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Flashcards in consciousness Deck (82):

define consciousness

our awareness of internal and external environments at any given moment in time. consciousness can be described as being personal, selective, changing and continuous.


what is meant by the consciousness continuum

- this is a range from complete lack of awareness (unconscious) to total awareness (focused attention). at the high end of the spectrum your attention os focused and selective, you are able to focus on important tasks and ignore others. at the other end of the spectrum, you may be unaware of thoughts, feelings and sensations


why is it consciousness considered a psychological construct

- because it cannot be directly measured just by observing subjects
- it is something that were believe to exist because we can measure its effects, however we can't directly measure or observe it itself


what is subjective data

- data collected through personal observations and are based on opinions/interpretations
- cannot be scientifically measured
eg. researchers may make assumptions about a participants level of awareness of the things going on around them


what is objective data

- measurements of data collected under controlled conditions and can be measured scientifically
- this removes any bias and represents a more accurate method of collection
eg. data collected from a sleep lab


what is normal waking consciousness (NWC)

- a state of consciousness characterised by clear and organised alertness to internal and external stimuli. this state of consciousness is at the high end of the spectrum.
- high level of awareness, good memory, focused attention, accurate perception of reality


what is an altered state of consciousness (ASC)

- a state of consciousness that is characteristically different from normal waking consciousness in terms of attention, sensation and perception
- low levels of awareness, memory difficulty, lack of self control etc


what is a naturally occurring ASC

- an ASC that is produced spontaneously without any conscious effort or decision making
eg. sleep, day dreaming and psychosis


what is an induced ASC

- an ASC that is intentionally produced
eg. being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. hypnotised or anaesthetised


what is divided attention?

- the ability to attend to two different stimuli at the same time
- the quality of the way these tasks are completed are decreased and have poor results


what is selective attention

- focusing on a particular stimuli while simultaneously ignoring other stimuli
- this is focused attention and is when you have total awareness, found at the top of the spectrum


what is divided attention?

when an individual simultaneously focuses 2 or more stimuli, or undertakes 2 or more tasks


what is selective attention

attending to a particular stimulus while ignoring others, requiring a high level of awareness


what is an electroencephalograph (EEG)
- physiological measure

- detects, amplifies and records electrical activity of the brain, measured in the form of brainwaves
- this shows the frequency and amplitude of brainwave activity


what is an electrooculography (EOG)
- physiological measure

- detects, amplifies and records the electrical activity of the muscles surrounding the eyes as they move and rotate in their sockets
- informed recorded through electrodes that're attached to the skin around the eyes
- this determines whether someone os awake or asleep and what stage of sleep they're in


what is an electromyograph (EMG)
- physiological measure

- detects, amplifies and records the electrical activity created by active, skeletal muscles on a continuously moving chart paper
- records the degree of tension or relaxation in the muscles
- electrodes are attached to the skin surface of the chin, arms and legs


other techniques to measure consciousness

- psychometric vigilance test (PVT)
- self report
- sleep diary
- video monitoring


what is a psychometric vigilance test

- a test used to measure behavioural alertness, where the participants respond to a visual stimulus and their speed and accuracy of the task are measured


what is a self report

- involves an individual keeping a record of they own subjective experiences (thoughts, feelings and behaviours)


what is a sleep diary

- a log of subjective behavioural and psychological experiences surrounding a persons sleep


what is video monitoring

- video taping a person while they are sleeping to record and then analyse any observable disturbances in their sleep


what are stimulants

- a group fo drugs that elevate mood, increase alertness and reduce fatigue by exciting neural activity in the brain, which increases bodily functions
eg. caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamine


effect of stimulants on brainwaves

- associated with higher levels of beta brainwaves and sometimes an increase in alpha brainwaves


what are depressants

- a group of drugs that calm neural activity and slow down bodily functions
eg. alcohol, opioids and cannabis


effect of depressants on brainwaves

- associated with the onset of alpha, theta and brainwaves


explain beta brainwaves

- associated with NWC and are most present during the day when we are awake
- low amplitude and high frequency


explain alpha brainwaves

- associated with a more relaxed and calm state. can be present while relaxing, in an ASC such as daydreaming
- low-medium amplitude and medium-high frequency


explain theta brainwaves

- associated with deep relaxation, such as meditation practises and also in early/light stages of sleep
- medium-high amplitude and medium-low frequency


explain delta brainwaves

- associated with deep stages of sleep (NREM 3 & 4) that helps restore and rejuvenate body and mind
- high amplitude and low frequency


effects of sleep deprivation on mood

- irritable
- short tempered
- impatient
- positive mood decreases and negative mood increases


effects of sleep deprivation on cognition

- unable to make decisions that are logical and consistent
- unable to solve problems
- impaired memory
- dampens frontal lobe activity
- difficulty processing declarative memories


effects of sleep deprivation on concentration

- generally deteriorates
- simple and routine tasks are more difficult
- problems with attention and accuracy


physiological effects of sleep deprivation

- trembling hands
- dropping eyelids
- fatigue
- slurred speech
- lack of energy
- increased pain sensitivity
- headaches


effects of BAC concentration 0.05

- impaired memory ability, difficulty to problem solve
- decline in concentration
- intensified mood and emotions


comparing bAC with sleep deprivation

- going without sleep for 17-19 hours is = to a BAC of 0.05
- 24-38 hours of sleep deprivation = BAC of 0.10


what is NREM sleep

- a type of sleep that is broken into 3 stages, where the sleeper falls into a deeper and deeper sleep as the stages progress; characterised by relaxation of the muscles, slowing down of physiological functions and brainwaves that decrease in frequency and increase in amplitude


what is REM sleep

- a type of sleep characterised by brainwaves with high frequency and low amplitude; the muscles of the body are in a state of paralysis and dreams maybe experienced


stage 1 NREM

- NS begins to slow, heart rate slows and breathing becomes irregular
- lasts several minutes
- slow, rolling eye movements
- light sleep, marked by alpha waves & theta waves appear
- characterised by a hypnic jerk (muscle contraction)


stage 2 NREM

- body temperature drops, heart/respiratory rate slow
- solid type of sleep but still receptive of external stimuli
- high theta wave activity
- sleep spindles (short burst of high frequency) and k complex's (large burst of high amplitude waves) are shown
- lasts 20-30 mins


stage 3 NREM

- physiological responses begin to steady
- theta waves continue to appear, delta waves also appear
- slow wave sleep has begun
- lasts 3-10 minutes and is quite deep


stage 4 NREM

- deep sleep is reached
- waves are almost pure delta
- lasta approx 20-30 minutes but decreases as the night progresses
- appearance of sleep walking or bed wetting


REM sleep

- rapid eye movements
- brain is active and 80% of dreams occur
- beta-like waves
- quite a deep sleep
- referred to as 'paradoxical sleep'
- heart beats faster, breathing rapid and irregular, genitals become aroused
- muscles in a state of atone (paralysis)
- needed for consolidating information and replenishing the mind


what are circadian rhythms

- regular automatic physiological changes that occur during a 24 hour cycle to regulate bodily processes
- controlled by internal biological processes such as the body temperature cycle
- also influenced by external cues such as light
- dominant cycle is the sleep wake cycle and is largely controlled by our internal body clock found in the hypothalamus known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus


what is the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)

- a cluster of 20 000 nerve cells found deep within the brain located above the optic chiasm.
- SCN receives information from the optic nerve about light.
- triggers the pineal gland to release a hormone known as melatonin
- controls body functions associated with sleep eg, body temperature, urine production and blood pressure


what is rem behavioural disorder

- a lack of muscle paralysis in REM sleep


what are ultradian rhythm

- a biological rhythm that follows a cycle of less than 24 hours, such as eye blinks, heartbeats and sleep patterns
- they are affected by internal body clock through the release of hormones
- external factors such as light, noise and other environmental stimuli


what is the restoration theory?

- suggests that sleep is vital for replenishing and revitalising the physiological and psychological resources depleted by our waking activities
- prepares the body for action the next day
- explains why sleep is important
REm replenishes mind, NREM replenishes body


support for restoration theory

- marathon runners spend more time in NREM sleep
- sleep activates growth and increases Immunity
- increases alertness and enhances mood
- cognitive decline occurs with sleep deprivation


criticism for restoration theory

- assume we need more sleep when active but those who do little exercise also have similar sleep need eg. disabled
- assume the body rests during sleep but the brain is active. REM sleep causes an increase blood flow and energy expenditure


what is the evolutionary theory

- sleep isn an evolutionary response that adapts based on the demands of how much food we need, our energy requirements and our safety when we sleep
- sleep increases an animals chance of survival
- evolved around the circadian days of animals


support for evolutionary theory

- animals such as cows graze, they therefore get little sleep because they need more time to find and consume food
- animals vulnerable to predators sleep more because they are inactive and hide safely
- sleep conserves energy


criticism for evolutionary theory

- it doesn't explain why we need sleep
- animals could be vulnerable while asleep
- small animals should stay awake rather than sleep to be alert under attack


sleep in newborns and infants

- newborns sleep for 16 hours a day approximately, 50% in REM and 50% in NREM
- end of infancy they sleep 12-13 hours
- this supports restorative theory because they need more REM sleep to replenish their mind from learning all day


sleep in children

- on average, children sleep 10-11 hours of sleep, 20-25% of this is in REM and 75-80% in NREM


sleep in adolescents

- sleep approximately 9 hours with 20% in REM and 80% in NREM


sleep in adults

- 7-8 hours of sleep a night
- 20% in REM and 80% in NREM


sleep in elderly

- 6 hours of sleep on average in a day
- 15-20% in REM and 80-85% in NREM


what is a sleep disorder

- a condition that consistently disrupts the normal NREM-REM sleep cycle


what is a circadian phase disorder

-a sleep disorder that disturbs a person's ability to sleep and wake for the periods of time necessary to maintain good health and wellbeing, caused by the sleep-wake cycle being out of sync with the natural night-day cycle of the external environment


types of circadian phase disorders

- jet lag
- night shift
- adolescence sleep-wake shift


sleep wake shift in adolescence circadian phase disorder

- delay in sleep onset or the transition period between sleep and wakefulness
- causes them to only feel tired late at night and therefore not be able to wake up early in the morning
- occurs because of a delay in the release of melatonin by 1-2 hours
- means they don't feel sleepy until 11pm
- melatonin slows in the approach of dawn but cortisol increases


effects of sleep wake shift in adolescence

- daytime tiredness and fatigue
- impaired cognitive functioning
- difficulty concentrating
- increase in moodiness
- diminishing motivation- can develop into a delayed sleep phase disorder


what is a delayed sleep phase disorder

- a disorder in sleep timing where a persons sleep-wake cycle is routinely delayed by 2 hours or more from a normal sleep pattern, causing a person to go to sleep later and wake up later


coping with adolescence sleep wake shift

- avoid electronic devices an hour before bed
- avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks
- establish. sleep routine


shift work circadian phase disorder

- occurs when a persons work hours are scheduled in the normal sleep period
- circadian rhythms are therefore out fo sync
- extrinsic circadian phase disorder


effects of shift work

- difficult to stay asleep
- difficult to adjust to night time activity
- miss out on NREM sleep
- digestive problems
- fatigue
- headaches


reducing effects of shift work

- stay on one shift as long as possible so circadian rhythms can adjust
- avoid foods that are hard to digest
- ensure sleeping environment is conductive to sleep in


jet lag circadian phase disorder

- temporary extrinsic circadian phase disorder the occurs from long periods of air travel cross different time zones
- exposed to light that their circadian rhythms aren't prepared for


effects of jet lag

- fatigue
- sleep disturbances
- impaired judgement
- poor performance
- lack of daytime awareness


reducing effects of jet lag

- travel in a westerly direction because they are behind in time
- adjust yourself an hour a day before u fly
- avoid exposure to light


acute partial sleep deprivation

- a lack of adequate sleep time required for optimal daytime functioning; usually lasting 1-2 days


chronic partial sleep deprivation

- routinely sleeping less that the normal time needed for optimal daytime functioning


affective functioning effects of sleep deprivation

- mood swings
- increased negative emotions
- irritability
- reduced motivation


behaviour functioning effects of sleep deprivation

- difficulty completing routine tasks
- reduced ability to assess risky tasks
- increase in risk taking behaviour


cognitive functioning effects of sleep deprivation

- memory lapses
- difficult processing info
- easily bored
- reduced motivation


physical functioning effects of sleep deprivation

- trembling hands
- droopy eyelids
- lack of energy
- extremely tired


what are dysomnias

- a group of sleep disorders characterised by disturbance of normal sleep pattern, including quality, amount and timing of sleep
- eg. narcolepsy and insomnia


what is insomnia

- a sleep disorder characterised by the inability to fall asleep, frequent night-time waking, waking too early, or a combination of these, which results in sleep deprivation


what are parasomnias

- a group of sleep disorders characterised by abnormal or unusual behaviour or physiological occurrences during sleep


what is sleep walking

- a sleep disorder characterised by a sleeping person walking and sometimes completing routine tasks or activities, often when in deep sleep (Stages 3 &4 NREM)


what is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

- a type of psychotherapy that uses a range of cognitive and behavioural therapies and learning principles to help people change unhealthy or unwanted thought processes, feeling and behaviours.
- there is a feeling, behavioural and cognitive component
techniques for insomnia include:
- stimulus control therapy
- sleep hygiene
- relaxation training


bright light therapy (circadian phase disorder treatment)

- a treatment that expires people to intense but safe amounts of artificial light to help synchronise their sleep wake cycle