Flashcards in Consciousness Deck (69)
What is consciousness?
The state of being aware and responsive to one's surroundings
How does awareness of self and surroundings operate?
On a continuum
e.g. from focused alertness, daydreaming and coma
What are examples of altered states of consciousness?
The mind is aware but not in its usual wakeful condition
How do we know that altered states of consciousness exist?
We are able to describe the subjective experience of an altered state
How can altered states of consciousness be measured objectively?
What is the problem with this?
Eye movements can be observed
People respond different to subjective experiences such as hypnosis
People may look similar to an outsider even if the states are subjectively very different
Why is there no agreed definition of consciousness?
Due to mind-body dualism
there are subjective and objective views of consciousness
What is mind-body dualism?
The theory that the mind and body are distinct kinds of substances, each with a different essential nature
They casually interact which being ontologically distinct substances
What would be the objective and subjective view of a pencil?
Objective - pencil is an object
Subjective - the colour, how sharp it is, how it smells
What is a subjective view?
A view that is unique to a particular individual
How can colours be used to show differences in subjective experiences?
Women are more sensitive to subtle changes in colour shades due to the arrangement of rods and cones in the retina
There is a difference in perception of different colours between women and men
How do subjective experiences between individuals tend to vary?
They tend to be similar to that of others, but are not exactly the same
Who devised the Hard Problem?
What does the Hard Problem explain?
How physical processes in the brain give rise to subjective experiences
What does the Hard Problem state?
We cannot explain the action of 90 billion neurones in the brain and their connections
We cannot explain the subjective experiences that we have of the world, which is based on this physical principle
What is an 'easy problem'?
Easy problem all represent some ability, or the performance of a function or behaviour
e.g. difference between wakefulness and sleep
What are the 3 dominant functional views?
3. conscious and unconscious processes
What is involved in monitoring?
Attention - people only experience what they attend to
Inattentional blindness means consciousness is like a spotlight where it focuses only on one area
What is inattentional blindness?
When an individual lacks awareness of things that are occurring in the periphery
What is involved in controlling?
It is the ability to anticipate things that are going to happen in the future
It allows you to plan, initiate and guide future actions
This involves looking at different possibilities and choosing between alternatives
How are unconscious and conscious processes related?
Unconscious processes underpin consciousness
What is an example of an action that is alway unconscious?
Movement of the eyes is not consciously controlled
What is an example of an action that is normally unconscious but can be brought under conscious control?
A technique you can use to learn to control your body's functions, such as heart rate
What is involved in biofeedback?
Patient is connected to electrical sensors which allow them to receive information about their body
How can actions become automatic?
These actions are learnt with conscious effort but become automatic
e.g. playing piano
What type of action is driving?
Skilled actions that require learning can be conscious or unconscious
What is an example of an action that is always performed consciously?
recalling a phone number
When does subliminal perception occur?
When the stimuli is below the individual's threshold for conscious perception
e.g. flashed images or sound below audible volume
How does subliminal perception affect an individual?
Information that is presented below the level for conscious registration is still picked up by the brain
It may affect behaviour later on
How does subliminal advertising work?
It uses flashed images that are too quick to be consciously registered
The subliminal perception may impact someone's behaviour later on