild hallucinations


What is the importance of parallel processing?

It allows you to to take care of routine business


What is the importance of sequential processing?

Allows you to solve new problems which require your focused attention


Which is faster, unconscious parallel processing it sequential conscious processing?

Unconscious parallel processing