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Flashcards in Consciousness/Sleep Deck (32):


A person's awareness of everything that is going on around him or her at any given moment, which is used to organize behavior


Waking consciousness

A state in which thoughts, feelings, and sensations are clear and organized, and the person feels alert.


Altered state of consciousness

A state in which there is a shift in the quality or pattern of mental activity as compared to waking consciousness.


Circadian rhythm

A cycle of bodily rhythm that occurs over a 24-hour cycle (includes sleep and wakefulness), termed our "biological clock," it can be altered by artificial light, light triggers the suprachiasmatic nucleus (in the hypothalamus) to decrease melatonin (morning) from the pineal gland and increase it (evening) at nightfall


What part of the body is the sleep-wake cycle controlled by?

The brain, specifically the hypothalamus.


Suprachiasmatic nucleus

The internal clock that tells people when to wake up and when to fall asleep, it is sensitive to changes in light, so as daylight fades the SCN tells the pineal gland to secrete melatonin which will make the person feel sleepy, as light coming into the eyes increases (as it does in the morning) the SCN tells the pineal gland to stop secreting melatonin, allowing the body to awaken.


What are the two kinds of sleep?

REM (rapid eye movement) sleep & non-REM (NREM) sleep


REM (rapid eye movement) sleep

Stage of sleep in which the eyes move rapidly under the eyelids and the person is typically experiencing a dream, voluntary muscles are inhibited so the person moves very little


Non-REM (NREM) sleep

Any of the stages of sleep that do not include REM, during non-REM sleep the person's body is free to move around


Alpha waves

Brain waves that indicate a state of relaxation or light sleep, when an individual closes his eyes but remains awake, the person is awake and relaxed, a meditating person exhibits alpha waves


Theta waves

Brain waves indicating the early stages of sleep


Delta waves

Long, slow waves that indicate the deepest stage of sleep.


Beta waves

Waves that indicate a person is wide awake and mentally active.


Put the different kinds of waves in order from awake to deep sleep

Beta waves, alpha waves, theta waves, delta waves


What are William James' 5 basic characteristics of consciousness?

1) It's personal
2) It's always changing, "like a stream"
3) It's sensibly continuous
4) It deals with objects other than itself
5) It's always selective or choosing



some people prefer day activity and some people prefer night activity, these types of people are categorized according to their sleep schedule preference into either morningness and eveningness or larks and owls


Is whether a person likes mornings/evenings better biological or environmental?

Scientists test this by putting people in an environment where they don't know what time it is and scientists can modify the light in the environment to see if people remain morning/evening people or if they change based on environment or if they stayed the same because of biology


How are the sleep stages measured?

by using an electroencephalograph (EEG)


Which sleep stages are non-REM? Which are REM?

Non-REM sleep stages are stages 1-4 and REM sleep is stage 5


Describe sleep stages 1 & 2

during early, light sleep stages (stages 1-2) the brain enters a high-amplitude, slow, regular wave form called theta waves (5-8 cps), a person who is daydreaming shows theta activity, the primary thing that differentiates stage 2 from stage 1 is the sleep spindles that occur on the EEG during stage 2, and in stage 2 you realize you're sleeping whereas you don't always think you were asleep in stage 1, NON-REM


Describe sleep stages 3-4

during the deepest sleep (stages 3-4), brain activity slows down, they are large-amplitude, slow delta waves (in stage 3 less than 1/2 of the waves are delta and in stage 4 over 1/2 of the waves are delta), in stage 4 the pituitary gland releases growth hormones (1.5-4 cps), NON-REM


Describe stage 5 of the sleep cycle

after reaching the deepest sleep stage (4), the sleep cycle starts moving backwards toward stage 1, although still asleep, the brain engages in low-amplitude, fast and regular beta waves (15-40 cps) much like awake-aroused state, 90% of dreams occur during this stage of sleep and the dreams are very vivid


What is REM paralysis?

when people enter the REM stage of sleep, they have an inability to move voluntary muscles


In general, how long is each sleep cycle? What happens as we move through the sleep stages during the night?

each sleep cycle usually lasts about 90 minutes; as we move through stages during the night, we get less time stage 4 sleep and more time in REM as the night goes on


What are the 4 sleep theories?

1) sleep protects: sleeping in the darkness when predators loomed about kept our ancestors out of harm's way
2) sleep helps us recover: sleep helps restore and repair brain tissue
3) sleep helps us remember: sleep restores and rebuilds our fading memories
4) sleep may play a role in the growth process: during sleep, the pituitary gland releases growth hormones; older people release less of this hormone and sleep less


What kind of sleep do people need more of when they have a physically demanding day? What about an emotionally demanding day?

When people have a physically demanding day they need spend more time in non-REM sleep; when people have a more emotionally draining day, they spend more time in REM sleep


What is manifest content? Latent content?

Manifest content: a Freudian term meaning the story line of dreams
Latent content: the underlying meaning of a dream that must be discovered by a professional


Name and describe the 3 different things we dream about

1) Negative emotional content: 8 out of 10 dreams have negative emotional content
2) Failure dreams: people commonly dream about failure, being attacked, chased, rejected, or struck w/ misfortune
3) Sexual dreams: contrary to our thinking, sexual dreams are less frequent -- in men sexual dreams are 1 in 10 and in women about 1 in 30


Name and describe the 5 reasons why researchers believe we dream

1) Wish fulfillment: Sigmund Freud suggested that dreams provide a psychic safety valve to discharge unacceptable feelings, the dream's manifest (apparent) content may also have symbolic meanings (latent content) that signify our unacceptable feelings
2) Information processing: dreams may help sift, sort, and fix a day's experiences in our memories
3) Physiological function: dreams provide our brain with periodic stimulation to preserve neural pathways; neural networks of newborns are quickly developing, therefore they need more sleep, infants spend much more time in REM sleep
4) Activation-synthesis theory: suggests that the brain engages in a lot of random neural activity, dreams make sense of this activity and builds a story around it, goes against Freud's theory that dreams are symbolic
5) Cognitive development: some researchers argue that we dream as a part of brain maturation and cognitive development


What's REM rebound?

all dream researchers believe that we need REM sleep; when we are deprived of REM sleep and then allowed to sleep, we show increased REM sleep called REM rebound


What are some of the effects of sleep deprivation?

-suppression of the immune system
-impaired creativity
-harder to concentrate
-lower motivation
-misperceptions on monotonous/automatic tasks
**frequency of accidents increase with loss of sleep (see study on accidents before and after daylight savings time changes)**


When does sleep deprivation have little effect?

when we're engaged in highly motivating tasks and when something is extremely important to us