lecture 10: altered state of consciousness and biological rhythms Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in lecture 10: altered state of consciousness and biological rhythms Deck (27)
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What is consciousness?

an awareness of internal and external stimuli


What are daydreams?

shifts in attention towards internal thoughts and imagined scenarios

(uni students may spend as much as 50% of their waking tim ethinking abot something other than what is currently happening)


How can psychologists learn about the normal flow of consciousness?

through eperience-sampling techniques


what was freud's focus on the psychodynamic view of consciousness?

the unconscious and levels of consciousness


What are the three mental systems that form consciousness?

1) conscious: mental events that you are aware of
2) preconscious: mental events that can be brought into awareness
3) unconscious: mental events that are inaccessbile to awareness; events are actively kept out of awareness


How is consciousness distributed throughout the brain?

Hindbrain & midbrain - important for arousal and sleep
damage to reticular formation - can lead to coma
pre frontal cortex - key for conscious control of info processing


what kind of patterns of activity can be seen in an EEG?

normal waking/alert shown by beta waves (13-24cycles/sec)
deep relaxation shown by alpha waves (8-12cycles/sec)
Light sleep shown by theta waves (4-7 cycles/sec)
deep sleep shown by delta waves (<4 cycles/sec)


what is the relationship between consciousness and attention?

divided attention or dissociation argument


what is hypnosis?

a systematic procedure that increases suggestibility


what influences hypnotic susceptibiliy?

individual differences


what are some effects produced through hypnosis?

sensory distortions and hallucinations
posthypnotic suggestions and amnesia


what is hilgard's theory on hypnosis?

a hidden observer is created in the mind while hypnosis is taking place
i.e. that hypnosis creates a dissociation in consciousness


what is dissociation?

the splitting off of mental processes into two separate, simultaneous streams of awareness
e.g. highway hyponosis


what are some applications for hypnosis?

anaesthesia: use of hyponosis in minor surgery and by dentists for pain management
particuarly useful with burns patients undergoing debridement
during pregnancy and labour

behavourial changes: use of hypnosis to reduce smoking and improve diet


what is meditation

practices that train attention to heighten awareness and bring mental processes under greater voluntary control


what are some physical and biological effects of meditation?

alpha waves and beta waves become more prominent in EEG recordings

Decreased arousal. i.e. a decline in heart rate, skin conductance, respiration rate, oxygen consumption, carbondioxide elimination


what are the benefits of meditation?

Reduced effects of stress (due to lower levels of stress hormones and an enhanced immune response)

Improved mental health due to reduced anxiet and concomittant reduction in drug abouse

May have positive effects on blood pressure, self esteem, mood, and sense of control


what is subliminal perception?

the perception of stimuli below the threshold of consciousness


what has research discovered regarding subliminal perception?

presenting people with subliminal stimuli can influence their emotional reactions and behaviours.

this stimuli can be positive or negative


what are circadian rhythms?

a cyclical biological process that evolved around the daily cylce of light and dark (e.g. sleep)


when do foetuses begin to show rhythms of sleep and activity?

by six months gestational age


what accounts for difficulties people exerience when crossing time zones or working night shifts?

circadian rhythms
they also impact physical and mental health and your grades!


what is the physiological pathway of sleep/wake cycles?

light levels are detected by the retina, -> suprachiasmitc nucleus of the hypothalamus -> pineal gland -> secretion of melatonin


what occurs in the absence of external cues?

people fall into a 25 hour rhythm
(external cues draw us into a 24 hour rhythm)


Why does jet lag occur?

due to changing time zones too quickly for the circadian rhythms to change


what are the differences in grades of larks and owls?

morning students do better in morning classes
evening students do better in evening classes


what is the relationship between circadian rhythms and mental illness?

circadian rhythm abnormality may result in mood disorders or bipolar disorders